Lime Plastering

ABM Period Decorators Ltd

Lime Plastering

ABM Period Decorators Ltd is experienced in the use of lime plaster throughout period properties in Surrey, Kent, Sussex and London. We work with specialist suppliers and have a certificate in lime plaster techniques.

Lime plastering is a highly skilled and painstaking process that uses traditional lime and water based plaster to decorate the final layers of a period interior. The lime plaster is porous, allowing essential moisture to pass to and from the wooden structure of the building. This breathing is important to avoid cracks and structural problems in your property, especially in wooden framed buildings.

Wattle oak laths

Exposed oak laths before restoration.
It is often necessary to strip decades of modern materials from a wall to expose the wattle formed from original oak laths (strips of wood) upon which daub (clay, chalk plaster mix) would have originally been laid to form a plaster wall.

Lime plastering is a step-by-step process. Once the original laths were exposed in this house in Surrey, the missing laths were replaced using traditional seasoned oak laths.

Successive layers of lime plaster were built up and allowed to dry naturally to avoid cracking. The layers must be properly hydrated (wettened) at each stage and the drying cannot be forced. The process requires years of experience to create the right mix, the right application and to intervene when things don't go smoothly.
Reed boards lime plaster
Reed boards.

We help our customers choose appopriate materials to meet restoration, cost and building requirements.

For example, reed boards can be used in place of more expensive chestnut or oak wooden laths, providing a flexible and breathable structure for lime plasterwork to a more economical budget.

Apart from the desire to maintain period features and authenticity, modern plaster is still also unsuitable for use in period properties because it would (and does) result in damp problems and plaster cracking because the materials are not flexible and breathable.
Horse hair lime plaster
Traditonal lime plaster mix with horse hair.
Horse hair or straw can be added to traditional lime plaster to achieve the required consistency and strength.

Lime plaster is also solvent free, making it better for the building's inhabitants, the environment and your humble decorator! For this reason, lime plastering and earth or lime based paints are currently experiencing a comeback in both period properties and more modern homes.

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