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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    We have a listed barn that we are converting and have had to put lime render on the inside of the external walls to allow the structure to continue to breath.
    The guy doing it has just told us we must leave 6 weeks between applying the lime putty final coat and decorating the wall (obviously with breathable paint) even though there has been at least 5 days between each of the first 2-3 rough coats.
    Being a novice at lime, can anyone advise me if this is correct and if there is a way of testing the wall just in case it dries quicker in this nice weather as we are supposed to move in 7 weeks and the lime work is not all finished yet.
    Thank you.
    Sounds like 'the guy' has another job to go to, maybe lasting about 6 weeks.
    You can put another coat on as soon as the surface is tough enough. It's better if it dries slowly so in hot dry weather I would give it a spray of water from time to time. The carbonation of the hydrated lime, which is what you want, takes place while it is damp.
    The best time to put on the next coat is when the earlier coat is what's called 'green hard ' - which is hard enough so that you can't dent it with your fingertips, but you can score the surface with your nail. That usually takes two or three days with an 8mm coat, maybe a bit longer with thicker coats on irregular stone walls and in rainy, humid conditions. Thus I tend to wait a week between coats, but six weeks is taking the wotsit! Unless, as Biff says, your plasterer has an interim job lasting, say, six weeks!
    Ah, painting. Yes, I see I didn't read your original post very carefully. Now it depends on the paint. If you are using limewash, whitewash, or a clay paint you'll be OK to paint sooner. You weren't thinking of painting with some new-fangled acrylic emulsion were your?
      CommentAuthorNovy Mlyn
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2007
    Here in the Czech Republic, they leave things to dry out for a year. It's quite common to see new houses without their final layer of plaster & families moved in. Maybe their builders have a lot of other work to go to...
    Posted By: Novy Mlyn Maybe their builders have a lot of other work to go to...
    Sounds like the problem is world wide :smile:
    Oops, I also misread the post! If you are going to use limewash you can apply it three days or so. Otherwise, wait until the plaster turns pure white (which may only be about a week anyway, if the putty/silver sand coat is just a 2mm skim).
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