Getting Plastered: a Greener Way to Finishing Walls


There’s nothing warmer than a Tuscan farmhouse patina on cottage or even apartment walls, something faux finishers have long tried to reproduce.

But conventional methods of sponging on toxic decorative paints will soon reside in the history books along with the old Medici clan of Florence. Earthy plaster is the way to go greener for adding texture and rich color to interior surfaces. A great choice for this approach are the products produced at American Clay.

The New Mexico company’s natural earth plasters use natural clays, recycled and reclaimed aggregates, and stunning natural pigments in all three of their finishes: Loma┞¢, Porcelina┞¢ and Marittimo┞¢. Unlike some stuccos and harsh paints, these plasters are non-dusting, mold and face resistant, repairable and moisture controlling.

In addition to the standard line, you can special order Natural Depths, a line of seven rich colors that will also reproduce the feel of Old World marble, suede and terrazzo. The company’s packaging is recyclable, as well.

Among American Clay’s biggest fans is the eco-plaster company, Get Green, Get Plastered owned by Bay Area painter Dana Cummings. He says over the past few years he has switched to greener products on the market and that’s when he found American Clay. “There is so much warmth and a certain quality about having Earth on your walls – it really does connect you to nature,” he says. I love the name of this company, which features a green martini glass icon on the logo. Yeah, let’s get green and plastered, Dana!

Cummings also uses green glazes and eco paints like Yolo Colorhouse and Green Planet Paints to help accentuate the beauty of his plastered walls.

If you’re interested in trying to learn how to apply plaster on your own, check out the American Clay hands-on workshops at the company’s site. You can also read about Carlie’s eco-take on American Clay – and clay walls – by clicking here.


Luanne Bradley

Luanne Sanders Bradley is the West coast Editor at EcoSalon and currently resides in San Francisco, California.