Plaster Test

Today we tried out different plastering for the Sandbag walls.

We tried to use sand from the very construction site, add a little bit of cement and some glue and we tried some clay mixed with straw.

Before applying the plaster on the sandbags, we put a chicken wire in front of the sandbags. Both, the clay and the sand mixture adhered very good to the sandbag fabric and got good support with the chicken wire.

Now we let both patches dry out 5-8 days and will apply some lime finishing to see what looks and works best. So far my choice is the clay. What do you prefer?


Gray sandmix on the left and brown clay with straw on the right

According to Ricardo, the clay expert, the clay mixture works even better using horse shit instead of straw, since horse poop contains very fine fibers that hold together the mixture. Also it improves the adherence of a finishing plaster, as the lime cover.

I am actually pretty excited that the house can be built of so much natural and locally available material. Besides the sand we used for the walls, we get the clay from the next village and the lime is a natural material, available in any hardware store.

The clay is adding up to the thermal properties of the sandbags and will make the house feel even fresher.

Lime will make a triple benefit. First it is water resistant. So it protects the clay from being washed off. Second it has a high PH and bugs and animals don’t like it. So it becomes a bug defense line. And third it is nicely white and we avoid to paint the walls and save some money and time. White is anyways the indicated color in places with so much sun.

Looking forward for the results. So we can move ahead and wrap that house into its fancy clothing … 🙂


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