Eating is an agricultural act - Wendell Berry

Monday, May 16, 2011

building our house - part 6 - plastering

as the roof was getting laid, the plastering of the walls was parallelly being done.

as the mud walls would need protection from rain spray, we originally thought about a lime-based water-resistant plaster. lime is beautiful natural material for mortar and plaster.
but one experiment with hydrated lime powder we procured locally, did not inspire confidence in its quality.

hence we decided on a simple, reinforced form of mud plaster.
20:1:2 portions of sieved soil, cement and cow-dung slurry.

here is the mixing on soil and cement.

add the slurry and mix away.

this is the final plaster mix.

first hand applied, and then...

...smoothed with a finishing trowel.

a close up. the edges are tough going.

the western wall.

the southern wall.
post plastering, the walls are given a simple swab-coat of dung slurry. this aids in the binding and fills up the minor cracks that generally develop in the plaster.

the northern wall before the plaster, and...

...after the plastering. with the crew in full regalia. the gentlemen in white shirts upfront were the chief masons heading a very competent crew.


Jayadeep(JDP) said...

just curious to know what the problem was with the hydrated lime powder ?

Anonymous said...

Even with a 20/1 cement and earth combination the walls look good as cement walls. Is this wall waterproof?

csm said...

jdp - suspect chalk adulteration.

john - it is not waterproof. we will extend the eves of the roof to physically protect from rain.

Krupakar said...

Similar principle for the house here in BLR...compressed mud blocks made of sieved soil, quarry dust and ~10% cement- no heat other than sunlight and the energy footprint of the 10% cement.

The same mixture is used as mortar as well. No plastering since the bricks are fairly regular and give a nice open brick house effect.

csm said...

krups - thats good stuff. classic earth institute.