Early July 2009

Pic of Levion sleeping in strollerLevion tired from Painting

For Levion the painting was just too exhausting. We were asked by Aktiv Bausatzhaus Südbaden if we wanted to pre-paint the wood parts of our soon to be roof before they were assembled. This is a really good idea. The drive between us and where the wood was precut was about one hour. We drove there three times doing primer, base and top coats. This saved us a lot of painting from scaffolding. After the roof was assembled we had only a little touch-up work to do.

Pic of Knauf product Universal FinishWhat to do now?

Well folks we are now ready to finish our walls so we can start painting. The question now is how and with what? We were given 2 bags of this product to try out what is called a thin plaster method. This thin plaster method is supplied by Aktiv Bausatzhaus because it is a method that the builder can use without needing extra machines or friends with knowledge of how to do the commercial method of plastering. Doing the plastering necessary for our house ourselves will save us € 10,000 .

Our delivery of material to do this thin plaster consisted of one pallet of Knauf Universal Finish and 2 pallets of Knauf Multi Finish. Someone made an ordering error. We have been told we can use the products in the same way. In trying the two products they are significantly different. The information I have received from Aktiv Bausatzhaus and the company that delivered the product is very frustrating and contradictory. Aktiv Bausatzhaus sent a worker from one of the companies that does plastering for them but he had also no knowledge of thin plaster that was useful.

As a last hope I will be contacting the producer "Knauf" directly and hope to gain some useful information as to how to apply thin plaster in our "Ytong Selbstbau Haus". When I learn something helpful I will be writing about it here or after I have done the "Learn by Doing" process I will also write about my learning here.

Pic of Knauf product Multi FinishKnauf Product Multi Finish

The above product and this one are almost as different as night and day. The two products are very different in usage and application. Universal Finish should be applied with a thickness of 2-5mm. Multi Finish is recommended with 0-2mm. Universal Finish has it's surface normally finished with a sponge like tool. Multi Finish is mostly finished with a smooth metal edged tool. I spoke with a rep from Knauf for some time and came to my own conclusion that the two products are alike in that you mix them with water and put them on your wall. After that the similarities are very little.

The Multi Finish product although a mistake, turned out to be useful and likely saved Aktiv Bausatzhaus Südbaden lots of money. Instead of being applied with a thickness of 5cm or more you can use a thin coat that is just enough to level the wall. Using this thickness I likely used less than a third of the material that I would have. I finished all of our walls that were planned for wallpaper to a smooth finish. The Multi Finish is easy to sand. A single person can work well with the Multi Finish although if you mix a complete bag at a time you will have to work fast.

The topic of inside plaster can be as complicated as the application thereof. Most profession people will want to give you a quote on doing your house and offer limited advise on other methods and products. A finish plaster surface is likely not included in Aktiv's contract so you will have to look at options.

A point I learned in considering and doing our own finish plaster is that there are times when you need many hands. Thanks Kai, Mike and Vati! Yes, the plaster must be applied to the wall in a short time and then structured.

We wonder sometimes how much the pallet of Universal Finish cost. Nobody wanted it back so it slowly disappeared in our waste.


Pic of Karl HeinzOutside Plaster March 7, 2010

Your home built with Ytong block has a great effect of regulating temperatures and moisture. Choose all your primers and paints allowing for moisture transport. This means an Interior Dispersion Paint/Primer. We used STO paints and are very happy with the results of spending a little more money.

We received help in these matters from Karl Heinz. Karl Heinz did our outside plaster. We would highly recommend the services of Karl Heinz for a great job at a good price!

As far as support/information from Aktiv Bausatzhaus Südbaden I was more than somewhat disappointed.