Imperial Basecoat Plaster Question

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Old 10-24-11, 09:23 AM
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Imperial Basecoat Plaster Question

Hello! This is my first time posting.

My husband and I are building a strawbale house in MT. We are doing the majority of the work ourselves (cost reasons), and that includes the interior plaster walls over the bales. The rest of the interior walls will be drywall.

We have been talking with a local plaster supplier who has supplied products to other strawbale houses, and he suggested only using 2 coats of USG Imperial Basecoat. When I asked what top coat plaster he suggested, he said that if we were going to paint the plaster then there was no reason to do a top coat.

I realize that this is a pretty specific situation, but I'm wondering if anyone else out there has heard about/done this with plaster before.

Thanks!
 
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Old 10-24-11, 03:17 PM
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Seems to me like Imperial would be an expensive option. Cheaper and better because you can build it out more would be traditional plaster. You put sand and plaster together and can build it out about an inch without it sagging. (I have never used it on bales but I am thinking it should behave about like gypsum lath with some suction in the straw.)
Imperial is stronger and harder but does not have as much body so can't be built out as thick in a single coat as plain plaster. The supplier probably does not want to mess with ordering plain or fibred gypsum plaster. An advantage of Imperial is that all you need to do is add water and mix. If you want a very smooth plaster finish you will need Imperial Finish or Diamond Finish. If you don't mid a little sand texture you will not need any more than two coats.
Knowing what little I do about strawbale construction, I would use regular plaster and either whitecoat finish or just a nice sand finish. Knowing how to plaster and knowing about plaster material probably colors my thinking. Oh, and speaking of color, I would color my finish. You might not have to paint for several years.
 
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Old 10-25-11, 12:26 PM
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over straw?? never herd of it.. this is neew to me. would love to see some pics of that.
 
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Old 10-25-11, 03:38 PM
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Although I've never seen it in person, I first heard of houses built with straw bales over 30 yrs ago.
 
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Old 10-25-11, 04:51 PM
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When bales are stacked which way do they go? With the straws running the long way up and down or inside out? I think the bales shrink one way but not the other but I forget which is which. In other words when you plaster the inside and stucco the outside are you applying mortar to the ends of the straws or to the sides of the straws?

Also do you plaster and stucco directly to the straw or do you install some wire reinforcement or metal lath first? If you put up wire how do you fasten it?
 
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