Permaculturing in Portugal

One family's attempts to live in a more planet-friendly way

Clay plastering

There has been so much going on – and ongoing – this summer, I’ve fallen way behind in blogging it all. But having written about our earthen plaster recipes in July, it’s about time I posted what we’ve done with them so far.

This is the external plasterwork on the cob bathroom. All that remains to finish the bathroom now is the final coat and treatment for the earthen floor, and an internal bottle wall partition between shower and toilet.

Earthen plastering

Earthen plastering

Earthen plastering

Earthen plastering

The door to the bathroom was constructed by João out of sweet chestnut sawmill offcuts and the handles made from vine prunings.

And this is the internal plasterwork in the upstairs room of the wee house. The gable end wall is pointed in lime mortar, and the remaining 3 walls pointed and coated with a cob rough coat, then 2 coats of clay plaster.

The pine floor, after sanding, was treated with a borax solution, then several coats of linseed oil, followed by a wax polish made from equal parts turpentine, linseed oil and wax, with the wax being a 50-50 mix of beeswax and carnauba wax.

Earthen plastering

Earthen plastering

Earthen plastering

All that remains to complete in this room is the fitting of a woodburning stove.

Strange though it may seem, it feels slightly strange coming to the end of the things-to-do lists for each of these projects. I’ve become so used to living with buildings ‘in progress’ that the idea of actually finishing had somehow escaped me.

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