Tag Archives: natural plaster

Repairing Clay Plaster (with toilet paper?…)

Questions concerning the durability of clay plaster – especially as an exterior plaster, and even more especially in cold and wet northern climates – get raised any time we suggest using clay plaster to a client. We recently had the experience of returning to the first building we clay plastered, back in 1994. What we saw and learned greatly increases our confidence in the use of clay plasters!

What do we mean by “durable?”
When we talk about durability, what do we really mean? Let’s say we’re comparing two kinds of exterior siding: clay plaster and vinyl siding. Intuitively, we’d probably say that the vinyl siding is more durable. But scratch the surface a bit… no material is indestructible, so what we really mean is “how long before it needs fixing or replacing.” Vinyl siding can last quite a long time before it wears out or breaks. But it does wear out and break, and when it does what can be done? Typically, nothing. It gets removed, taken to landfill, and replaced with new material.

The clay plaster may be more susceptible to wear (especially if it’s placed too close to the ground, as we’ll soon see!). But when it is damaged, it can be easily repaired at almost no cost and made as good as new, with no landfilling and no need for replacement.

Using Clay Properly
The first step in making clay plaster durable is to plan properly. The worst section of damage on this 12 year old home was next to the utility door on the north side. The building is way too close to grade… we recommend 8-12 inches minimum, but didn’t do that here. It was also unprotected by a roof overhang… despite the whole building have wide overhangs, this northern corner protrudes out to be almost in-line with the roof. Two strikes! And yet, here in the worst possible scenario – with rain hitting it, snow piling against it and no sun striking it to help dry it out – the plaster was still intact and still protecting the bales, it just didn’t look pretty anymore. Other places on this building saw some cracking, a result of not using enough fiber in the mix. Our clay plasters have for years now featured high quantities of fiber and we’ve avoided these kinds of cracks.

Getting the repairs going
We addressed the two areas that had seen a fair bit of erosion with new clay plaster. But clay plaster mix is terrible for filling cracks… the large aggregate and high fiber content that make for great plaster also makes for a mix that does not want to be pushed into long, narrow cracks.

Even though we opened up all the cracks with a pallet knife, the openings were nowhere near the size needed to push in an actual plaster mix. In fact, a mix with almost any aggregate (sand) in it does a lousy job. Even if it fills the crack adequately, there is always sandy mix left on the surface of the plaster calling attention to the repair forever after. And if we used straight clay, the shrinkage would be extreme and there would be micro-cracking along the crack.

Toilet paper to the rescue!
As we contemplated how to make a mix that would adhere to the existing clay, but would have such a fine aggregate that it could be wiped off the surface, we started to think about cellulose… little paper fibers that would be very fine but still add a lot of strength to the repair mix.

Earthen plaster repairs

Toilet paper provided the cellulose fiber we needed, and mixed in the blender with clay (and a bit of talc) created a smooth mix!

We came up with a highly scientific formula: 6 arm-spans of toilet paper (two-ply) to 2 cups of clay, with a bit of talc powder and water to the desired consistency. What we got was a sticky mix that was easy to work into cracks, that bonded well with the existing clay, didn’t shrink at all and was very easy to work with!

We were able to fill all the cracks to their full depth using a putty knife and pulling back and forth across the crack until it wouldn’t accept any more material. Then one pass with the putty knife left the surface scraped back cleanly to the original plaster.

Low impact repairs… like, really low impact!
The materials we needed to do all the repair work were right on site. The clay that had been leftover from the initial plastering in 2004 was left in a small mound near the house. Slowly, that mound became a “garden” of sorts. We were able to shovel clay from the back side of the pile and leave the garden undisturbed. Some natural pigment, some sand (and some TP in the cracks)… that’s all that was required.


I don’t think we could even calculate a carbon footprint or embodied energy for these repairs!

Mixing and applying a new clay paint
The largest area of the house had a red clay paint applied 12 years ago. There were enough cracks and repairs on this section that we decided to re-coat it with a coarse clay paint. We mixed 20 parts of the site clay with 10 parts of fine sand and 3 parts of pigment, and applied this runny mix using a sponge float.

