A few weeks have passed and we have finally (almost) finished the clay plastering.
After the application of base (body) coat to straw walls described in the previous blog post it was time to apply the top coats. Top coats consisted of two sub-coats, the initial 4-5mm fine clay coat and 1.5-2mm final coat, which was applied whilst the first coat was still moist. We have initially selected three different colours for the top coat (vanilla yellow, caramel brown and olive green) to differentiate various spaces in the house, but during the application we have opted for additional un-pigmented basic clay for the ‘feature wall’ in the main living space. We’ve also added finely chopped straw in the top coat for a bit of sparkle and a reference to our straw walls.
Normally it is not recommended to apply clay plaster to plasterboard because of poor bonding. However, as we’ve used fibre-based Fermacell boards for internal linings, we felt confident that this would work. We taped all the board joints with glass-fibre mesh and tile adhesive before a clay suck coat and two top coats were applied to internal walls.
Roman really showed off his skills, with beautifully crafted rounded window reveals and all surfaces expertly finished with small japanese trowels. It’s been an emotional process with ups & downs, but it has totally transformed the feel of the house, giving it a sculptural quality rarely seen in new build homes.