So, one of the interesting things about lime plaster is that as it dries it gradually turns back into what is essentially limestone. It’s a two step process, the water evaporates and you get a chemical drying at which point it’s fairly hard, but it then starts reabsorbing much of the carbon dioxide that was put out as it was transformed into lime. That reabsorbed carbon dioxide it seems is trapped again, and presumably forms part of the crystalline structure that gradually forms of the next few weeks.
So our house is now, internally at least, covered in limestone.
This has been a hell-of-a-week. Last week at work was fairly busy, and on Saturday while I was at work, and Kathryn wasn’t well, the plasterers set-to on the house. On Sunday I turned up to find they’d finished the second bedroom except for the final-final spray polish and buff.
So the process goes thus:
First coat (which we did before the holiday) in which you embed the mesh and try and get a key to which the next coat will stick. In this coat they mixed some small amount of tile adhesive – to help it stick better to our non-plaster-rated drywall. Basically, they added glue to it.
Second coat – this is applied with a steel trowel, and is fairly thin – when I was doing this I was told to aim for only a couple of mm. Unevenness in this is then smoothed using a polyfloat. Swirling motions take the high spots and carry them to the lower spots making the whole thing more even.
Third coat – once the second coat has hit a point of being dryer (I’m a little unclear on exactly the right level of dryness, I only did this in one small area), using a finishing metal float the existing plaster is smoothed and – depending on who was doing it, sometimes a very thin skim seemed to be added over the whole thing, and sometimes just patching was done.
Finally they’d go over it and spray it down, touch up any bits that weren’t good enough, and using some small rock thing, they’d smooth out any high spots.
Now, for an optimum strength you should keep the plaster moist and have it dry slowly, so we’re misting the building for the next few days. And then the dehumidifer goes back on and we start work on laying the heating pipe guides and the floor, putting in sockets / outlets and eventually…moving in.
In the background we’ve applied for the planning permit for our garage, so hopefully that’ll get built soon and we can move some of the stored stuff out of the house. And Rebecca into the garage.
In bad news, we have gained an above ground pool.
And of course, the water main has broken just after the meter which is, we are told, our responsibility, despite lying on city land. Also, handily near a telegraph pole, so that should be… a nightmare.