Plasterer or painter - or - both!
Plasterers create cladding and decorative elements made of plaster. Their area of expertise also encompasses insulation, an issue which is highly relevant in the present climate. Insulation may be used indoors or outdoors, to protect against heat loss or to dampen sound. Such insulation is installed on partitions and walls, false ceilings or flooring, and protect walls from humidity.
The tasks of a plasterer are highly varied, from building partition walls to installing metal frames, flooring, floor coverings or false ceilings. Depending on their level of craftsmanship, they may also be called upon to create more elaborate decorations such as mouldings, rosettes and cornices.
Whether operating alone or in a team, a plasterer works side by side with other trades, such as tilers and painters, on the building site. Plasterers must not be afraid of heights as they often find themselves perched on ladders or scaffolding. Depending on the type of paint used, they must wear a special mask to prevent them from inhaling toxic fumes.
The task of a painter is to protect and embellish buildings. They do this by applying paints and varnishes to walls, ceilings, floors, windows, shutters and so on. They may also be required to hang wallpaper, lay fabrics, apply wall coverings and carry out decorating work. They know their way around brushes, rollers and paint guns and are also confident working with rendering in order to give structure to a surface.
They also require good maths skills in order to judge the area of the surface being painted and work out how much material is needed. They evaluate the costs and know how to prepare a quote. Their work also involves managing orders, preparing materials and mixing colours.
Most of the time, painters work on building sites, meaning that their environment changes regularly. Painters may find themselves working on renovation projects or new builds, houses or factories, and indoors or outdoors. There is currently a high demand for painters on the employment market. Painting in a workshop is only an option for movable objects that are easy to transport, such as windows, doors and machine components. Depending on the scale of the task at hand, painters may work alone or in a team.
The painting and plastering professions share a lot of ground on building sites. It is not uncommon for some professionals to diversify their skills and work as both a painter and a plasterer.
Skills required: manual dexterity – mental arithmetic skills – good spatial awareness – cleanliness and tidiness – physical fitness – good sense of balance – creativity – adaptability