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. 

26/04/2024 - 27/04/2024
Course Type: 
Courses & Study Day


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


Event details

Friday 26 - Saturday 27 April, 2024

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.

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 towards the cost of this course fee. Please visit the CITB website for further information.

Who is this course for?

  • 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 buildings under their care.


"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  

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

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


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

Please note this programme is subject to minor changes.

Day 1

9am             Registration 
9.15am        Welcome and Health and Safety briefing
9:30am        Introduction to lime: slaking, mixing and sand selection
10.30am      Refreshment break 
10.45am      Practical session –  group split into two:
                    Group A: Fixing laths and alternative substrates
                    Group B: Mixing plasters
11.40am      Practical session  – group split into two:
                    Group A: Mixing plasters
                    Group B: Fixing laths and alternative substrates
12.40pm      Lunch
1.15pm        Introduction to applying base coats, spatter coat on masonry and pricking up coats      
1.45pm        Practical session: applying base coats and pricking up coats
3pm             Preparation for Day 2
3.15pm        Presentation of projects
4.30pm        End of Day 1

Day 2

9am               Registration 
9.15am          Practical session: applying float coats 
10.30am        Refreshment break
10.45am        Practical session: applying setting coats
12.00pm        Introduction to plastering on alternative surfaces
12.20pm        Presentation on insulation and hydraulic limes
1pm               Lunch
1.45pm          Introduction to running a cornice in-situ
2.35pm          Limewashing and further practise on coats
3.30pm          Clear up
4.00pm          End of Day 2


You will need

  • 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 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 is a Master Craftsman of the Worshipful Company of Plaisterers and has four decades' experience as a plasterer. Has 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 SPAB Guardian (Education and Training Committee).  

Michal Wolf, plasterer and conservator in lime

Michal is a Master Craftsman of the Worshipful Company of Plaisterers and a 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.

At this course we will also be joined by Marianne Suhr, a chartered building surveyor, writer and broadcaster specialising in the repair of historic buildings. Marianne is co-author of SPAB's Old House Handbook and Old House Eco Handbook. 


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: Rachel Stoplar.



Getting here