Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ah, at last. A night at home. Work has been incredibly intense for a couple of months now, sucking up all free time, but we're beginning to get back at it. Fortunately, I also seem to be moving into a "nesting" phase with more energy than I'd had earlier in my pregnancy.

We've had two friends - Charles and Phil - working on interior plaster work for more than a month, though they've both been away for the past two weeks. We decided that we couldn't handle this alone and they have been a great boost. They finished the earth plaster first and have been working on lime plaster in recent times. At top and to the right, you can see their work in the east gable end. It's amazing to me how the house has brightened up with the lime plaster. I love it. In contrast, here you can see the west gable end with the earth plaster still.

Dave and I, with my Dad and Mom in the lead, have been focussed on applying plaster to all of the interior drywall to give it a textured effect that blends it in with the style of the house more. We're more than half-way complete. Two more days of work (and most of it spent on covering wood beams, ceilings and floors to protect them from plaster drips and spray) and we'll have all of the drywall complete. Here are a few photos of the plaster before it was completely dry.

I'll share more once we've finished next week.

Here's a photo of the kitchen entry door that Charles plastered. We've put in a decorative arch to provide an interesting niche for a piece of art.

The great news of the week is that we found a company to install our porch patio on the north side and a small stamped concrete doorstep on the east side by the arch door. The better news is that they believe they'll be able to install it this week since the weather is so warm, as opposed to next Spring! A few pics of the outside.

Next up: sand and oil the loft floor, and acid stain the main floor!


Blogger Shooting Star Nursery - Christie and Scott Mackison said...


My wife and I are also in the process of building a strawbale home (our blog - We've enjoyed following your progress. Regarding the acid staining of your concrete floor - how do you plan to protect your finished walls and door trim during the application of the acid stain?



11:18 AM  
Blogger Kara said...

Hi Scott,

We haven't decided yet, but folks we know who did it simply taped a strip of plastic around the perimetre of their rooms and taped over their wood work with masking tape. I believe they had it covered up to a foot in heighth. I'll post this to your blog too since I don't have your email address.

If you have other suggestions I welcome them!


5:40 PM  
Anonymous Erica Konrad said...

Hi Kara - I was wondering what you used for a recipe for your lime plaster. We are in the middle of plastering - our final coat inside. We have two coats of Natural Hydraulic Lime plaster on the exterior & interior. But as we apply the last finish coat on the interior, it is still gray and not smooth as we like. We then tried hydrated lime mixed with sand - again pretty gray. Your walls are beautiful and light. Can you share how you achieved this colour & presumbably a pretty smooth texture. Thanks for any advice.
Fellow straw baler - Erica

6:25 PM  
Blogger Kara said...

Hi Erica,

We used hydrated lime and silica sand (there's a silica mine nearby and it's pure white). However, not to fear if you've used regular sand. The real whitening happens when you limewash your walls, which is important to strengthen it and protect it anyway. Limewash is lime and water mixed to a skim milk-like consistency and painted onto the walls repeatedly. Some of our guys used a thicker mixture, but it does risk cracking and flaking off then. It will whiten over time as well as the lime reacts to the air. Hope this helps!

7:48 PM  

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