Before the use of Portland cement, most earth, brick and stone structures were protected by earth or lime plasters. While still used in other parts of the world, lime and earth plasters are relatively rare in the US. The advantages of these plasters include breathability, softness to the touch, beauty and workability. They are versatile, easy to repair and made from inexpensive materials. Lime and earth plasters stick to and move with the underlying wall, resulting in fewer cracks and often making reinforcing lath unnecessary.
Exterior earth plasters are generally used in drier climates or protected by wide overhangs. Where they will be directly exposed to the weather, we harden earth and lime plasters with linseed oil, the juice of nopal cactus or other natural stabilizers.
Earth and lime plaster can also be used for interiors. Interior earth plasters can be finished with a clay paint called Alis Finish. Alis can be applied with various tools to achieve different finish textures. We make Alis Finish in a range of colors, with additives such as mica or chopped golden straw for decorative effects. Alis can be sealed with wax, linseed oil, a casein wash or a stucco sealant product. Interior lime plaster can be finished with lime wash or in the tadelakt style.