Prepare an old-fashioned coating

Prepare an old-fashioned coating

Traditional plasters are lime mortars (sometimes lime and cement) prepared with sands specially selected for their color.

Different shades

These pre-dosed products take on the appearance of plasters and plasters of yesteryear, with hues and texture clearly more warm and aesthetic than those of cement-based plasters which often make ugly old houses which have been the subject of a renovation. Some manufacturers produce lime mortars on demand, studying the characteristics of regional plasters and using local sands.

Prepare it yourself

Another solution is to prepare a lime-based façade plaster yourself. Companies specializing in renovations and old-style plasters offer aggregates (sands, grains, chips) and fillers allowing the preparation of various types of plasters (smooth or scraped) of different shades. The dosage of a lime mortar is the same as that of a conventional plaster mortar, about six parts of sand for two parts of binder.

Tools & materials

• Trowel
Pointed toe float
Pointed trowel
Mason rule
Trough to spoil
Mason's anchors -
Old fashioned plaster
Glue for mortar

The order of the works

A traditional mortar can be made in three stages:
Gobetis: it is the grip layer, quite thin, projected on the support (brick or stone), left rough so that the next layer holds better.
Body of the plaster: intermediate layer with a thickness of about 15 mm, erected and smoothed.
Top coat: thin layer, erect and smoothed. We can be satisfied with two layers (first two stages), the body of the coating being scraped or smoothed for the finish.

Hanging product

To make the plaster body adhere perfectly to the base layer, use a bonding product, in this case an adhesive for resuming mortar.


The base layer here is a bastard mortar (lime and cement). It was troweled and simply leveled with the same tool, but not smoothed. Its irregular surface allows a good grip of the second layer. After drying, mix the old-style mortar in accordance with the proportions recommended by the manufacturer, or prepare a lime mortar yourself (carry out tests, noting each time the proportions, to find the shade that suits you) . Depending on the size of the surface worked, mix the mortar in a trough, on the surface or in a concrete mixer. If the basecoat is very dry, moisten it until refusal before throwing away the old-style plaster. Know-how © La maison rustique - éditions Flammarion, 2005