This week was wet trades week for me! On Tuesday Pierre came round and gave me a crash course in making and putting on an enduit à la chaux (lime render). This needs to be layered onto the stone walls before the plaster. Lime is a natural product and is, and has been, used a lot in this area for traditional building. It is environmentally friendly which I like, however I am allergic to it which I don’t like!! Being an alkaline it burns your skin and after using it you need to wash in lemon juice!
Anyhow I managed the first coat for two of the walls, but it ain’t easy. It is physically tiring and there is a real technique involved as you need to lob it at the wall at a certain angle so that it sticks onto the wall and doesn’t slip off onto the floor. Needless to say quite a bit ended on the floor! However Pierre said that I was pretty neat for a first timer and he finished the second coat for me.
The next day Garth came over to teach me how to plaster. Plastering, if you remember was something I was hoping to be a natural at as we have so much to do. Uh uh! Bloody hell is it difficult! Firstly you have to get the mix exactly right, and on top of that we are tinting ours so it needs to be the right colour and you have to make enough of it to finish an entire wall in one go or you get a multi coloured wall. Then once the plaster is ready you are off and you have to work damned fast, slap it all onto the wall at top speed and then tidy up. Well slapping it on the wall is hard enough as it is either too runny or too hard and invariably when you try to move it around you end up messing it up. As for the tidying up, blimey that is impossible! I can make it look messy no problem but the ‘finitions’ pah! Sadly Youri didn’t seem to be any better, in fact I think he might have been worse as he isn’t very good at top speed! So we managed 4 walls, the last was a real effort as we were all knackered. It was around 18h30 that Garth mentioned that he was colour blind so whilst he was delighted with the finish of the last bathroom wall I was not. I, not being colour blind, could see the green plasterboard patches showing through, Garth on the other hand couldn’t!!!!
That said he did an amazing job, just not sure about tackling the other 35 walls without an expert on hand to pretty them up!! However Garth also gave me details on how to make my own paint with lime, casein and pigment which is a great idea and one I am keen to have a go at. There is a great shop in the UK that makes eco paints and does really good colours and textures but Chris and I calculated that it would cost us £2200 to do the entire house.
Some photos of our efforts, again not too many as I was too busy to take photos!