Interior Plasters

In the summer of 2002 we were hired to finish the interior of a load-bearing earthbag building designed by the US Interior Department, Bureau of Land Management. This 750 square foot (72.5 sq. m) Pueblo style Ranger contact station sits along the shore of the San Juan River at the Sand Island boat ramp in southeastern Utah. We had been contracted the year before to train a crew and assist with the earthbag construction. Our tax dollars at work!

Although we give them full credit for the exterior finish of Dryvit over foam over plywood (despite our suggestion for more compatible systems), they gave us creative license to finish the interior with locally

15.1 (above): Moon House ruin, Utah. Original plaster, circa 1200 AD.

15.2 (left): We were thrilled with the opportunity to install a totally-natural earthen wall finish in a government building open to the public.

15.1 (above): Moon House ruin, Utah. Original plaster, circa 1200 AD.

15.2 (left): We were thrilled with the opportunity to install a totally-natural earthen wall finish in a government building open to the public.

harvested wild clays from our public lands and a sandy soil from a nearby gravel yard.

Our focus for interior plasters is primarily earthen. We choose this medium for its availability, ease of use, familiarity, and because of its compatibility with the earthbag building system. Where the components for an earthen plaster are unavailable, cement, lime, and gypsum are viable options. (For more information on cement and lime applications, see Chapter 14).

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