An Introduction to Plain Lime Plastering

An Introduction to Plain Lime Plastering

In association with the National Trust

Just brilliant. The tutors were friendly and engaging and that, combined with the set up for the practical sessions, made for a really inviting experience. 

06/10/2023 - 07/10/2023
Course Type: 
Courses & Study Day


Introductory, Intermediate, General Interest, CPD
Heritage & Rural Skills Centre
Buscot and Coleshill Estate,
SN6 7PT, Swindon
United Kingdom

£495 per person


Event details

This course is fully booked. Please sign up to the waiting list. 

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 a 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 

Bursary applications 

Bursary places are still available at the reduced fee of £100 per person, thanks to additional bursary funds from the Worshipful Company of Plaisterers

The deadline to apply is Monday 4 September, 12pm. We will contact you with the outcome of your application as soon as possible after this date. 

Bursaries will be given to early-career plasterers or plastering students who want to develop their lime plastering skills and require financial assistance to attend. We particularly welcome applications by people from backgrounds underrepresented in building conservation. 

To apply for a bursary place, email answering the following questions:

  • How long have you been a plasterer?
  • What is your previous experience of plastering?
  • What courses have you previously attended?  
  • How do you think a place on the course would help your career?
  • Why do you need a bursary place?

Please also attach a short CV showing your background, interests, and any training and/or work to date.

If you have any questions before you apply, or would prefer to apply in another format, please email us at with the subject line: “Plain Lime Plastering Bursary”.


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

Tools and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)

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 (ideally labelled). We strongly recommend that you bring your own gloves, goggles and masks. We will have spares of everything, just in case.

Lead tutors

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. 

Booking Terms & Conditions

Images: Jon Durrant and Abigail Lloyd


Getting here