Before I get to the rendering of the stove opening, I’ll cover something so old-school, it’s almost prehistoric (maybe). The render is lime-based to allow the alcove to breathe like the rest of the plaster in the lounge. However, if there is any soot or other deposits on the stonework, the staining will bleed through the render, a result of it being a natural, breathable material. The solution? Cow pat.


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The lime man’s top tip is to spread a layer of cow pat onto the sooty surface before applying the lime render. It’s prehistoric stain block and we’re certainly not short of it in the fields around us.

Below is the closeup of the smeared back wall, with soot as a contrast. The uncovered soot is above the level of the cover plate of the installed stove.

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There was a little soot on the alcove’s archway, so that got slabbered too. I then used a heatgun (not so medieval) to dry it quickly so I had time to render on top of it. And there wasn’t much of a burnt-dung smell.

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