You don’t need to build a natural home to experience the joy that is natural plaster. If you want to experiment with clay and lime plaster, you can get some valuable practice with some very simple scrap materials. Read ahead and I’ll show you how.
Practicing Plaster Technique Without a Natural Home
All you need is a piece of plywood or drywall and some scraps of wood to make a “plaster practice board”, a very simple tool for practicing your plaster application and finishing techniques. Say for example you’ve never tried clay plaster, and you really want to see what all the fuss is about. Or perhaps you do have some experience, and you want to try out some different recipes without laying any on your wall. Whatever the reason may be, a plaster practice board is a great tool to have around.
Find a piece of scrap plywood (or drywall) and cut it to about 32″x48″. Use some skinny widths of wood and fasten them around the edges, mimicking trim on a wall. That’s truly about all you need. It can be any size really, but 32″x48″ is a convenient size to mount on a post or wall and stash away when it’s not in use.
In Japan, boards like these are used by apprentices to practice their trowel techniques, and the clay plaster is removed off the surface with the edge of hawk, to be repeated again and again.
Little drywall scraps are also very useful for making test swatches as well. All this is to say that you can learn a lot just by having a very simple surface to work on when you want to experiment with your plaster and your trowels.
Here are some other related resources:
- How to Make And Apply Base Coat Clay Plaster
- Finish Clay Plaster Recipe
- Essential Plaster Tools: Japanese Trowels
Thanks to Kyle Holzhueter for this great and simple idea.