Plastering is an art. I spent a lot of years learning the trade and I wouldn’t say it it s easy to learn. In fact its hard to learn especially to a standard where you have the speed to make good money and also maintain quality. To learn it you have to go through certain barriers both physical and mental. Developing your skills in the plastering trade builds character and for all the above reasons anyone who has learned this trade and honed there skills to a professional level has my respect and this is why just plastering. Thats not to say there are other trade skills that deserve just as much respect. But Plastering os the only one I know therefore the only one I can comment on.
I first started as an apprentice Plasterer in the 90’s. I remember my first day as an apprentice, I was a wiry young lad eager and raring to go but little prepared for what was to come. We were tack & dabbing a 3 bed house and I was told to load a pallet of 2400 x 1200 x 12.5mm wall boards upstairs and down. I never even picked up a plasterboard on my own before, what a shock it was. I was knackered after the first few boards and still had the full pallet to get in but I count stop because the two plasterers were boarding and depending on me to keep them going. It was the hardest work I had ever done but I never stopped. What a lesson, it killed me, I knew I had earned respect though and that felt good.
Over the years as I learned that trades I realised that when I was labouring looking at Plastering thinking “That looks a lot easier that doing all this lifting all day” how wrong I was. I though loading pallets of multi finish all day was hard until I was skinning ceilings all day. I though mixing sand and cement and carrying it up a ladder all day was hard until I was putting it on the wall all day.
But once you get to the point where you can handle it physically and just bang it on the wall all day every day, Plastering is a seriously rewarding job. There are so many different scenarios you come across on different jobs it is impossible to get board. You never stop learning really when it comes to this job.
It is becoming noticeably more difficult to find good plasterers these days. They are just not easy to find sometimes especially if you need some 2 coat or sand & cement work. This is a shame in one respect because it shows that less people are getting into the trade but good in another way as the ones who are left will enjoy better rates. And so they should.
There is a lot to be said for a hard days graft, that satisfaction you get from grafting, making money and leaving a good job really is good for the soul.
Plastering gave me something to focus on, something to keep me on track at a time when I needed it most and what I learned from my plastering days has largely shaped who I am today and will always be part of my foundation when it comes to work and thats why First Finishes is for just plastering.