I have got a real surge of energy and enthusiasm now that I am on to the finishing type of jobs.
The current one is jointing in the internal stone where we are not going to plaster over.
Do you remember that we sand blasted all the walls? Well this saved an awful lot of hard manual labour and cleaned the joints of all the poor dry lime or mud and made a nice deep cavity to accept the jointing mortar.
This jointing serves two purposes. One is cosmetic because quite simply it looks really good to have exposed or partially exposed stone and contrasting coloured joints to enhance the stone and also the jointing, once it has gone hard will secure the loose stones and make the whole structure secure.
Last Sunday seemed like months from fruition and now I am 50% through the jointing I feel much closer to our goal.
If you are jointing (and I will do a how to video one day) then it is all about timing and mixture consistency.
Start by measuring out the sand and Renocal (lime) using a bucket. - your sand requirements will depend on what is traditionally used in your area - We are mixing at 3:1 and:lime. By using a bucket as a gauge you will ensure that the colour will always be the same.
Note: always buy enough sand to cover the area you are doing in one load. Sometimes, even a repeat order of the same sand can bring differences in colour which is irritating if you look at a large wall.
Mix your sand and Renocal well. Start by adding 80% of the required water to the mixer (see bag for gauging requirements) and then your sand. Make sure, depending on what volume your mixer can hold to do 3 sand then 1 lime then 3 sand 1 lime and so on to get the best mix.
It needs to be a fairly wet mixture, this way when you slap it into the joints it will adhere well and also spread itself well into all of the voids.
Some people will cover all of the wall - especially if the stone work is poor - and some will jut try and concentrate on the joints.
Then go and have a cup of tea. You do not want to touch the joints until you are able to brush away the excess with just enough resistance that will not clog your brush.
If the bristles of your brush - a medium stiff nylon is best - become clogged it is too early. Do not panic because it will not go off with the sped of the Lutece plaster so nowhere near the same stress.
Then it is just a matter of brushing off enough mortar until you are happy with the look. Some like to have barely any stone showing so that it almost a render (crepie) some will need a crepie if the wall is poor and others, like us want to reveal a lot of stone. Or you might want to recess the joints to make the stone really stand out. The choice is all yours.