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Earth plaster smells when dry

 
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We recently plastered a previously drywalled room in our house ( 1/8" plaster over drywall), and now are experiencing an interesting scent coming from that room. Its not necessarily a 'bad' smell, just significantly different from the rest of our house, we're worried that maybe it's mold...but wanted to ask here first if anyone has had any experience with earthen plasters having a specific scent. The mix was nothing fancy, just the standard bagged clay recipe from yestermorrow. Everything seemed to have dried well, the only thing I'm thinking is that maybe the wheat paste used has gone moldy within the plaster? There was a small (and I mean small) amount of mildew forming in one corner while drying, I hit it with peroxide and it dried without a hitch. Maybe I should just seal it? Maybe the smell will go away? Maybe its an inherent quality of earthen plasters? Thank you for any suggestions!
 
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Unfortunately adding a glue is an easy way for manufacturers to make the products behave "better".

In my mothers house in germany, organic material is only allowed if the layer can dry very fast. But if it ever gets wet again, or even moist from condensation, mold will grow.
 
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What area are you in please?
People may be able to help if such detail is included, since they may be familiar with conditions there.
 
Starsky Cyrcle
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I'm in Ontario, Canada. It is definitely dry, it was only a skim coat, it dried in a day or two. Just mainly asking to see if anyone has experienced a non-mold related 'scent' to their clay plasters, or if anyone has experienced persisting 'smells' after a very small amount of mildew formed on the plaster while drying.
 
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Starsky, "and now are experiencing an interesting scent coming from that room. Its not necessarily a 'bad' smell, just significantly different from the rest of our house



I don't have experience with earth finishes though this makes me wounder if you are just smelling the "earth".

I know when I clean the walls in a room the room smells "fresh".  Or the same effect when I paint a room.

You mentioned sealing it.  What are your plans to you plan to leave it as is or apply a coat of paint?
 
Starsky Cyrcle
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I have already painted it with a home made alis clay paint, pigmented with mineral pigments. I had no plans to seal it beyond that but would be prepared to if the consensus is that it's a mold scent. Not sure yet what that sealer would be if needed
 
Anne Miller
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What would you compare the smell to if you had to guess?

 
Starsky Cyrcle
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Probably not 'fresh', definitely 'earth' perhaps even 'must' if i was being uncharitable
 
Sebastian Köln
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I am not means an expert on the smell of earthen plaster.
But usually they smell quite good.... unless you are one of the people who use animal manure in the mix.
And even then that should go away once dry.

As a perfectionist, I would just do it again without the wheat paste.
Mold in the walls are no joke for the air quality.
Maybe you can seal it in, but then it might as well be drywall with lime-sand plaster.
 
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