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The Work of Art and The Art of Work
Kiko Denzer on Art

[Cob] paper added to lime plaster is WONDERFUL

Charmaine Taylor dirtcheapbuilderbooks at
Wed Sep 17 17:22:50 CDT 2008

ED said:
I was wondering if anyone has ever tried using paper fibers in lime
plaster? The shredded paper that I have is mostly bright white paper.
It does not discolor clays at all and reduces cracking. It should
reduce cracking on lime plaster too.


Hi Ed, we have talked on this before I think.  I have  promoted lime &
shredded office paper for 9 years.

Here is my basic recipe- found in the book 'Making Mud & Earth Brick
the Chinese Way'-  ( out of print) I have reproduction coppies) a full
chapter on lime and lime plasters & mortars, slaking, buring, mixing,
etc   revealed  this formula.  ( below)

I use a lidded 32 gal  tub, and have plastered all my bathroom walls (
no mold cracks or any problems in 5 years in a cold, North facing
bathroom  with no heat)

and I have covered  most all of my work studio walls, and love the
look--  the amount of sand, less is more like a old world plaster, and
more sand is more like an exterior Mexican style  stucco mix.  So sand
is added to "taste"  NO sand  in the mix looks odd to the eye, like
Cotton candy that has hardened, but is still attractive, just
different.   you can also embed tiles, stones, glass, trinkets, etc.

I have NO cracks when using just paper and lime and bit of sand..
looks great needs no paint, just a colored limewash if desired.

****Chinese recipe for Paper Lime plaster****   [interior use]

 By WEIGHT-1 part  (lb.)  chopped/shredded paper-office paper – or
newspaper insulation to 10 parts (lb.)  soft lime putty (type N or S
hydrated lime soaked in water 48 hours) Mix  well in large bucket or
bin with tight lid. Seal lid.

Let mellow 2-4 weeks, stir in 1/2-1 parts  sharp sand to make more
trowelable. Mix with paint stem/paddle blade to make creamy.. Spread
on wall by hand or trowel. Sculpt and  dry. feather edges thin at stop
points. Can be limewashed; embed tiles while soft.

Adding extra  sand gives a stronger, more old  world  plaster/mortar
look; for outdoor use eliminate paper or coat with sealer, or

Note from Charmaine: Successfully applied to  new and old DRYWALL,
particle board on my work studio & bathroom walls.
For books-dvds:
 National Lime Assoc
Pargeting-decorative lime
US Parks Building articles:
Lime plaster on Straw Bales:
Tadelakt lime plaster-
Building Conservation-Lime articles:

and when many colored paper are shedrdded up together the original
plaster looks like a confetti, tiny bits of color can be seen all over
the wall, and it fades out over time from the lime hardening back to
limestone and whitening out the color I think ( plus sun exposure
whitens papers too)

LASTLY- I just told a friend about this... I have the shredded
writings of a dear friend who died young, all his words were made into
cross shredded paper, that I used in the bath walls, so his words live
on, even if no one can read them.  People like to do this with kid's
artwork, or  novels or personal writings, etc.. a nice way to recycle

Ms. Charmaine  Taylor/ Taylor Publishing
Toll Free Order: 1-888-441-1632   www.
PO Box 375, Cutten CA 95534