A wetter mix with only 3 parts of fine sand was brushed onto the narrower bands of colour at the top of the wall. It was easy to cut a smooth line with this paint, making for crisp lines between the colour bands.

Fast work, faster next time
There were enough areas that needed attention on this house that we decided to completely re-paint the whole building. From first arrival at the site to colour matching the mixes to application and final clean-up, we spent a total of 3 days for 2 people (about 42 hours) on these repairs.
When this plaster needs work again in the future, there will be a paint mix in all three colours ready to be re-hydrated and applied. And since the colours match, spot repairs can be done instead of a whole new coat. If we’d been smart enough to do this the first time around, we could have cut the time for the job in half! We don’t expect cracks to re-open again, as no new cracks opened up on the building after the first couple of years.

A final layer of protection
One of the reasons we feel this clay plaster held up so well – despite being a less than ideal mix placed too close to the ground – was the inclusion of a top-coat of Primasil, a silicate paint primer from PermaTint.

Though it isn’t intended to be used as a “clear coat” finish, we have applied it this way on several buildings and it has done a great job of protecting the plaster from water damage while remaining highly permeable. In the future we will experiment with adding PrimaSil to our finish plasters and clay paints instead of water and see if building the silicate right into the material has a positive effect.

An endlessly repairable finish
The beauty of clay plaster is its ability to be maintained and repaired indefinitely. We had no waste from these repairs other than some sand and clay on the ground, and we had no expense other than a bit of pigment and a roll of toilet paper. And the pigment will be suitable for about a century’s worth of repairs of this extent! Now the plaster is once again gorgeous to look at and ready to handle another decade or two of keeping out the elements… Try doing that with vinyl (or anything else!).

Teachers’ Union Office Building slideshow

In 2014, Endeavour’s Sustainable New Construction program built a new office building for the Trillium Lakelands Elementary Teachers’ Local in Lindsay, Ontario. The goal was to combine Passive House energy efficiency with low-impact, local and non-toxic materials.

The photo gallery below shows the entire build from start to finish. Click on a photo to view the slide show in full size:

The Art and Science of Natural Plaster DVD Now Available

The Art and Science of Natural Plaster is a 140-minute DVD created to help homeowners figure out how to use natural plasters on their own projects, created and narrated by Chris Magwood of Endeavour Centre. Speaking of homeowners, cedar management group’s association is included in the mooresville top hoa management list. Their service includes reliable solutions for commercial and residential properties in North and South Carolina so if you’re interested, visit their website. The DVD is now available for purchase through PlasterScience.com in hard copy or online streaming formats.

Produced by Bart Glumineau, a graduate of Endeavour’s Sustainable New Construction program in 2013, and co-founder of PossibleMedia.org, creating original video content to share the stories of individuals and groups of people who are actively engaged in creating a better, more sustainable future.

The DVD covers base coat and finish coat mixes and applications that are suitable for a wide range of sustainable and conventional wall surfaces, from cob and straw bale to drywall. Chapters include:

  • Introduction to Plaster
  • Types of Plaster
  • Substrates and Substrate Preparation
  • Mixing
  • Tools and Trowels
  • Body Coat Application
  • Finish Coat Application
  • Paints, Washes and Sealants
  • Repair and Maintenance of Plasters

Much of the hands-on footage for the DVD was filmed at Endeavour’s 2014 project, a straw bale office building for the local teachers’ union.

We are excited to have some of our teaching and methodology presented in an accessible video format, and hope that the DVD inspires more people to take up natural plastering on new builds and renovation projects!

High-straw earthen plaster recipe

It’s no secret that we love clay plasters at Endeavour, and the best case scenario is being able to use a clay soil right from the building site. It just so happens that we lucked into this for the teachers’ union office project!

