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Plastering inside a 1870 victorian terrace - should lime plaster be used?

We are just about to have plastering done throughout entire house. We have had problems in past with high moisture levels in walls and have had extra air bricks added to try and combat this problem. I know the walls need to 'breathe'.
Should lime plaster be used on our interior walls and if so is there a specific type of lime plaster?
Also do we need a specialist to apply it or can a regular plasterer apply it or someone with experience of plastering?
Should we expect it to be more expensive than regular plaster?
Thank you so much!

7 Answers from MyBuilder Plasterers

Best Answer

Defiantly use lime plaster for this, multi finish is a big no no as it will seal the wall and stop it being able to breathe.

Either putty or a bagged hydraulic like product are ideal, expect to pay a premium though as its not a fast/easy job like gypsum!


Answered 17th Nov 2015

If there is high levels of moisture in the walls then you have an issue with your DPC (damp proof course). Probably slate going on the age of the house.

If you have high moisture levels in the walls higher than a metre, then it is possible condensation being caused through living conditions and cold walls.

Yes lime plaster can be used on the interior walls, it's more expensive than conventional plaster and yes you would probably be charged more as it takes longer to set and needs more attention initially.

An experienced plasterer will have at some point in their life laid on lime. However lime is not the favourite choice of modern plasterers. It does take skill to lay on but more skill is required in understanding its properties for setting right.

The two most widely used limes today are Lime Putty & NHL Lime.
The latter being the least expensive of the two & also termed as contractors lime, primarily for its quicker setting properties.

Hope this helps

Vern Mills


Answered 19th Nov 2013

I would highly recommend that the walls be plastered using lime plaster. The use of lime putty and lime plasters benefit a property in many ways:

Lime based coverings are porous and allow the property to breathe
They allow for movement in the property
The possibility of cracks and splits is greatly reduced
Adding a lime wash finish helps to disperse moisture from within the render

Plastering with lime requires a different technique from plastering with modern gypsum plasters, so I'd advise finding someone with the relevant experience. You can expect to pay more for lime render & lime finish plaster than regular gypsum plasters.


Answered 19th Nov 2013

The house would have been built using lime mortar, then plastered using lime plaster. If the outside walls have been re-pointed or rendered using a cement based pointing or rendering, what you put on the walls in the inside will make no difference as the damage has already been done.

There are two different types of lime plaster - non hydraulic lime which is the cheaper of the two but is slower setting and more prone to shrinkage as it dries, natural hydraulic lime which is the dearer of the two but faster setting is less prone to shrinkage as it dries, generally animal hairs are added to strengthen.

Yes it will be a lot more expensive than gypsum plaster, finding someone able to apply it properly may prove a tad harder to find.

Good luck Alex


Answered 20th Nov 2013

Lime plaster is what you need but why are the walls damp, This is what you need to look into first.
This is what my company specializes in and we never re plaster damp walls until are damp proofing engineer has assessed and rectified the problems,
That age of property may have solid walls in parts and the cavity if any may be full of sand/ rubble.
Lime plaster like a bit of moist air and will hell with condensation but not damp from external penetration or rising damp.
A specialist plastering contractor is what you need as lime plastering is not one for the modern chap to attempt.


Answered 11th Apr 2018

No just multi finish will be fine.paul


Answered 4th Jun 2014

yes 100% definitely lime would be needed. i should imagine a hot mix was used at 2.5:1 (sand:quicklime) or possibly an nhl2 or 3.5. any cementitous and gypsum material needs removing 1st. assuming the pointing is still lime and of sound condition then you can start rendering straight away. failing that repoint with lime hotmix 1st then continue. this approach can be used for outside also so if there is any OPC render or pointing it is recommended that be removed and repaired in the correct material appropriate for the properties age and construction type. hope that helps


Answered 3rd Jan 2022

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