Chalk lime plaster from AngliaLime

It might seem a recipe for trouble if the aggregate in the plaster is not sand but crushed chalk, very sticky and smooth yes but tremendous shrinkage also. Yes that is true but Anglialime put so much hair or fibre in that there are no shrinkage cracks – it still shrinks but en masse about 10% of the thickness so beware – you might get it flat when you trowel it up, and you can’t float it either, in fact it is pretty difficult to get it flat but nonetheless, when you have and then walk away it starts to shrink and as it does the thicker areas shrink back more than the thin areas so I am afraid what might have been flat is that no longer.

When we first started using it we though what on earth is this rubbish, you can’t dig it out of the back unless you use a fork, you can hardly knock it up – in the end we used a hedge trimmer! We got funny looks from the builders. But to be fair to the suppliers when we started to use bags that hadn’t been sitting around a month it was different. And so we learned that it doesn’t keep well as the fluid drains away and it gets too stiff to work. When it first arrives from the supplier it’s good stuff.

We found that you could really lay it on, for common work you could get away with one coat about 15mm thick, for a better finish that could be skimmed over with some fine stuff.  We found that any coats less than 5mm thick were really not ideal and that the optimum thickness was probably 10mm and applied in two coats on laths or masonry and the results were very good.

One benefit we discovered was that you drop very little on the floor, what we did drop was often when we tried to take part of what was on the hawk instead of it all and the fibre being so great it all tended to come off the hawk at once.

It is not like regular lime plaster in many ways, it is claimed to be very similar to medieval plasters and I have seen very white, extremely hairy historic plasters so hairy indeed that it can be pealed off the wall in a sheet as we found, or to be exact, the electrician found for us.

I would say it was a plaster for cottages and other situations where regularity is not required because it is difficult to get it really flat with crisp corners but it has charm and it dries and sets extremely hard and tough, in many ways it is remarkable stuff however it is almost twice the price of my regular course stuff so cost is a bit of an issue but it has got me thinking.

for more info on the product:

http://www.anglialime.com/pdfs/FibreChalk%20Usage%20Guide.pdf

a nice cottage with chalk lime plaster

a nice cottage with chalk lime plaster

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About byrnesurfaces

conserver and repairer of historic surfaces
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