After digging some test holes on the site early in the spring, we discovered that there was a strata in the site soil that was quite clay-rich and appeared to have almost no stone in it (which is very rare in this part of the world). We made some plaster samples from this soil and found that a wide range of recipes seemed to be viable. We left the samples face up into the elements for the whole summer, and one in particular held up really well so we knew we had a workable site plaster.

Our approach to earthen plasters has changed over the years, with the addition of more and more chopped straw over the years so that we have reached a point where we have a very high-straw content in the plaster. We have found that the high-straw recipe allows us to build up the entire thickness of the plaster in a single application. The volume of chopped straw supplies a huge amount of tensile support for the clay, and means that we don’t need to add nearly as much sand as we used to do when our plasters used less chopped straw.

The result is a mix that is very sticky thanks to the high clay content, and has a huge amount of “inner cohesion” that allows it to be applied at almost any thickness (4-5 inches is not unreasonable, if necessary!) with no cracking.

Rather than applying a very runny slip coat via sprayer or dipping the bales, we’ve found that a layer of the same mix minus the straw works well as a “primer”. We apply the primer to the bales, and then follow it immediately with the high-straw “body coat.” It’s sort of a two-part, one-coat system. It’s great to be able to apply the full desired amount of plaster and achieve the final look we want in a single application. Less time, and much less concern for de-lamination between successive coats.

The mix stays moist for a day or two, so it allows a lot of time to get the walls looking how we want, and the mix is very intuitive for those just starting to learn to plaster, while being fast to apply for those with more experience.

Our recipe (by volume) for this plaster is:

  • One part high-clay content soil
  • One part chopped straw (1/4 – 1 inch)
  • 3/4 part rough sand

There’s nothing like playing in the mud and making a viable building at the same time!

Plastering Systems for Straw Bale Construction

TBA, July 2016

Instructors:
Chris Magwood & Jen Feigin

Straw bale walls are unlike any other wall type when it comes to plastering. The unique substrate of undulating straw combined with the many important roles the plaster plays in a straw bale wall system (it is structure, weather-proofing, air sealing and aesthetic finish all in one!) means that plastering straw bale walls is a skill all unto itself.

This workshop will focus on Endeavour’s unique two-part, one-coat system of plastering. Over many years of development, we’ve refined this technique to allow the full depth of plaster to be applied to bale wall at one time. Using a high clay content and a high chopped straw content, this style of plastering combines strength, simplicity and user-friendliness. This system can be used to create the final finish on a wall, or have a final skim coat finish applied over top.

Participants will get to experience materials selection, mixing ratios and equipment, the mixing process and spend lots of guided time applying the plaster to a permanent building.

The workshop will cover clay plasters (using local soils and bagged clay) and clay/lime hybrid plasters.

With this workshop under your belt, you’ll be ready to tackle your own straw bale plastering project!

Entry Requirements:
Open to all

Fee:
Early bird – $295
Regular – $350
Fees include healthy lunches (vegetarian and vegan options available)

Maximum class size: 12

Tadelakt Plastering

February 13-14, 2016

August 27-28, 2016
9.30 am to 4.30 pm
Endeavour Centre, Peterborough

Note: This workshop is being offered twice in 2016. Be sure to register for the correct date.

Workshop Instructor: Mike Henry 

Workshop Description

Tadelakt is a natural plaster method that originates in Morocco and is the only type of natural plaster that is inherently waterproof, making it ideal for bathrooms, kitchens, showers, tubs and sinks. It is a beautiful plaster with an unequalled shiny finish and variegated colouring that is pleasing to the eye and to the touch.

 

This two-day immersion in tadelakt plastering will help beginners understand the materials and the techniques for making and applying tadelakt plaster. The workshop will show you how to source the materials required to make your own tadelakt mix, and how to make the mix and tint it.

The secret to tadelakt plastering is in the application. Applying tadelakt is a multi-stage process that requires patience and understanding of the material. On a real-world project, this workshop will introduce you to the tadelakt process and give you the chance to take a tadelakt project from start to shining finish.

