American Clay on a Thermal Mass Concrete Home

Is the title enough to get you interested?  :-)

I did this entire house in American Clay a few weeks before we moved into our new home.  It was crazy busy and insane for a month.  BUT, I finished their home, moved into my home and all is well the ends well.

This was a beautiful home of a retired couple nestled away on 20 acres up in the country.  They built their home out of concrete and only used building materials that were natural, non-toxic and green.  Their goal was to create a thermal mass home, made without any toxic or questionable materials.  The decision to use American Clay fit right into that plan. 

Of course, applying American Clay over concrete walls was a challenge!!  To be honest, it had only been done a handful of times though out the history of the American Clay company.  I made many phone calls to the inventor of the product and at the END we had success.  (Note: we did have some trial and error!)

Just starting out - Base Coat Loma in Austin Blush over concrete.  Can you just imagine the difference the WARM clay made in this home!

1 american clay over concrete Austin blush



Matthews Clay Job Before 023


Porcelina/Loma Mix in Tuscan Gold
1 american clay over concrete Tuscan Gold


Matthews Clay Job Before 025


Loma in Austin Blush
1 american clay over concrete austin blush loma dining

You get the picture of the BEFORE shots!!! So, I’ll just continue the post with the Afters. :-)

I LOVED this bathroom and the claw foot tub.  Can you just see all the yummy texture!  It’s like butter :-)

Half Loma and Half Porcelina (Lomalina) Clay in Austin Blush.

1 american clay lomalina austin blush bathroom

1 american clay lomalina austin blush over concrete

Up close of the Kitchen Texture in Lomalina Tuscan Gold - yes, the clay really does "glow"!

american clay over concrete upclose tuscan gold

Up close of Hallway texture in Loma Austin Blush:

american clay over concrete upclose austin blush

What do you guys think?  Would you do your home in American Clay?

If you would like to see MY home done in a different version of the clay just click HOME TOUR.


  1. Absolutely gorgeous, Selina!

  2. Christina @ Floridays Mom12/19/12, 7:32 AM

    I love it! I don't know if I would put it in my every day house just because I like to change it too much, but maybe in that second beach home I'm still trying to get my hands on. Beautiful either way!

    1. Hi Christina! OK so the fun thing about the clay is that if you want to change the color, you can just do one more thin layer of clay right over the top! It's pretty simple because you have already done the hard prep work and now it's just a matter of taping off (like you would painting) and troweling on one more color. It's not as cheap as paint BUT if you wanted to do it yourself, it's not that bad. Plus the feel you get walking into a room with clay is so different from paint - you would love it! They have the BEST blues ever that would be awesome in a beach home! Hope you get to buy it:-)

  3. What an amazing job you did. I would LOVE to see more of the before pictures because that is just startling! The feel of the cold dark before room and the feel of the warm warm warm clay room.

  4. Remarkable issues here. I’m very satisfied to peer your article. Thank you so much and I amhaving a look forward to touch you. Will you please drop me a mail?

  5. I'm about to start a project putting American Clay up over concrete cinder blocks. Any words of wisdom from your trials and errors? I've already put up American Clay in most of the house, but that was mostly on top of plaster board. This will be a new surface for me.

    1. Hi Dan,

      The good thing about concrete cinders is they already have so much "tooth". Obviously, poured form concrete has such a smooth (if not even oily) surface that we really had to find a smart way to roughen up the surface. At first, we had asked the home owners to acid wash or at least power wash the surface of the concrete before we came in but due to some miscommunication, they were too far into their building process to want to bring that much water into construction. Since they were not power washing the concrete, we did make sure all the dust/oil was washed off the walls before we started (we used a mixture of water with vinegar, a natural acid.) In general you could just put a USG Plaster Bonder over the top of your concrete or cinder block because it forms a film that moistens when plaster is applied, providing an integral, strong, and durable bond. My clients did not want to lose any of the breathability of the clay (a main factor with a thermal mass home) so that was not an option for them. We ended up using Plaster Plus from American Clay as the binder. On all the exterior walls that worked great, but for some reason most the interior walls did not work using the Plaster Plus and immediately after we applied the second coat, the ENTIRE wall started to bubble and fall off. We had to scrape off hours and hours of hard work. As a last resort, on top of having Plaster Plus in the clay mix, we covered the entire non binding concrete walls with Sanded Primer (from American Clay) Looking back, I think we could have just doubled up the binders from the very beginning. Better EXTRA safe than sorry. We knew (as did our client) that we were doing some experimental procedures. If my client didn't care as much about the breathability of the concrete, we would have ended up going a different route probably. They were very happy with the end result. It's been a year to date that I applied it and everything has been perfect. (no phone calls) Hope that helps. Feel free to use my email under my "About Me" contact information if you have any other questions.


Thank you for your comments! I read them ALL and appreciate them. If you are asking a question be sure and leave your email, it will help me be able to contact you if you need a response. :-)

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