My experience of a B&Q ‘You Can Do It’ class

I was invited by the lovely Z-PR to try out one of B&Q’s ‘You Can Do It’ classes (pioneered by Kirstie Allsopp and George Clarke to help lead the DIY revolution) and I have to say, being a bit of DIY geek, I was really looking forward to it.

The purpose of the classes are to teach you how to use basic tools and DIY skills such as, painting and decorating, plumbing, tiling and carrying out Eco improvements to the home.  The sessions, which last between 2-4 hours, take place within pre-constructed rooms that are in the store.

My class, lead by the fantastic and very friendly Jenny Long and Ben Griffin, was Patch Plastering & introduction to Skimming, and so on arrival it was no surprise that I was asked to wear an all in one white jumpsuit (yes, the type of outfits that you would wear in an extremely contaminated area!) not a good look but extremely practical for protecting your clothing.

Me, having a go at skimming…

During our master class we were taught the basics stages of each technique and were encouraged to ask questions along the way.   Above all, the session was fun and because the teachers take that approach, it makes the learning process a lot easier.  I started the class not having a clue about plastering and I walked out knowing exactly how to skim and patch plaster.  I’m not saying that I could plaster a whole house, but it if I needed to do a quick repair then I would definitely have a go.  The classes start from just £10 so my advice would be to try it and book early!  Below are some pictures from my session.

Our instructors, Jenny & Ben
My finished ‘Skimmed’ board!
Below are some facts about the classes:

  • Over 6500 (6581) classes have already been booked at B&Q’s You Can Do It Centres since they launched
  • · B&Q research reveals that people put off doing essential DIY jobs in the house for an average of 36 days
  • · Nearly 60% of people say they don’t have the skills they need to do DIY
  • · B&Q research reveals that nearly four in 10 people say they argue with their partner about DIY jobs in the house
  • 71% of people in Northern Ireland say they like DIY compared to just 49% in the North West
  • New centres to launch in Dundee, Cribbs Causeway, Durham, Erdington, Grimsby, Swansea, Sutton and Holywood (Northern Ireland) and Liffey Valley (ROI) bringing its total of You Can Do It Centres to 15.
  • Customers can sign up to a class now just by visiting or by calling 0845 600 5428** and secure their place with a payment of £10 or £20 depending on the class content. On completion of your class, customers will receive B&Q vouchers to use in store.
  • For 7 – 11 year olds the new You Can Do It centres will also be offering Kids’ Classes, which are the perfect opportunity to introduce younger people to the basics of DIY, from practice drilling to sawing and gluing.  The fun one hour sessions cost just £5 and see youngsters making something from scratch such as a toy aeroplane and a bird apple feeder – which they can take home with them afterwards.  For further details on booking a place on a kids’ class just visit

These classes are no longer running. See below for a list of alternatives:


Meet Pippa

Pippa Jameson is an author, tv designer and interiors expert. The previous interior editor on several leading UK titles, Pippa has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Throughout her 25-year career, Pippa’s unique and creative approach has won her commissions for large retail brands and celebrities to deliver exciting and engaging projects. 

She’s written the curriculum for the British College of Interior Design, produced and styled shoots for well-known brands including John Lewis, H&M & Team GB/DFS, worked as an International Stylist for leading paint brands in Asia, consulted on the launch and creative direction of major retail names including George Home and Wren, and most recently, published her first book, The Sensory Home. Pippa possesses expertise unmatched in the interior industry.