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Clay Plastering in the Cold?

 
Jenna Henna
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I'd much appreciate anyones insights/guidance with my situation...?

We live in Eastern Canada (zone 4), and the timing for our bale installation will be Autumn- when the temperatures will change.
We intend to clay plaster the exterior walls & install wood siding with a vented rainscreen. Our interior walls will also be clay plaster.

I'm wondering:
1) Should we do all 3 regular clay plaster layers for the exterior, the same way one would do without siding? Or is there a different technique for plastering in the case of siding?

2) Given the upcoming cold, are there risks/limitations in completing the exterior clay plaster before winter?

3) If we can get the exterior done in autumn, would it be possible to then do the interior plaster as winter sets in- with a woodstove as our heatsource? (Or might wood heat be too drying and mess up the curing process)?

Appreciate your time, if you're able.
Cheers!
Jenna
 
Ardilla Esch
Posts: 198
Location: Northern New Mexico, Zone 5b
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1.  3 layers is not necessary with the vented rainscreen.  I'd do two.  You could conceivably get away with one, but you could end up with unacceptable cracking and spalling.  Then it would be difficult to fix with the siding.  And you wouldn't know it had failed right away etc.
2.  You definitely don't want the plaster to freeze before it fully dries.  You can tent the work area if the night time temps are close to freezing.  Heating the tent is possible but a pain IMO.
3.  Winter plastering in the interior is fine if you keep it above freezing.  Earthen plasters don't cure so there is no threat to fast drying in that respect.  Fast drying does make it a little more difficult to get the plaster floated.  If it is drying fast you have to trowel and float smaller areas at a time.  Misting the plaster with water can buy you more time too.  But you have control over the heat - so keep it cool (room temp or less) until you are done for the day then stoke the fire in the evening to keep it from freezing.
 
Jenna Henna
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thank you! Very helpful.
 
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