Sunday, August 23, 2009

Natural Plasters from American Clay are Beautiful and Earth Friendly

Before I begin discussing the product I am about to review, it might be helpful if everyone gets a little back story on me and why this product is one I am most excited to talk about. For the past few years I have enjoyed a part time career as a decorative wall artist. I have been exposed to a healthy number of different plasters and plaster type materials and am extremely proficient at applying Venetian type. American Clay is very different from anything I have used before but quite a welcome alternative!

The company offers three finish options -- Loma (a suede like feel), Porcelina (super smooth like Venetian) and Marittimo (visually deep due to addition of crushed shells but smooth to the touch) and 43 standard color selections that are created from Earth friendly, natural pigments. On top of that they say they can custom match just about any color and with 43 base colors to start with I can definitely believe it!

What is really cool about this type of plaster is its benefit not only toward beautifying a home but in its inherent environmentally friendly properties. For example there is no VOC (no off gassing like many paints or plaster alternatives), it is 100% natural, resists mold and controls moisture, it is non-toxic and there is never a drop of waste. Even if the plaster is dried out it can be rehydrated to do touch ups and repairs.

The plaster can be applied either with a trowel or through a sprayer designed for drywall compound (generally these are used to spray on things like popcorn ceilings, they have a larger hopper and spray nozzle hole to prevent clogging).

I can not express how much I love the feel of this plaster, it is soft and smooth no matter which option although it can be applied in a rough style if that is the desired effect.

The one slightly daunting thing is that the mixing and measuring might seem a bit overwhelming to a novice or the average homeowner and this might keep them from attempting to apply it as many plasters do come in pre-mixed form these days. In fact the company offers a list of trusted professionals who have worked with their product and they strongly recommend hiring one for the installation.

The environmental benefit as well as the availability of the product throughout the United States (5 locations in Massachusetts alone!) but the definite need for a professional installer have me granting American Clay a Three Leaf Rating!

As a professional finisher with a love for plaster American Clay is a product I will be excited to become a pro at installing, and the Earth will thank me for it! ♥love♥


Judi FitzPatrick said...

I had seen their advertisements in Natural Home Magazine and was intrigued. I'm thrilled to see you have given them a 3 leaf rating since you are in the business.
Please let us know if you actually use it on a job and how it works out.
Peace, Judi

claylady18 said...

Thanks for the article and rating! I find that we are in the midst of a revolution, where we are beginning to understand the impact of our interior environment on our health - truly, something that impacts our life on a daily basis, AND something that we can change for the better. Time and again, I've seen clients respond to American Clay in a way that I can only describe as "biological"! A builder responded to a large sample board that I brought to a meeting by saying "I want that, and I don't care what it costs!" Plus, what a delight to be able to offer these exquisite finishes for a price that is nearly competitive with conventional "texture/paint". WOW. Yup, I"m in love too.
Deborah Hall, Hall's Walls