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  • Lime Plaster Brown Coat Workshop, June 7-9, La Pine, Oregon

Lime Plaster Brown Coat Workshop, June 7-9, La Pine, Oregon

  • 07 Jun 2024
  • 5:00 PM
  • 09 Jun 2024
  • 5:00 PM
  • La Pine, Oregon



Join us for a Lime Plaster Brown Coat Workshop, June 7-9, in La Pine, Oregon (30 min south of Bend).

While living in a travel trailer parked on their rural, wooded property in La Pine, Oregon, owner-builders Matt Tipton and Trish Ivie have dreamed of, planned, and finally built their straw bale home.  They purchased on-line building plans for a two-story, 1,600 sq. ft. structure that uses straw bales-on-edge between ladder trusses, and straw bale shear walls.  This passive solar structure has straw bales in the east, west, and north walls; the window-covered south-facing wall uses conventional wall insulation.  A local contractor helped with the foundation, framing, roofing, and plumbing.  When not working their full-time jobs Matt and Trish have done the electrical work, and with the help of family and friends they stacked the bales, prepared the walls for plaster, applied the exterior lime scratch coat, and have completed their interior clay plasters.

During this weekend-long workshop we’ll apply an exterior lime plaster brown coat. The workshop will be led by Jim Reiland, a contractor from Oregon specializing in strawbale houses, and Darles Eaton, a natural builder from the East Bay.  

Participants are welcome to arrive as early as Thursday, June 6th or Friday, June 7th to set up camp, explore the area, or help prepare.  The workshop officially begins 5 pm Friday with socializing, dinner, and evening slide presentations on straw bale construction and plaster applications. 

Saturday morning after breakfast we’ll review the project, discuss safety with scaffolding and when working with lime plasters, then begin mixing and applying the exterior brown coat.  Participants will learn how to mix lime plasters, and use hawks and trowels to apply the lime plaster with screeds to guide plaster depth. They’ll also learn the technique of floating fiberglass mesh into the fresh plaster to strengthen it, which also flattens the surface to make finish plaster application easier.  We’ll complete one wall, break for lunch, and complete another wall before clean-up and dinner, followed by more socializing and slide presentations.

Sunday will be a repeat of Saturday, completing as much of the project as possible before late afternoon clean-up. There will be many opportunities to learn about straw bale construction, plastering, and to build plastering skills.  Although the workshop ends late on Sunday afternoon the hosts will have dinner available for anyone staying over until Monday morning to begin their return travels.

La Pine is located at 4000’ on the eastern slope of the Cascade Mountain Range in central Oregon, forty minutes south of Bend.  Usually sunny and dry in June, it can also rain or snow, so be prepared.  Daytime highs are typically between 65 and 75 degrees, while nighttime temps will drop into the low 40s.  Their home is about five miles from La Pine State Park and the beautiful Deschutes River.

Camping is available on-site; hotels and air-bnb facilities are nearby in La Pine.  There will be a porta-potty as well as an outdoor hot water camping shower.  Plan to wear closed toe shoes, long sleeves and pants, and a hat to catch plaster drops falling from above. Bring safety glasses if you have them. Comfortable, water-proof gloves are a must when working with lime plasters.

Please register at

Registration fee is $200. Limited scholarships available.

For additional workshop info contact Allison Arnold at or 301-357-0582. 

CASBA is fiscally sponsored by the Tides Center, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization.

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