Friday, February 15, 2008


So if you were wondering-- now is the part where you get to learn about Padobe. Paper Adobe.
With the roofing material on, we were now ready for plaster-- fortunatley this project was relatively inexpensive (except for that it required running water-- which we didn't have hooked up yet-but i'll get to that).
I mentioned earlier the sustainability co-op that we found the first week we got to Wimberley. We had been attending the group meeting every month ever since March-- as well as going to a work party once a month to help members of the co-op out with projects on their land. Well our name was finally drawn out of the hat and our turn was up! Murv was not excited about having a bunch of people on our property, and not really comfortable accepting help, but by this point I was! Once he accepted that it was going to happen no matter what -he decided that a good project for our work party would be plastering the cabin.
So here is the recipe for making plaster out or recycled shredded paper.
We are proud to say we used 2,000 pounds of waste paper to plaster our 385 sq. ft. cabin!

Concrete Mixers (2-3)
Generators (if you have no electricity like us)
Gasoline (ditto)
Portland cement (we bought waste bags of it for a fraction of the cost)
Lime (someone donated this to us because they had a ton of extra)
Wheel barrows
Plaster appliers (can't remember what they are called-- float thingies)
Scoring Instruments

here are pictures of the process which Murv will explain:

One ton of recycled shredded paper

Soaking the paper in water to soften it upgotta give credit to the gasoline which makes the generator go! about $10.00/day if you're working all day...
When the mixture is ready it's about the consistency of tuna fish This kid is about as happy as a pig in mud!Up close-- this is the scratch coat Messy job site!The variegated color effect comes from using waste bags of portland cement which are all different colors-- it's like a water coloring-- (we will be painting over it so it's all one color eventually, but it's fun for now)
This is the slipcoat-- final coat (the structure has two coats of plaster in total)-- looks like handmade paper up close-- it's beautiful, very durable, weather resistent, adds yet another element to the insulation factor (very important for our HOT summers) environtmentally friendly, and utilizes products from the waste stream~

Murv has also been experimenting with the mixure to make padobe bricks and tiles which make a very lightweight, durable building material also.

1 comment:

Baby Isha said...

Hey Rebecca. I have been keeping up with your blog and it has been fun to see the building process. I hadn't posted a comment because I wasn't sure if you would know who this is, but Heather reassured me that you would.

The plastering process is very interesting, but now I am not sure how I feel about tuna fish!

Congrats on the baby. I can't wait to see the future progress on the house and the baby when he/she gets here!

Jenifer (Frank) Oberoi