drawing of ornate plaster ceiling rose

Lime Plaster

Plasterite is a specialist lime plaster company that offers renovation and repairs to internal walls and ceilings that comprise of traditional lath and plaster, or external walls that feature hydraulic or non-hydraulic lime render coatings. Our staff are both experienced and skilled in the preservation, restoration and fresh application of three coat lime plasters. If you are searching for a lime plasterer near London then we are well positioned to help you. Our workshop in based in Ightham near Sevenoaks, and we travel to destinations in Kent, Sussex, Surrey and London to provide you with expert advice and a prompt price for your project. Please contact us with your requirements.

What is lime plaster?

Traditional lime plaster is composed of lime, animal hair as a binding agent, water and sand. It is used to provide a breathable covering for internal and external walls as part of a three coat layering system. The base coat (or scratch coat as it is often called) and the second (float) coat often contain animal hair, which acts as an additional binder and reinforcement. Each of these two coats is marked by scratching the surface after application to provide a better key for the following coat to adhere to. The final top coat can receive various techniques to alter its appearance before being allowed to dry. Hydraulic lime plaster cures much faster than non-hydraulic lime plaster. Non-hydraulic lime dries by absorbing carbon dioxide from the air, in the presence of moisture, yet will take weeks and up to a year to fully harden.

image of lath and plaster application

What’s the difference between lime plaster and lime render?

In simple terms, lime plaster is applied to internal walls, typically in a traditional three coat system as described above, whereas external walls require a different product which is designed and manufactured for exposure to the elements. Called render, these lime-based materials are also applied using a 3 coat system; the base coat and finish coat is available with hydraulic and non-hydraulic options.

Lime plaster and external lime render is typically used in historic buildings from around the mid-17th century to the mid-Victorian period (19th century). However, we have applied lime to many different types and ages of buildings. If you are at all unsure please ask us for advice.

Lime plaster repair

Over time, lime plaster walls can deteriorate. Plaster is likely to be damaged by movement or the results of external factors like impact or damp. Eventually this can cause the plaster to delaminate or become detached from the surface beneath. Some cracks and bulges in plaster may be superficial or localised; others result from failure of the masonry or timber beneath or may indicate wider structural problems within the building. If you are worried about the condition of your plaster, especially if a large area appears affected, it is best to seek expert advice. At Plasterite we have years of experience working in heritage buildings and with fibrous and lime plaster. We can view, advise-on and survey your property to check the condition of your walls and ceilings. Please contact us to arrange an appointment.

image of lath and plaster repair

Lath and plaster repair

Lath and plaster ceilings and walls comprise of timber batons made from oak or chestnut, fixed in place by hand to provide a basis for the application of lime plaster. The scratch coat is pushed through the spaces in between the timber laths and fills the inside of the wall forming keys that hold the plaster in place.

Lime plastering onto laths allows moisture to be absorbed and released through the wall or ceiling. When set it is extremely hard and durable ensuring it lasts hundreds of years. Lath and plaster walls have an ability to absorb noise and stabilize the internal humidity of a building. Traditional lime products are also known for their inherent fire resistance, as carbonated lime (lime cured for months) will slow the spread of fire better than traditional drywall.

Lath and plaster can suffer deterioration from damp and moisture as well as excessive vibration and movement in the building. Lath and plaster repair involves the removal of the old or damaged plaster, replacement of the timber supporting sections and then application of three coat lime plaster to finish. Sometimes lath and plaster repairs can be localised if caught early enough and inspection by an experienced surveyor or lime plasterer is always recommended.

Lime plasterers in Kent

Plasterite is one of the leading lime plasterers in Kent, providing lath and plaster and external lime render to clients across the south east of England. If you need to find a lime plasterer near London then please get in touch. We work directly with home-owners to provide a friendly and efficient service where repairs or restoration are required. Likewise, we are always happy to hear from local builders who are in need of specialist sub-contractor services to help complete a project. Please call or email us to discuss your requirements.