Instructor Mike Henry is a natural builder, freelance writer and educator, and author of Ontario’s Old-Growth Forests. Since 2000, he has been a natural builder and plasterer with Camel’s Back Construction.

Entry Requirements
Open to all

Fee
Early Bird – $295
Regular – $350
Fees include healthy lunch (vegan and vegetarian options available)

Maximum class size: 12

 

Home-made hydraulic lime plaster

One of the most exciting elements of the Circle Organic farm project is the home-made hydraulic lime plaster we successfully used on the interior and exterior walls of the building. With this new recipe, we are able to make a plaster with locally sourced materials that has a quick hydraulic set and is not affected by erosion or wear due to rain, as can happen with clay plasters.

Natural hydraulic lime (NHL) plasters are made from limestone deposits in which a significant amount of pozzolanic material is naturally occurring in the limestone. These limes come from large deposits in France, and to a lesser degree, Portugal. These limes can be purchased in North America, but are very expensive and it is carbon-intensive to ship heavy materials from overseas. Home made hydraulic lime plasters use the more commonly available hydrated lime available at masonry outlets, to which a pozzolan is added.

We have attempted to mix our own pozzolans with lime in the past, with mixed and mostly disappointing results. But the metakaolin we have sourced from Poraver for our sub-slab insulation and foundations is a very high quality and consistent pozzolan, fired to a high temperature and well-graded for a very reasonable cost.

Home made hydraulic lime plaster at Endeavour Centre

The recipe for the push-in and the body coat are enshrined on some scrap wood!

As with the Poraver foundation, we mix the metakaolin and lime in even quantities, and use this binder as the basis for the plaster. We first mix up a batch that is 1 part metakaolin, 1 part hydrated lime and 3.5-4 parts sand. This “push-in” mix is made quite thin and wet, and is used to quickly push into the straw bales by hand or trowel because it adheres very well to the straw. We then immediately cover this with a mix that is 5 parts metakaolin, 6 parts hydrated lime, 13 parts sand and 15 parts chopped straw. This coat is applied by hand until it has been built up to the right thickness, and then smoothed out with a magnesium or wood float. This provides a smooth surface that can suffice as a final finish, but also leaves a slightly textured surface in case a final, thin finish coat is desired.

Home made hydraulic lime plaster at Endeavour Centre

A version of the hydraulic lime plaster with no chopped straw is used to plaster the Durisol block wall

The metakaolin/lime/sand mix can be used as a plaster on smoother substrates without the use of chopped straw. We plastered the Durisol block walls on the project with this type of plaster. Such a mix could be used over a wide variety of wall types, and also used as a final finish coat over the chopped straw mix.

Home made hydraulic lime plaster has several advantages over our typical clay plasters. The hydraulic set happens quite quickly, with the plaster being hard to the touch within 24 hours. This is slower than cement-based plasters, leaving more working time and being more forgiving, but much faster than clay plasters which must dry out, often over several days or weeks. The hydraulic lime plaster is not affected by water once it has set, so the plaster can handle driving rains and repeated wettings without erosion, unlike clay plaster.

While clay plasters are safer (lime can burn skin, lungs and eyes) and more environmentally friendly (lime and metakaolin both require high temperature firing), this home made hydraulic lime uses an industrial by-product (Metapor) that is sourced locally to create a plaster that has all the weather resistance of cement-based plasters without relying on cement.

For a project like the Circle Organic farm building, where conditions are exposed on the exterior and involve lots of veggie washing and other wet activities inside, home made hydraulic lime plaster is an affordable and quite sustainable plaster that will withstand rugged, wet conditions.

Home made hydraulic lime plaster at Endeavour Centre

The home made hydraulic lime plaster is a very straw-rich mix

 

 

Clay Finish Plasters

Natural clay plaster finish at Canada's Greenest Home

Red wall almost finished

Natural clay finish plasters add an unparalleled beauty to any home, and it was exciting to apply these plasters to Canada’s Greenest Home this weekend.

These skim coat plasters can be applied over any wall surface. In this project, we used them over clay base coat plasters and over drywall.

