Now I’ve been known to attend a panto or two, but I’ve never actually seen a straw house, whether it’s lived in by the Three Little Pigs or not! However, a terrace of holiday cottages featuring load bearing straw alls has recently been completed at Elmfield Farm, near Canterbury in Kent.
The walls are made from some 750 bales of locally sourced straw and fully support the roof. Externally the walls have been rendered with lime while the internal finish is clay render, all hand made from clay excavated on the site.
The internal finish is unusual, to say the least. Owner Harriet Wishart commented that “straw walls have a very distinctive finish. We love the natural effect of their lumps, bumps and curves and we wanted an internal paint that would really enhance the aesthetics of each room”.
Straw and clay render need a breathable paint to naturally regulate the humidity of the internal environment. After much consultation the owner’s plumped for Earthborn’s Ecopro emulsion. It has an anti-static, durable matt finish and is highly breathable. The clay render had a strong orange finish but just a primer and two coats of the chosen cream shade were needed to achieve a highly satisfactory finish.
So if the Three Little Pigs do come calling I’ll know what paint to use in their straw house!
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