Friday 11 February 2011

Getting plastered...

J demonstrating the wearing of safety gear

The new extension on the back of the cottage turned what had once been an external wall into an internal wall...

We attempted to chip the concrete render off of the wall, to reveal the stone... but it wasn't going to happen. We were faced with a few choices:

Frame it out and sheet it (ie. build a straight wooden frame across the length of the wall and cover it with plasterboard)


Plaster directly over it.

We decided to use lime plaster over the rough surface of the render. The idea being that it would...

  • ... still show the honesty of it being a 2ft thick 250 year-old stone wall. I don't like the idea of trying to pretend it is a new house.
  •  ... be slightly uneven and undulate with the original line of the wall. Hopefully giving a more interesting and tactile surface.
  • ... give us a solid stone 'heat store' to absorb heat from wood-burners during the day and to let it out slowly over night or in the mornings, in the summer it will be a cool stone wall in the centre of the house - theoretically stabilising the temperature of the house right through the year.

This was one of the first things we were able to do at the house after the new builders saved the building from the elements.

First chore was to clear the wall of the various ironmongery that was jutting out of it... nails, iron gutter-clips and the like.... Time for J to get on his safety gear and and get out the angle grinder... I stood well back and took photos.

Plastering is my job... I don't recall why.... maybe just because I enjoy it. Lime plaster is more enjoyable than modern plaster you get to put horse hair into it and then chuck it at the wall... what's not to love.

I hadn't envisaged blogging about the process at the time so I didn't take many photos.... next time I do it I'll try to explain the process in more detail

You can see the beginnings first coat on the wall here.... this took me 4 hours.... it is not a quick process...

Music to chuck plaster to:
  • We were listening mostly to the wonderful BBC 6music

The Nitty Gritty:
  • We buy raw lime plaster ready mixed and bagged from Mason's Mortar in Edinburgh
  • The safety gear, plastering tools and angle grinder were from B & Q


  1. I love lime render - lovely texture and depth of colour :-) So your house will look a bit like Stirling Castle...??

  2. Haha.... yes, just like Stirling Castle... only.... um... no, not really, nope :)

    Lime definitely has a lovely depth to it though, I agree.

  3. Really enjoying seeing your progress and also the addition of music that accompanies work, like wine recommendations!

  4. If you fancy seeing a bit of the history of lime, come and visit me! The majority of the work was done in Charlestown, down near the harbour,where the old Lime kilns are still (mostly) intact.


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