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Common Mistakes Made in Plastering and How to Avoid Them and Save Money on Your Plastering Project
By D L Anderson

If you are into DIY, you have probably have noticed that obtaining good and reliable tips has never been easier. Besides all the books you can rent from libraries or buy at places like book stores or on the online booksites, there is no shortage of instructional DVD's which take you through detailed instructions akin to illustration of how it is actually done.

You can learn and work at your own pace - and many of these sources of instruction also comment extensively not only on needed or otherwise recommended equipment but also safety issues, be they relevant to the actual practices incorporated in DIY or things you should know about the equipment you will be using (including how best to store it).

Having said that, however, many are not fazed by the idea that they are amateur DIY people, when they approach DIY-related work. But even if you are not one of these, it is not impossible that you may do a DIY task only to be later disappointed, unhappy, frustrated with the result that has been achieved by your efforts.

In response to this, various individuals and groups have been kind enough to devote time to explaining the common mistakes that give rise to this kind of situation. You will find them documented in advice articles or forums - such as this article on mistakes made in plastering.

Without further ado, where to begin elaborating the things that are to be recognised as common mistakes made in plastering? Whilst plastering may be considered by many as one of the simpler DIY practices (even though relatively few will know exactly what substances like gypsum are, from the outset) it is easy to sound overly brief when discussing this subject.

But you should remember that there are different types of plastering; such as skimming (a light surface skim over either existing plasterboard or existing plaster, limelite plastering (plaster which is a base coat to prevent moisture build up and particularly good for damp areas and for stone walls), rendering (external plastering which goes on the outside of your property, tyrolean finish (a rough cast finish which goes on rendering to give a more weathered appearance - particularly good for properties on which an imperfect rendering finish is not easily achieved), float and skim (where a base coat of plaster is applied and then when this has dried, a top coat of skim (often referred to as 'multifinish') is applied. Be sure to choose the right one considering the location where the plastering activity is to occur. By the same token, do not ignore the existence of a special type of plastering, which is resistant to moisture and is therefore the best option for bathroom areas and such.

It is no exaggeration that, while plastering may look easy, it can take a couple of years to master properly. The professionals will be quick to remind you of a number of things that are easy enough to get your head round: never work with lumpy compound; when mixing the joint compound it has to be of the proper consistency. A good plasterer can achieve an almost mirror like appearance with their 'skimming' as it is known in the trade. It's just not always as simple as it appears on TV. Sorry!

It is often easier to get in the professionals. That said, you no longer need to give your proverbial 'right arm' to find a good plasterer. The influx of 'plastering training courses' and 'learn plastering in a week courses' have led to something of a flood into the market of wannabe plasterers who think that because they have done a weeks training in a warehouse somewhere where the vast majority of the gain is for the people who run the plastering courses and make a sound profit from their trainees, this makes them plasterers and no longer the 'fork lift truck drivers' that they were before they spent their week on 'a course'.

A good plasterer has either been to college to learn their trade - a proper college at which they achieved a 'real' plastering qualification or a recognized 'building trade' or construction industry qualification and for which they might have sacrificed a good few years of their life to this education to be able to provide you with an excellent plastering service and to be able to proudly say that they are a 'qualified plasterer', or they are time served, having spent the early days of their plastering career being taught hands on by an experienced plasterer.

If you want to avoid the cowboys in the plastering industry it would be wise to use one of the increasingly popular online 'get free quotes' sites which won't cost you a penny to use. You would appear to simply post your job online and wait for your phone to ring with plasterers eager to compete with each other for your plastering project.

If you do use these sites remember to always review your plasterer. It keeps them on their toes and if they are good they will know that you will give them a good review. A good review is like a handsome tip for them without costing you anything. A poor review is akin to you 'telling them off' and also warning off other unsuspecting homeowners that there is a rogue plasterer in our midst.

Good luck with your plastering project - hope you find the plasterer you need.
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