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By aboderenovationfaversham, Mar 19 2015 12:16PM

On the 12th of June the Kent Group’s first event of 2014 was held at Faversham’s Traditional Building Supplies Ltd (TBS ). The firm sells conservation materials such as lime mortars and plasters, paints, and variety of insulation products. In addition they also provide courses on plastering, bricklaying and stone masonry, which have recently been established. The founder, Eve Rush-Ryan introduced the company, we then had a talk on natural

paints and natural insulation. Having local knowledgeable suppliers is a great benefit, so if any AECB members are aware of products that TBS may be interested in stocking, please contact them.

Contact details: Office: 01795 530 503

Email: [email protected]

Sheeps Wool

Bethan Mulvena of Black Mountain insulation described the recent take over of the company following a fire, (by a firm who interestingly also manufacture multifoils). Bethan discussed the virtues of Black Mountain ‘Natuwool’. As a by-product of the British farming industry, it uses the wool leftover once the Lanolin, used in the beauty and cosmetic market, has been removed. To stop any attraction to insects, especially moths, the natural insect repellent of Borax is added.

Qualities highlighted included the fact that the product can absorb 35% of its own weight in moisture without compromising its thermal performance, and that the insulation can absorb Volatile Organic Compounds, an especially pertinent issue in modern airtight construction. Sheep’s wool insulation has a place not only in the conservation sector – being well matched to traditional building methods and techniques, but also in modern construction, having qualities to absorb internal air pollutants and make our buildings healthier and more comfortable.

Contact details: Phone: 01745 361911

Email: [email protected]

Natural Paint

Colin Jones from Earthborn Paint introduced their range of paints. Colin pointed out that not all natural things are healthy and terms like 'organic' have little meaning away from the food industry. Earthborn use natural ingredients such as clay, but some ingredients are synthetic, where the natural equivalent is harmful.

Earthborn products carry Europe’s environmental standard, the EU Ecolabel. This is an independent accreditation that takes a ‘cradle to grave’ view of products, ensuring that they make minimal impact on the environment throughout their life cycle, during manufacture, use and disposal, and do not harm the health of people using or living with them.

The key characteristic of the paint determining it’s breathable nature is it containing no oils or acrylics. Earthborn paints are ideal for use over lime plaster/render and older/listed properties that require a highly porous paint coating and which need a more durable finish than limewash. An example of this is silicate masonry system developed by Earthborn consisting of two different products, a primer and masonry paint, both of which are VOC free. Designed for interior and exterior surfaces as it is weather and water resistant.

Contact details: Phone: 01928 734171

Email: [email protected]

By Abode Renovation, Mar 12 2015 12:21PM

As with all lime putty based materials the best outcome requires patience and careful control of drying and suction, the reward being a good looking and long lasting plaster.

Before starting any work, always check that the building is not listed, if it is contact the local authority conservation officer to discuss the project.


Any existing plaster and paint should be removed. If there are sound lime mortars these should ideally be left to help preserve the buildings history and it clearly reduces material costs. Care must be taken to ensure that the structure isn't damaged. Look out for very thick patches of plaster that are effectively load bearing. It may be necessary to plaster on top rather than risk rebuilding an area.


It is very important to control suction from the background material (substrate) by damping with water before applying each coat of plaster, especially onto cob or porous brick. Although control of suction is important, so is surface tension so any damping down must be allowed to soak in and not be sitting on the surface when the plaster is applied.


Generally, lime putty mortars and plasters benefit from being pre-mixed for a minimum of a couple of weeks and then "knocked up" again prior to use to plasticise them - this reduces shrinkage in the plaster. The pre-mixed and ready to use materials can be purchased from us.

Example Specification on to lath walls

Dampen the lath before application.

1. Apply one coat of haired lime putty mortar, 3/1 haired lime putty mortar and press firmly onto the laths. This is known as a scratch coat. Make sure to press firmly so that the hair will act as a bonding agent and the mortar putty will grip firmly to the contours of the lath. Leave to cure for at least 24 hours.

2. Spray dampen the first coat of plaster before applying a second coat of unhaired 3/1 putty mortar. This is known as a float coat. We recommend a second coat of unhaired putty mortar as there will be no chance of hair coming through the top coat. Leave to cure for at least 24 hours.

3. Spray dampen the plaster before you apply a top coat of our lime-rich, 3/2 lime putty plaster, based on a very fine sand and lime putty in either one or two applications. For the very smoothest of textures, the second coat should be a 1mm skim of our lime putty plaster.

Plaster Skim:

Our 3/2 fine lime plaster is ideal for a thin skim over a wide variety of backgrounds such as plasterboard, blocks and mixtures of old and new plaster, old paint etc. For plasterboard it will be necessary to apply a special bonding coat DG27. For bare plasterboard, it is always necessary to scrim the joints as is usual practice, normally this would be applied with a very thin coat of gypsum although lime wall finish smooth could be used. Failure to carry this out may result in cracking at the joints. Our lime plaster 3/2 can then be applied in one or two very thin coats or Regency plaster for the second coat for the very finest of finishes.


for an Example Specification per square metre on to a rough undulating surface

Scratch coat 3/1 haired lime putty mortar, 30kg per m2 (15mm)

Float coat 3/1 unhaired lime putty mortar, 20kg per m2 (10mm)

Two top coats of 3/2 lime putty plaster, totalling 6kg per m2 (3mm)


Limes are caustic. Always wear eye protection and protective gloves and clothing and follow the safety instructions on the labels.

Our advice and information are given in good faith. It's important that users satisfy themselves that they've chosen an appropriate product and have a suitably skilled workforce.

Why not come along to one of our training days and learn practical new skills in Lime plastering, repointing, brickwork and repair and maintenance of old buildings.

Call Eve on 01795 530503 or click here to find out more.

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