Home / Blog / Eco friendly vacation home: how we made plasters

Eco friendly vacation home: how we made plasters

Borgo4case is not only a place where you spend beautiful holidays, but for us it is also a place where we live every day, and therefore every constructive choice is designed to last over time and be integrated into the local environment. Today I want to tell you how Walter and I made the plasters in the last house of the village.

Borgo4case is a small group of houses that over time and without ambitions Paola and Lucio, my parents, have over the years bought and restored wisely with the traditional local materials. We can say that these are houses restored with the criteria of green building, even if thirty years ago this word was not as fashionable as it is today.

The house we call Stalletta was the first purchase: an old barn, which patiently my parents have turned into a small house with rustic finishes. Then the Torretta came, a large stone house, with a veranda and an added swimming pool. Here too, the renovations have been followed by my parents themselves, with local crafters familiar with traditional materials and construction techniques.


tuscan old barn house


Since 2015 I have also started to contribute to the design and maintenance. I started with the arrangement of some old family furniture, then I helped with the choice of colors, fabrics, wall paintings, and so I was able to support my parents, learning the taste for beautiful and authentic things.

Last summer together with Walter we received from my mother the task of arranging the last house that she bought, the fourth of the village. It is a court house on three floors, with two large bedrooms, a living room with kitchenette and a very large and spacious cellar with a small wood-burning oven. It is a house of dream that unfortunately was arranged around the ’80s with little grace and in economy. At the moment we have restored the interior redesigning it following our taste. We have tried as much as possible to do the skill with our hands, using old recovered materials or however following the local style (, remedying errors of previous owners). We applied some criteria of Permaculture thanks to Sauro, who taught us about the natural plasters and gave us new ideas to create colors unique and original, in harmony with the environment.

At the moment we are creating the interior design. To make the house cozy and more livable we have redefined the spaces, knocking down some walls and moving some doors and we are very concerned about the plaster and natural paintings. Below we tell you our experience with two types of plaster very common in green building: terracotta plaster and hemp plaster.


natural plaster bathroom



We decided to use the terracotta to create a waterproof plaster in the main bathroom, usually wet due to the shower. The ingredients to create this plaster are: slaked lime, sand, ancient powdered terracotta and water. The lime with the earthenware powder is chemically combined to create a fine waterproof plaster. It is important the pottery is ancient, because the content of the terracotta is purer than the today’s industrial products and the material makes more grip.

The funny thing was that we had nothing but hammers and arms to smash the pieces, and then we split old roof tiles from previous renovations – thank to my father that never throws anything away, and we recover, reuse and recycle everything.


terracotta plaster


We did the plastering with American trowel, leaving the mark of the spatula to obtain a more crafted effect. The final color is a pleasant and elegant powder, which, in case of need, can be covered with other paints. We decided to leave a wall with the original color, treated only with natural Durga (italian natural painting brand) wax stretched by brush, and the rest of the bathroom painted with a mixed Durga color 13 which is a strong sand color. This plaster can also be used to cover the inside of the shower. To make sure not having any infiltrations in the wall, we applied a thicker layer of plaster over a suitable waterproofing layer.


natural plaster



The lime hemp plaster in consistent thicknesses is an insulating plaster. We wanted it more for aesthetics than for thermal quality. The final plaster has a white color tending to green with the texture of the hemp which gives a luminous, almost golden appearance. The basic ingredients are the usual ones to create natural plasters: slaked lime, sand and water to which hemp is added.

The canapulo is the part of the hemp plant that is used in green building. Depending on the degree of shredding more or less fine you get effects in plaster more or less fine. We wanted a mixed texture and we chose a fairly coarse size of the canapulo.

The lime hemp plaster dusts a little, or tends to have a very dusty surface, so we tried to spread it as much as possible, using the American trowel, and then we finished the surface with Durga liquid wax to make it smoother and a little waterproof. Even this plaster can be painted, but we like it a lot and we will paint it in a few years.


natural plaster


These natural plasters are perfect for making interior finishes both in rustic or modern style. They can be combined with natural materials such as raw wood and stone, as well as steel and glass, always with a final appearance of great elegance.

These natural plasters are perfect for making interior finishes in rustic or modern style. They can be combined with both natural materials such as raw wood and stone, as well as steel and glass, always with a final appearance of great elegance.

If you want to know more about these materials, or you are curious to know the process, or else you want to try and do it and you need clarification please contact us and we will be happy to give you more details about our experience. So if you also want to give your home a natural touch, what are you waiting for? Try these plasters and you will get a beautiful effect!


hemp plaster bathroom