the cottage is built of stone and cob with lime and earth plasters that had been patched with gypsum, cement and lime at different periods. There are sections that have limewash on cob with lime plaster on top of that and then gypsum plaster on top of that. Planty of the plaster was loose and crumbling but the majority was sound and the customer wanted to keep the costs down by repairing the plaster rather than replacing it.
We decided to plaster with earth/lime plasters reinforced with chopped straw and to skim over everything with my own recipes of lime putty and fine sand reinforced with lots of animal fibre – in this case we used chopped sheeps wool which worked really well.
The skimming was done in three coats – two thin coats of a mix comprising 2mm sharp sand mixed with lime putty and sheeps wool applied wet on wet and trowelled smooth – nothing was flat, far from it, the walls are very undulating – the important thing is to compact the plaster. On top of that, when it had sufficiently dried, was applied a coat of my own recipe fine lime plaster again trowelled smooth and compacted. A slight texture was created with a sponge and the intention is to paint it with soft distemper.