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How do I become a plasterer?

For those visitors that may have stumbled upon this page by a search please read on for a little insight:

Entry into training to become a plasterer is often via the apprenticeship route. This will involve on the job training and course work, working towards attaining an NVQ in plastering. The alternative to being a plastering apprentice yet successfully achieving recognition as a plasterer is by first becoming a plasterer’s labourer or mate.

Plasterers are often self-employed and either work on “site” or within domestic homes in the private sector.

To gain access to building sites obtaining a CSCS card will be necessary. This should be priority for those looking to work on a building site.

Whether employed, self – employed or as a part of a small business or team there’s always a lot expected of the plasterer. As a plasterer, you’ll be providing a finished surface, ready to decorate; your work will always be on view and open to criticism. Practice makes perfect and it takes a lot of skill, application and a desire to please to provide a high quality finished surface.

If you’re already a plasterer or hoping to become one you’ll benefit by joining FATE as a member for a host of useful advice – where to find suppliers, tools, courses and more.

Plastering has a fascinating history through the ages and has always involved a lot of skill and dedication.

In the 13th century and not least due to the fast setting nature and its natural fire protection properties gypsum plaster began to gain in popularity. However, compared to the native’s choice at that time of wattle and daub it was an expensive method. It was beyond the affordability of the average home and at that point became more the natural choice for ornamental castings and decorative works.

Gypsum plaster was used for both internal and external applications; hair was often introduced to the compound to reinforce.

Plasterwork evolved from being applied directly to reeds and other vegetation to being applied to laths

Laths are thin strips of wood that are nailed horizontally to wall studs or ceiling joists. The plaster in then applied directly to cover the laths. This was a popular method in the U.K. and U.S.A. prior to the introduction of plasterboard.

In the 20th century plasterboard was invented and quickly replaced lath and plaster as the preferred choice of wall covering. Plasterboard became the material of choice for applications to clad blockwork as well, thereby reducing the amount of solid coat plaster systems dramatically.

With modern engineering and efficiency gypsum based plaster has almost replaced lime now. The ability of gypsum to set in a controlled manner allows the plasterer time and opportunity to build up several layers in hours rather than days.

Whether you’re a domestic, commercial or new housing plasterer you’ll take on a high level of responsibility when you provide the finishing surface prior to paintwork. You’ll need to quickly develop the skills to organise your own work space, time and material needs.

If you’re a plastering subcontractor or part of a gang of plasterers, you’ll find good sound advice with free access to many helpful documents to keep your trowel earning money.

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