Clay or earth plasters (as they are sometimes known) have been used around the world for thousands of years – and are still used in lots of traditional buildings. These clays or plasters are essentially special blends of unfired clays mixed with a very fine sand to provide a natural and indeed breathable finish.
There are lots of different kinds of clays that can be used in a variety of ways. For example, on it’s own clay plaster can be used as a base coat, however when mixed with the likes of coarse sand, hemp or even finely chopped straw mixed in it, it has the ability to be used in other ways too. Please note, clay plasters are for internal use only.
Like with the use of lime, clay plasters also seemingly ‘fell out of favour’ with builders in 20th century when the use of synthetic, non-breathable building materials became more prevalent and mainstream. Recently however there has been a sort of revival where people are becoming increasingly aware of the environment and their responsibility to it. The advent of popular TV programmes such as Kevin McCloud’s ‘Grand Designs’ or Sarah Beeny’s ‘Double Your House for Half the Money’ has provided a great platform for more eco-friendly methods such as the use of clay to be showcased.