Our millennia-proven formulation of water + lime + pumice pozzolan not only out-performs modern plaster equivalents, it's a dream to work with. Furthermore, it stands as an environmentally sound alternative to synthetic stucco and other Portland cement-based products.
MADE IN THE USA. LimeStrong is made from high-purity, finely-graded, autoclave-hydrated Niagara dolomite lime and the world's purest, whitest commercial deposit of pumice—both sourced in the United States. LimeStrong is blended and bagged in southeast Idaho by Hess Pumice Products.
BEAUTY. A skilled applicator will work in both color and texture, working the thin coats to build deep, rich, fascinating color and texture interplays. Even compared to gypsum-and-paint surfaces specifically troweled, rubbed and/or sponged to look plaster-like, a LimeStrong Artisan finish has an enduring depth, a soothing character, and visual resonance that a painted-on faux finish will never have.
DURABILITY. The curing process returns LimeStrong plaster to its limestone origins, the pozzolanic supercharge further strengthens the plaster—resulting in a plaster that melds the compressive and bond strength of hydraulic cement and the breathing, self-healing, enduring flexibility inherent in lime plasters.
LONGEVITY. LimeStrong ages with grace, taking on a rich patina and subtle glow over time. LimeStrong finishes have a greater resistance to abrasions and scratches than clay-based and gypsum plasters and are less brittle than Portland-cement-based plasters.
EASE. While gypsum and cement plasters have a chemical set, LimeStrong stays functionally workable for up to two to three weeks after mixing.
VARIETY. Whether you prefer the smooth and shiny polish of marble or a rough or coarse replica of concrete or stone, LimeStrong is the practical and adaptable choice.
ECONOMY. By centralizing production and manufacture, as well as localizing sales efforts, the LimeStrong team offers a high-quality plaster at an accessible price.
HISTORY. For almost 9,000 years, humans in most cultures have used lime plasters to create durable structures and timeless works of art. This technology had almost been lost in modern times but is seeing a strong resurgence due to a desire for beautiful natural materials in our surroundings.
SUSTAINABILITY. LimeStrong’s lightweight raw materials are sourced in the United States and utilize less energy in local transport. Our production creates no waste or byproducts, and any leftover construction materials are safe for the environment. Most LimeStrong products consist of pumice produced at the same site where the plasters are blended. LimeStrong’s mineral-based formulations are free of VOCs and petroleum-based additives or resins.
THE MAN BEHIND LIMESTRONG ARTISAN:
At 19, Ryan Chivers began working in a relative’s drywall finishing company in his hometown of Salt Lake City until he moved to Colorado in search of more eco-friendly building methods.
Frustrated by the standard practice of finishing straw-bale homes with spray-on cement stucco and latex-painted drywall, he became obsessed with the potential of earth and lime-based plasters. Through trial and error and with intrepid, faithful clients, he researched, tested, and revived this ancient technology, which is now in common practice for straw-bale structures in the western United States.
Ryan’s focus sharpened to development of lime as a high-end decorative finish. He observed that importation of European lime-based plasters at high cost was the norm, and he endeavored to source local materials that could also be applied over drywall.
The early days of the internet allowed Ryan to discover the polished, waterproof, and ancient Moroccan Tadelakt, the ultimate in lime plasters. He scoured the resources available, which were mostly in French and German, and eventually journeyed to Marrakech for training in their traditional techniques.
Ryan was determined to achieve a similar finish with North American materials, experimenting with hydrated lime and limestone/marble mixtures. The correct ratios resulted in a chemistry closely related to the Moroccan lime, and he became a busy craftsman and employer adept in the technique.
Ryan’s sought-after skillset led him to Mexico, where he taught a group of local artisans the Tadelakt technique and learned that lime based materials could be found in the area; in fact, this elemental material could be found almost anywhere. Using locally sourced lime at every location, he has since shared this knowledge across the U.S. and Canada, and as far afield as Colombia, Costa Rica, and New Zealand.
Making plasters from scratch isn’t for everyone, and Ryan’s dream to make available a line of high-quality lime products that were affordable and local came to fruition when he returned to Utah. Colleague Stan Petersen had collaborated with Hess Pumice to create a lime-pumice plaster, LimeStrong. Ryan utilized the locally sourced pumice to formulate and add interior products to create the LimeStrong Artisan line, playing a key role in the product’s development, promotion, and technical support. Ryan also manages a thriving plaster-application business in Salt Lake City and continues to train plaster artisans across the world.
» DOWNLOAD a PDF of these SAFE USE INSTRUCTIONS
» DOWNLOAD the SDS for LIMESTRONG PLASTERS
LimeStrong contains hydrated (slaked) lime, which (because of a high pH) is somewhat caustic. Breathing the powder dust can also cause respiratory irritation. BE SMART. Make the investment of time and needed items to protect yourself. In all situations, if irritation develops, seek medical attention.