The plasters are mixed on site using widely available and affordable materials. Clay, sand, calcium carbonate, pigment, flour paste and water are mixed together and applied to the wall by trowel in a single, thin coat (~1/8 inch).

Our typical formula is 10 parts clay, 4 parts sifted sand, 1 part calcium carbonate, 1 part flour paste (a natural glue/hardener) and ~3.5 parts water. Natural pigments are added to this mix by weight, based on trial samples made in advance. As with baking, the dry ingredients are mixed together and then added into the water, flour paster and pigment that have been blended.

The clay in this case is Tile 6 Kaolin, from a pottery supply store. We’ve used other kaolins and ball clays with similar results. Calcium carbonate is finely ground limestone, from Omya in Perth, Ontario. Flour paste is cooked by boiling 4 parts water and adding a mixture of 2 parts cold water and 1 part flour and boiling until thick. Our natural pigments come from Kama Pigments.

Helping us with the mixing and application was our good friend Mike Henry, a plasterer with Camel’s Back Construction. His attention to detail helps bring out the best in the clay plaster.

There is nothing like the depth, richness of colour, sound attenuation and warmth of a natural clay finish plaster!

Open House for Canada’s Greenest Home

Join us on Saturday, March 9, 10am – 4pm!

Canada's Greenest Home nears completion

Canada’s Greenest Home nears completion

 

We have attempted to build the most sustainable home possible, and want to share the results with you! Since April, 2012, the students and faculty of The Endeavour Centre have been working on creating a home that showcases the best in sustainable new construction, and we’re excited to open the doors and show you what we’ve created. Come and see a wide range of sustainable materials and systems, including straw bale walls, clay plasters, Durisol foundation, triple glazed windows, composting toilets, rainwater harvesting and treatment, air source heat pump, ERV, comprehensive energy monitoring, solar hot water, non-toxic finishes and much, much more
Progress Gallery
We hope you’ll come and take a tour at 136 1/2 James Street, Peterborough, Ontario
You can follow the progress of the entire project on our blog

Low-tech glory: Straw and clay

A lot of the attention in a sustainable building goes to the high tech equipment and mechanical systems. But at the heart of a project like Canada’s Greenest Home are some wonderfully simple, low tech and extremely effective structural systems like our clay plastered straw bale walls.

The north wall bales are installed and ready for plastering. The wall studs at 34 inches on centre are visible between the bales.

Installing the straw bale walls on the north side of our building and coating them in clay plaster is a strategy that combines low cost with high performance, and provides a window to a building system that is competitive with current energy-intensive practices but is also feasible in a world with a lot less fossil fuels to expend. These are materials that are locally accessible in most settled regions of the world, and the fact that one can base a very energy efficient home on them gives hope for a future when other materials may be much costlier or no longer available to us.

We installed our bales into a double frame wall system that mimics conventional frame walls, but with the studs placed at 34 inches on centre. In doing so, we create “bays” in the wall that are sized to the length of our straw bales, making bale stacking and plaster preparation very simple and straightforward. Unlike post and beam frames, no notching or cutting of bales is required, nor are heavy beams at the top of the wall. It is a very simple, very cost-effective manner to build a bale wall, and one that many professional bale builders find themselves gravitating toward.

Once the bales are installed, we use a “two-part, one-coat” clay plastering system. A thin coat of a wet clay plaster (1 part clay to 3 parts sand) is rubbed into the surface of the bales to provide a strong key into the straw and an adhesion layer for the bulk coat that follows immediately. This adhesion coat goes on very quickly. The bulk coat is a mix of clay, sand and chopped straw (1 part clay, 1.5 parts sand, 3 parts chopped straw). The more clay plastering we do, the more chopped straw we’ve added to our plasters. The bulk coat resembles a mix between cob and light-clay straw. This coat has enough tensile strength from the chopped straw to be applied to the wall at almost any thickness, from as thin as 1/2 inch to as much as 3 or 4 inches. This allows us to make a straight wall out of a lumpy, bumpy bale wall in a single coat.

