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American Clay plaster kit: Do try this at home

AmclayhandOne of the most compelling products to be displayed at the upcoming West Coast Green building conference (San Francisco, Sept. 20-22) will be American Clay plaster, a natural clay application that can give otherwise ordinary walls depth and a warm glow.

Manufactured in and using materials from the United States, American Clay, based in Albuquerque, uses natural clays, recycled and reclaimed aggregates, and natural pigments in three finishes: Loma, Porcelina (smoother) and Marittimo (stronger).

This nontoxic plaster helps earn green buildings a LEED rating (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for good indoor air quality, low-impact packaging and the use of recycled or reclaimed products, or both.

American Clay Plaster can be applied with a trowel over new drywall, painted plaster and firm paints, but it’s not recommended for use over OSB (oriented-strand board), tongue-and-groove paneling or any other material that expands and contracts at a high rate due to changing moisture content. It’s also not recommended over tile. See more about surfaces.

AmericanclayTo learn more, you can watch a how-to video online or order a DVD for $12 or a video for $10.

Plus, you can purchase a kit (pictured) for $36 plus shipping so you can try it at home. The kit includes three small bags of premixed samples of each of the three finishes, three practice boards and a trowel.

If it seems like something you’d enjoy doing, you can buy all your supplies at several retail stores in Southern California, including Living Green in Culver City, Architectural Coatings + Design Center in Tarzana and Cal-Wal Gypsum Supply in Orange.

You can also take a hands-on workshop at Ox & Olive Painting in San Diego on Sept. 29, Nov. 3 (tentative), Dec. 8, or Jan. 26.

Anyone tried this at home?

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