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SPAB – An Introduction to Plain Lime Plastering

26 April - 09:00 - 27 April - 16:00


In association with the National Trust

Event details

An Introduction to Plain Lime Plastering course
26 – 27 April 2024
Heritage & Rural Skills Centre, Buscot and Coleshill Estate, Swindon, SN6 7PT
£499 per person

About the course

“The course was extremely practical, which was brilliant and exactly what we needed as working plasterers.” – course participant.

Join us for a practical course covering the mixing and application of lime plaster to lath, masonry, and modern substrates, including pricking up and base coats, float coats and setting coats. You will also get a brief introduction to running a cornice in-situ. See the full programme below.

This course is suitable for people with practical plastering skills. Experienced plasterers used to working in gypsum will particularly benefit from the course. We also welcome anyone interested in learning about plain lime plastering for their home or old building(s) under their care.

This is a two-day course. Refreshments and lunch are provided. Accommodation is not included.

The SPAB is an IHBC recognised CPD provider and attendance certificates for CPD are available on request.

Although we cannot guarantee it, previous course participants have had success in gaining a CITB short course grant (code: GET2226) towards the cost of this course fee. Please visit the CITB website for further information.

“Courses like this are vital to build up the skills and knowledge of the best ways to repair, maintain and care for historic buildings.” – course participant

“Really good balance of practical and theory, and delivered in an engaging manner and setting.” – course participant


Please note this programme is subject to minor changes.

Day 1

9am             Registration
9.30am        Welcome and Health and Safety briefing
9:45am        Introduction to lime: slaking, mixing and sand selection
10am            Practical session –  group split into two:
Group A: Fixing laths and alternative substrates
Group B: Mixing plasters
11am             Refreshment break
12pm            Practical session  – group split into two:
Group A: Mixing plasters
Group B: Fixing laths and alternative substrates
12.45pm       Lunch
1.30pm         Practical session: applying scratch coats and pricking up coats
2.30pm         Practical session: applying rough cast and rendering coats
3.30pm         Preparation for Day 2
3.45pm         Refreshment break
4pm              Presentation of projects
4.30pm         End of Day 1

Day 2

9am               Registration
9.15am          Practical session: applying float coats
10.30am        Practical session: applying setting coats
11.45am        Refreshment break
12pm             Practical session: using alternative plasters and substrates
1pm               Lunch
1.45pm          Hydraulic limes explained
2pm              Mixing and applying a lime wash
2.45pm         Introduction to running a cornice in-situ
3.30pm         Clear up
4.00pm         End of Day 2

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Tools

This is a practical course. Please arrive wearing warm, comfortable clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty or damaged. We recommend you bring overalls or coveralls to wear if you can. You will also need to wear sturdy (flat and closed) footwear, ideally steel-toe capped boots.

If you have them, please bring your own set of plastering tools – hawk, trowel and water brush (labelled). We strongly recommend that you bring your own gloves, goggles and masks. We will have spares of everything, just in case.


Sean Wheatley, traditional plasterer

Sean has worked as a plasterer for 40 years, and has concentrated on traditional methods, materials and decorative plasterwork for the last 30 years. He has also been involved in the preparation of reports, surveys and methodologies regarding the conservation and restoration of historic plasterwork in listed and historic buildings. Sean is a Master Craftsman of the Worshipful Company of Plaisterers.

Michal Wolf, plasterer and conservator in lime

Michal is the founder of All Things Lime, a company which helps people look after their historic buildings. He is interested in traditional methods of working and keeping the craft alive by researching and using different lime plasters, such as chalk lime and hot lime. Michal is a Master Craftsman of the Worshipful Company of Plaisterers.


Please contact us if there are any adaptations we can make that would make the course more accessible for you. We would be happy to have an informal chat about the course and possible access issues before you book.



26 April - 09:00
27 April - 16:00
Event Category:


National Trust


Heritage & Rural Skills Centre
Buscot and Coleshill Estate
Coleshill, Swindon SN6 7PT
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