Type of plaster required for fireplace
by Stew Dunn
Can you please advise me whether I can use ordinary plaster for plastering the inside if a fireplace which is to be fitted with a wood burning stove? If normal plaster cannot be used, can you use some kind of cement mortar, and in what quantities when mixing if lime is required?
As you're probably aware normal plaster is liable to cracking in areas of high heat. You mention Lime render which I have used in many various situations and have never had a problem. A good mix to use is 3:1 sand, lime mix but I cannot definitely recommend this as it does depend upon the heat. If you have not used lime before do be aware that as it dries out shrinkage can cause problems. It is therefore important to make sure the lime render is properly consolidated by pushing into the wall with firm pressure from your trowel and as it firms up your float - to avoid it shrinking and cracking. The coarser the sand does mean more work to gain a smooth finish but can provide a slightly more resilient surface. I have used this method around wood burners however the only plaster I can properly recommend especially if you expect the heat to be extreme or are concerned in any way is a proper heat resistant plaster. The only ones I know about are from Everbuild and Vitcas (http://shop.vitcas.com/heat-resistant-render--plaster-system-38-c.asp) but there may well be others.
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