Tips for Using Earthen Plaster in Green and DIY Homes


| 6/13/2017 3:00:00 PM


Tags: earthen plaster, home improvement, natural plaster, Paul Wood, Maine,

Joseph Becker earthen plaster1

Do you remember the joy of playing with mud as a child? The feel of that cool substance slipping between your fingers… the slap slap of bare feet on the semi-solid ground… the gleeful satisfaction of presenting an unsuspecting parent or older sibling with a mud pie or mountain teeming with worms?

Working with earthen plaster gives grownups a chance to relive that childhood pleasure. It’s a great way for green builders to lower their carbon footprint, and an easy way for DIY home builders to get their hands dirty while creating their own dwellings.

Joseph Beck with ION Ecobuilding, an Olympia, WA-based company that serves western Washington, says he got interested in the material because it was a way to create a meaningful experience between people, their dwellings and the earth. “You can have work parties to install earthen plaster,” he says. “You can do the application with your hands and make it in the traditional way of mixing it in a pit with your bare feet. It’s so healthy that kids can be involved.”

joseph becker ION ecobuilding

What is Earthen Plaster?

Becker defines earthen plaster as a clay- or earth-based plaster that can be used in a variety of ways over a variety of surfaces. “It’s typically made up of simple, minimally-processed materials like aggregates, sand, sometimes fibers and other additives to make it thicker or stronger,” he says. Those materials are mixed with clay, which acts as a binder to hold the plaster together.




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