Lime blind

If you are lucky enough to go skiing you will be familiar with the concept of snow blindness, so please spare a thought for the straw bale house builders who suffer from ‘lime blindness’ as they paint the lime wash over their hand crafted home; with the sun beating down on the bright white surface it can take you a while to return to normal vision!

Yes, you will be pleased to know that the lime render coat was finished on Tuesday the 30th of April with me fast on the heals with my bucket of lime wash. Admittedly I only managed to complete the first coat of wash and have yet to start my second and final coat for this year, but essentially it’s complete and we can at last admire the imperfect perfection of the undulating (bumpy) surface of the walls.

I just had to take a photo sequence of this last bit of plaster going on the wall, not to mention the wavy walls 🙂

Lime is a fantastic material and whilst it does have an certain embodied energy in its production it is nothing like that of cement and as and when the day comes and our house crumbles into the ground the lime will  easily, without contamination, be assimilated back into the earth. I just wish we could have used it in our foundations.

As the cellar, basement or piwnica; as it’s know in Poland, is made of brick we have had to adopt the not so environmentally friendly polystyrene cladding to provide our toes with insulation. This is pretty much the standard building practice in Poland, bricks or blocks covered with varying thicknesses of cladding and finished of with an almost flexible render.


One tip that I would pass onto anyone who ever goes down the path of straw bale or adobe built house and you intend to use a lime finish; get a bath! No what I mean is find an old bath so that you can pre-soak your powdered lime, it makes it so much easier to work with and cuts down of the amount of harmful lime dust that you may inhale; of course you should always wear a mask!


Lime bath.jpg

Author: Eddy Winko

Left the rat race to live a less hectic and harmful life. From the building of a straw bale house to the composting toilet diaries; read my blog

9 thoughts on “Lime blind”

  1. Winko, I’m loving your hand made scaffolding! The round poles are especially cool!

    Nice job with your final lime coat! We are about to dive in to at least a month’s worth of plastering and other dirt work. I have some lime slaking that has been soaking for at least 8 months, maybe more. It should work up into a nice finish coat. Did you use a special sand? We have a lot of different sand types to choose from here, so I’m wondering what others have chosen.

    Keep up the good work, it’s inspiring!

    1. Thank you as ever for the words of encouragement, I checked your latest post and I’m seriously impressed with your work; makes me want to build another one 🙂
      We used bagged lime as it’s the only real option over here and three grades of sand, after testing several options. Starting with sharp sand, working towards a finer grade as we came out with the coats; although sand selection is a little hit and miss, you have to go to the builder’s merchant and choose by touch, once you find one you like you have to buy as much as you think you will need as it’s possible that they will never have the same sand again 
      Good luck with your clay work, I look forward to reading about it.

      1. Thanks for the kind words and the info! Your recent planting spree inspired me to do some much-needed garden work, and now we’re almost all planted up! Hope the weather cooperates this year.

  2. I thought that was your bath after you had finished ‘liming’! Well done Eddy mate, you can rest with a sense of ‘We did this’ satisfaction. Cheers, Pete.

      1. That is only a good thing though. You should be proud to be able to say ‘look at me’ (or rather, us). You get more done in a few days than I do in a year. I’m also proud of you, in my own way, a kind of much older brother sort of way! Cheers, Pete.

  3. That scaffold looks high and rickity. You wouldn’t get me up there, but that’s why you make the big money…you can handle it. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: