Natural Plaster – not just a pretty face
In support of Earth Day and “greening your home”, I thought it would be interesting to share some knowledge I have acquired during my time at O.U.R Ecovillage. Clay plasters and paints in the home can be applied over a number of different surfaces including drywall and painted walls.
Clay finishes are gentle on the Earth. They are free of harmful chemicals and toxins. The primary materials include clay, sand, and fiber. These materials are often sourced locally, have minimal packaging and processing, are inexpensive and can be eternally reused. The clay is the binding agent, the sand provides structure, strength, and bulk, and the fiber (usually chopped straw or cattails) provides tensile strength to the mix.Clay plasters and paints are permeable and breathable and will regulate internal humidity. They emit negatively charged ions which help improve our mood and contribute to our physical health.
Clay finishes enliven the senses. Their texture encourages us to touch their beautiful surfaces and in an indirect way bring us back into contact with the natural world. O.U.R. Ecovillage is a great place to learn about natural finishes and how to successfully complete your own project.
-Ayla Challenger (former intern and teacher at O.U.R Ecovillage). You can more about Ayla’s work in this blog post from last year – Tadelakt: Plastered and Stoned.
Natural Plasters, paints and “browncoat” will be an integral part of OUR 2012 Natural Building Internships