We find that this type of clay plastering is a great deal more beginner-friendly than lime or cement based plasters. The clay plaster can be applied by hand, and no trowels or tools are required to make a very straight, even and beautiful wall. To achieve the same results with other plasters would take several more coats and a lot of troweling practice.

This part of the work is also very social, very engaging and a lot of fun. Building a house while up to one’s elbows in mud is a real joy. The fact that we are making an airtight, highly insulated and long-lasting wall system only matters after we wash our hands and look back at the beautiful walls!

Clay Plasters: Beautiful and Green

In advance of Endeavour’s upcoming Make Your Own Clay Finish Plasters workshop on November 26 & 27, we thought we’d direct your attention to an article that Chris wrote recently for Our Green Home magazine.

There is still room in this workshop… contact us to register and you too can be making beautiful, healthy walls!

Natural red pigment and untinted clay walls

Clay Plasters: Beautiful and Green

Imagine the walls of your home giving you a warm, gentle hug every time you are in a room. That’s the way most homeowners describe the effect of clay plasters as a wall finish. Clay plasters are also among the very greenest finishing materials available, making them an attractive option for remodeling an existing room or for new construction.

The use of decorative clay plasters is as old a practice as home building itself. The insides of caves, grass huts and early stone buildings around the world were finished with coloured clay plasters. Largely ignored in North America for the past couple of centuries, the use of clay plasters is enjoying a remarkable resurgence as homeowners seek natural, healthy and affordable ways to enrich their homes.

The basic ingredients in a clay finish plaster are no different today than they were thousands of years ago: clay, sand, pigment and a glue-like binder (often based on cooked flour!). What has changed is the method of application. In the past, many clay plasters were applied by hand to rough, uneven walls. Now they are applied with trowels onto straight, flat wall surfaces. But the link to the past is obvious when you experience a modern clay plaster as the richness and depth of colour and the unique interaction with light and sound are unparalleled by any modern materials.

For those concerned with indoor air quality, a clay plaster is a great choice. They are completely non-toxic and do not off-gas in the wet or dry state. They involve no petroleum products or other chemicals in their manufacture or application, and have been shown in German research to have some effectiveness at absorbing and transforming pollutants in the household air. The same research shows them to have excellent moisture-handling properties, helping to regulate humidity in the home.

Clay plasters can be applied directly over most existing wall surfaces and finishes, including latex and oil paints, drywall and paneling. On painted surfaces, a mixture of natural glue and sand is rolled onto the wall to provide the plaster with “tooth,” a rough surface that allows the plaster to grip the wall. The plaster can be recoated in the future, or can be painted over with conventional or clay-based paints.

The application of clay plasters takes some practice, but it is well within the ability of most homeowners to apply. Some practice on a spare sheet of drywall will help to hone a technique, or you can take lessons in application from professional plasterers. The plasters can be applied with an endless variation of appearances, from perfectly smooth to roughly troweled or textured finishes. The plasters can be burnished so they shine or left with matt surfaces. The possibilities are almost endless. A wide range of natural pigments allows a vast range of colours to be achieved, and the colours tend to be warmer and “friendlier” than synthetics.

Orange pigment in a natural plaster

There are some manufactured clay plasters available on the market, and these products have been largely responsible for the surge of popularity for this type of finish. It is also straightforward to make your own clay finish plasters from locally available ingredients with the help of some research and instruction on creating mixes. Buyers should be wary of products marketed as clay plasters that feature some amount of clay in a petroleum-based paint.

Clay plastered walls invite amazed reactions and a desire to touch the wall from those experiencing them for the first time. Unique, beautiful, healthy and affordable; there is nothing that quite compares to a clay plastered wall.

 

Tadelakt Workshop Wrap-Up

Our first workshop at Endeavour, Tadelakt and Advanced Lime Plastering, was a great success!