SKIN: With prolonged contact, lime plaster can irritate and dehydrate skin. We encourage you to wear protective gloves and a long-sleeved shirt. Coveralls are also a good move. You can further protect your face, neck, hands and forearms with a barrier cream. Protecting your skin, especially when cuts, scrapes or scratches are present, is always worth the effort. TREATMENT: Wash exposed skin thoroughly after handling lime plaster. This hack is used by the pro applicators: keep a bucket of water splashed with a shot of vinegar handy to neutralize the bite of lime plaster on skin and (at clean-up) tools.
EYES: Please take care to protect your eyes when mixing and applying lime plaster. Precautions must be taken to keep airborne powder out of your eyes. Also avoid rubbing the eyes with unwashed hands that have been in contact with lime plaster (wet or dry). TREATMENT: Immediately flush eyes liberally with water for several minutes.
INHALATION: When mixing or sanding lime-based plasters, especially for prolonged periods, wear a particle mask or respirator that covers the nose and mouth. TREATMENT: If inhaled, move immediately to fresh air.
These FAQs deal with general LimeStrong product information questions. Application-process-specific questions are found on the Artisan Applicators page.
What is a typical LimeStrong Artisan installation? Typically, LimeStrong Artisan is used on interior surfaces and applied in two thin coats. An olive oil soap finish is recommended to protect against stains, make cleaning easier, and to further enhance the depth and unique beauty of the plaster surface.
What kind of surfaces are best for LimeStrong Artisan plasters? LimeStrong is best applied to drywall that has been finished to a level of 3-4 for the Sand or Stone grades or 4-5 for the extra-fine Marble grade and then primed with a quality primer gaged with Dimension Grit or similar. A previously painted, lightly or untextured surface can also be plastered (scraping or sanding may first be required to remove heavy surface textures). Then prep with a solid coat of quality primer, gaged with a fine grit. For both new and previously painted drywall, select a quality, water-based acrylic or PVA primer approved for interior latex paint.
Is applying LimeStrong Artisan plaster easy? It is not like rolling on paint. LimeStrong must be mixed correctly and applied to a properly-prepped and masked wall surface. The plaster is applied with a hawk and trowel, and should be done by someone with the proper skill-set to both meet product performance specifications and to achieve the aesthetic beauty lime plasters are known for. Those with stucco application and/or drywall finishing experience typically have little problem learning the additional application techniques needed to successfully apply LimeStrong. Check out the information on the training page to get a more complete idea of the lime plaster application process.
Is applying LimeStrong Tadelakt really only for those skilled in the tadelakt technique? Yes. Tadelakt is used both as a noun and a verb: it is a plaster finish (noun) and a application technique (verb). As a finish, tadelakt is a lime plaster sealed with olive soap and burnished, resulting in a water repellent surface. As a technique, tadelakt is the knowledge, skill, and ability to craft this water repellent lime plaster finish. Download our LimeStrong Tadelakt Wet Use/Functional Guide for a full treatment of the subject. Bottom line: LimeStrong Tadelakt is not for unpracticed applicators with no experience using the tadelakt technique.
Can LimeStrong Tadelakt be used for dry-area, decorative purposes? Yes. And in situations where one wants to match the look of a functional, wet-area tadelakt finish. Download our LimeStrong Tadelakt Dry Use/Decorative Guide for application instructions.
How can I buy LimeStrong? LimeStrong plaster grades and support and finish accessories are available from select stocking distributors and by direct online order via a shopping cart system integrated into the product and grade information.
What about color? LimeStrong naturally dries to a very light grey, and so can be successfully color-tinted. We sell our own line of powdered color pigments—the LimeStrong Color System—from which a wide pallet of colors and color shades are possible. LimeStrong can also be (and often is) colored using readily available liquid tints sold to color latex paints.
At what point in the construction process should plaster be applied? LimeStrong is a high-end finish material intended to be installed as late in the building finishing process as possible.
Can LimeStrong plasters be repaired? Scratches and dings in the plaster itself can be touched up. Because the color is part of plaster finish itself, shallow dings and scratches are less noticeable even without touch up. If the damage goes into the substrate below, requiring drywall patches or similar, the wall may need to be re-plastered.
Is there a downloads library where I can find all the published instruction guides? Yes. We have assembled a downloads library with all of our PDF application guides, safety information, and more. Also check for an upcoming training workshop for hands-on LimeStrong application instruction.
How does LimeStrong fit into the Healthy and Green conversation? LimeStrong is made from abundant, readily-available materials (primarily lime and pumice) and blended and bagged at the pumice source. Unlike paint, LimeStrong is a non-toxic, hypoallergenic wall finish made from a simple recipe of natural materials. No off-gassing (no VOCs) takes place as lime plaster cures.