Ever wondered how to repair a straw bale wall? Although rendered straw bale walls are stronger than plaster, they can still be scuffed by the wayward kick of a child or by moving furniture through the wall instead of around it. Luckily, render can be patched when it is damaged!
Follow these simple steps for easy render repairs.
Step 1: Collect the render
Collect the render that has been knocked off. In our example, the render was smashed off intentionally, as the door was scraping on the wall.
Step 2: Sifting
Using a piece of flyscreen, or a fine sieve you no longer care about, sift the collected render. Work the render through so you have no big chunks. You should end up with a fine powder.
Step 3: Mix with water
Combine the render powder with water. Leave this to sit for a couple of days. The consistency should be like thin porridge, so don’t add too much water at once.
If you accidentally make it too wet, just leave your bucket in the sun for a while until enough water evaporates.
Step 4: Moisten wall
Spray water on the area of wall to be repaired. This helps the new render to bind to the old layer.
Step 5: Apply new render
Apply the render to the wall. Use rubber gloves for this process, as once the lime in the render is rehydrated it can will burn the skin. Try to blend the edges of the new render into the old. Depending on the size of the area to be fixed, you may want to use a trowel to smooth out the area.
Step 6: Sponge
When the area has dried a bit (to the point where it can’t be squished with a finger), it’s time to sponge. Using a damp sponge (such as this one), gently rub in small circles. This helps to blend the render and create a uniform texture. The render may take a day or two to dry, depending on the size of the area and the ambient temperature.
I hope this helps you to fix any damaged sections of render- maintaining your straw bale home for decades to come. Let me know if there are any other straw bale topics or issues you would like information on.
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