A tadelakt vanity top in a mountain straw bale house near Boulder, CO, USA


This is the work of the tadelakt artisans Ryan Chivers. It's a tadelakt vanity top with a backsplash that Ryan made for a mountain straw bale house near Boulder, CO, USA.

The round window in the thick straw bale wall is finished with locally sourced earthen plaster. The design mimics the effect of a sunset over a waterfall flowing into the room. Here are some mote examples of Ryan's tadelakt work.


NOTE: The sound quality in the video above is poor in places but it's worth listening to carefully. There are lots of valuable tips to glean from Ryan; a widely recognised expert in tadelakt plasters.

Tadelakt is a lime plaster treated with olive soap and polished. The lime plaster is applied in several thin layers, smoothed with a trowel and then burnished with hard tadelakt stone using an olive oil soap. The soap and lime react chemically making a waterproof and durable surface. The burnishing creates a beautiful glossy finish that is beautiful to touch. The tadelakt takes 28 days to fully cure. Natural waxes can then be applied and buffed to create additional protection. Tadelakt is built up in several layers of plaster being applied and smoothed first with a sponge and then with trowels. Finally the soap is applied and polished with a stone. In the video above Ryan teaches students how to apply Tadelakt.