Inspire Conservation Information and Guides

We understand that you may have some questions regarding the techniques we use. Listed below are some frequently asked questions we get from our customers. If your answer is not listed below or if you are unsure of anything relating to our service, feel free to contact a member of our team on 0190 858 6661.

What is Lime Plaster?

Lime plaster and render is generally a lime putty derived product which contains both coarse aggregates and natural fibres for the backing coats and fine aggregates for the top or setting coats.

What kind of surfaces can Lime Plaster be applied to?

Lime Plaster can be applied to various backgrounds including timber lathe (chestnut lathe, oak lathe or larch lathe) and solid backgrounds like stone work and brickwork. As a general rule, the harder the background the harder the mortar can be and always working from a harder backing coats to softer setting coats.

What is Limewash and what can it do?

Limewash is a traditional paint finish which can be brush applied to brickwork, stone work and other mineral backgrounds like plaster and render. It can provide a fantastic mottled finish to traditional finishes like plaster and render. There are several ingredients to make a good limewash including casein or tallow (fixatives) and pigments for colour.

What is Lime Putty used for?

Lime putty is mainly used for internal repairs and internal plastering finishes due to the long workability and its softer nature. This lends its self well to flexible backgrounds like timber lathe work.

What is the Lime Cycle?

Lime is derived from limestone. The limestone is quarried and burnt in a kiln where it undergoes extreme temperatures (a minimum of 880 degrees Celsius) and turns from calcium carbonate to calcium oxide. This is now called Quicklime. The Quicklime is put in to lime pits before it cools down too much and water is added causing another chemical reaction. Now calcium oxide becomes calcium hydroxide. This process is called slaking and the product is slaked lime. This is lime putty in its purest form.

What is Lime Mortar?

We have all heard of cement mortar and what it is used for. So what is Lime mortar? Lime mortar was the most used building material before cement was widely introduced to the construction industry. Lime mortars were even used as far back as the Romans and to very good effect, still keeping historic structures standing today.

Which Lime Mortar To Choose?

With so many options to choose from how do you know which lime is best for the job and the easiest to work with? What background suits which mortar and in what way should I apply it?

These are all questions that can be answered when you work with lime mortars consistently and become familiar with their functions.
Have a look at our categories to find out more about individual mortars and their properties.

Why Use Lime Mortar?

The various qualities of lime mortar make it the building material of choice with stone and brickwork construction. Qualities over a modern alternative include:

– Better flexibility in the joints
– No need for expansion joints on large structures
– Better breathability or permeability of moisture through the joints
– Closer natural comparison to the building blocks (stone and bricks)
– Great range of natural colours and textures achieved
– Can be 100% recycled and so can the building materials

Where To Buy Lime Mortar?

The use of lime mortar is now becoming popular and part of the wider consciousness in modern construction and with historic building restoration. Modern eco-builds and other modern considerations have forced the use of more sympathetic materials like lime mortar. As a result they are becoming available from specialist suppliers which is good news for the restoration profession. When you are purchasing specialist products make sure that you can get specialist advise and help from them as well, especially if you have limited experience with the materials.

You can also buy lime mortar and other products from our online store. Click here to visit our online store.


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