Tadelakt is a historical means of applying and treating lime plasters to make them waterproof. Originating in Morocco, the plasters are applied in successive thin layers, troweled smooth and then burnished with hard stones using an olive oil soap. The soap and the lime have a chemical reaction that creates the waterproofing. The soap and stone burnishing also creates a beautiful, glassy finish that is amazing to see and touch!

Over five days, instructor Ryan Chivers taught our group of intrepid plasterers a remarkable amount about lime and lime plastering. Here’s a quick look at what we covered in the workshop…

A Tadelakt Workshop Gallery
A Bit About Lime

The process of actually mixing the plaster is the same that we’ve experienced with clay and lime cement plasters. One of the best things Ryan taught us was that the need to “slake” lime into a putty is really not necessary with modern, Type S lime. Modern, north american limes are processed in such a way that they are fully hydrated at the manufacturer using heat and pressure. This greatly simplifies the process of working with lime plasters of all types as the weeks or months of slaking in water are eliminated. However, the plasters do want to be mixed at least a few hours before use as the lime does take some time to fully take up the water that’s been added. We mixed a day ahead of ourselves throughout the workshop.

 Applying Lime Plaster

Our first plastering was not tadelakt, but a finish lime plaster that was applied directly over painted drywall. The walls were prepared by painting on a mix of white glue and sand, which gave adhesion for the plaster. We then applied two very thin coats of lime. This system was very quick (a 12×15 room took about 1 hour for 2 people to apply, per coat). We’ll post finished pictures of the room once it’s all cured.

Practicing Tadelakt

Tadelakt is all about timing! You could read about doing tadelakt forever, but it’s all about timing, feel and doing the right thing at the right time. Luckily, Ryan was great at preparing us for what to expect at each stage. By practicing first on our tiles and cob balls, everybody began to understand the stages of tadelakt and how to know when it was time to move on.

Applying Tadelakt

We did one tadelakt wall in a “dry” area of the house. To be fully waterproof, the tadelakt must be done just right, so we had one wall that will not be exposed to direct water on which to practice. And it’s a good thing… it really does take a lot of practice (much more than one wall!) to get a feel for the technique.

Tadelakt Shower/Bathroom

Tadelakt is beautiful anywhere, but in bathrooms, showers and other wet areas it mixes beauty and functionality like no other natural material.

The timing for tadelakt gets more complex the more surface area there is to cover. In this bathroom, we had several different substrates under the tadelakt which all affected the timing, and we had many people applying, troweling, stoning and soaping. The result, however, is a wonderful, rich, shiny plaster!

In the end, the crew did an amazing job. We’ve all been promised a nice hot shower in the finished bathroom to appreciate our work!

We’ll post photos of the finished bathroom when it’s ready. The tadelakt takes 28 days to fully cure…

Our thanks to Ryan for teaching a terrific workshop and to all the participants for so much fun, hard work and learning together!

 

 

 

 

Making and Applying Your Own Natural Finish Plasters

October 22-23, 2016
9.30 am to 4.30 pm
Endeavour Centre, Peterborough

Instructors: Jen Feigin & Chris Magwood

Workshop Description

You can make your own natural finish plasters to bring the beauty and benefits of natural building to any home, whether renovating a single room or building a new home..

These homemade clay and lime plasters can be applied on any typical wall surface, including drywall (painted or new) and plasters or masonry of all kinds. The plasters are made from easily obtainable, affordable natural materials and can be mixed and applied at home in a vast range of colours and textures.

 

Natural clay or lime plasters add a dimension to a room unobtainable with any other finish. In addition to their inherent beauty, they are non-toxic and can help regulate humidity in a room. They are durable and repairable and the best way to make your home a more natural, warmer and healthier place.

In this workshop, you will learn how to source the required materials, prepare wall surfaces for plastering, mix and tint plasters and apply to wall surfaces. During the workshop, you will create a series of sample boards in the colours of your choice to take home to help make plaster choices for your own home/project.

Entry Requirements
Open to beginners and experienced plasterers

Fee
Early Bird- $295
Regular – $350
Fee includes healthy lunch (vegetarian and vegan options available)

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