Lime Putty (hydraulic), what brand to buy and where, plus tools are needed?

i just purchased a 740 euro woods dehumidier, its been running a few days now and frankly i am not so impressed. No Miracles have happened. I have set it over the kitchen kit and it just drips away. Despite the horrendous cost of the thing it DID NOT come with an attachable hose which is a real pain. Despite bugger all experience in this domain, i do not recommend Woods, expensive, nice large tank of 10 litrers, which is incidentally why i bought it.

Of course now that i realise the actual source of my prob, the humidier is of course not the ultimate solution, but there you go, learning is all uphill i guess.

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I was thinking of buying directly from England, i trust those guys more, and obviously we share the same language and stuff. Been here forever, but building language just makes me tune out completely. When Plumbers speak to me i find the same phenomenon, its so boring i tune out, also i have a distinct feeling (during prevous experiences) that plumbers as a group take advantage of ignorance to blow any kind of smoke up one’s ass. Anyway maybe i am paranoid but thats the way i feel it.!!

Do be careful handling lime. Do not add water to it, add it to the water.
I know what you mean about suppliers here. I am used to buying pre-slaked lime as a putty, much safer to work with but hard to find here.
Cement was (still is ) popular because it sets quickly, compared to lime. Jobs can be finished and billed earlier. Sadly, we now see the results of slapping cement based render over stone in the '70s and '80s. It seems that a lot more cement was used too, possibly 2:1 with sand.
We are embarking on having the cement render removed then repointing in a lime mortar to a “pierre aparrent” finish. That follows the shape of major stones but smaller ones are rendered over.
If you do decide to source lime putty in England there is a great source in Sussex, relatively close to Newhaven. They are online and have a lot of useful information available. They also run courses if you want get a better background…

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There’s no point (no pun intended) buying chaux from the UK, the St Astier NHL stuff from most builders merchants is good quality, you just need to keep your ratios exact - eg use 1 full level bucket of lime to 2 full level buckets of sand. Whereabouts in 03 are you? I’m in South 23 so not that far away and will soon (june) be helping a pal of mine point his house, you would be welcome to come and see how its done.

Pointing with the sort of mix that Mark suggests is a very straightforward business and I can see no point in importing a product from the U.K. My neighbour has a large house and she repointed it all herself one year completing about one square metre a day for three months. A few times she has come to find me to confirm that when she says she did it she does not mean that she paid someone to do it. :slight_smile: Some of her friend’s do not believe her!


Nothing complicated about pointing, just time consuming, but very satisfying. I power washed our place, don’t be over enthusiastic with that, clean the stone but don’t wash out to much earth from the joints between the stones.
I would second Martins important ‘safety remark’ be careful what you do, re water, getting it ‘the wrong way round’ is very dodgey! I had a nice colour result, using ‘Sable de Loire’ and Chaux Hydraulic, from a local supplier. And no Cement! :slightly_smiling_face:

Is that reply to me or to Helen? I know exactly how straightforward pointing is, my home is pierre apparente inside and out and guess who did all that.
The only thing that I do differently to what Mark wrote is I brush mine off earlier using a soft brush.

(the view from where I’m sitting)


This is the front of ours when I had just about finished last year


I remember seeing that before. Really nice.

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looks really lovely… well done !

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That’s absolutely amazing, its perfect. Can i ask you the products that you used. Fabulous job!!!

lovely job there.

My main home is in lyon city, appartment. You’d pay a fortune around here for someone to come and do that lovely job. you should set up shop!!

Hi there all,

Thanks for all that fantastic information.

So i started off with hammer and chisel and some of the cement just dropped right off. However, this house has been “restored” twice and the second “cement restoration” was around 2006 some of the cement is not coming off at all!! Its all been done higgeldy piggeldly style on the one particular wall that i have set my heart on doing. Its the dodgiest wall, by which i mean the cement is falling off in places so i figure that this will be the easiest one to fix. So i found my ex’s drill thing and i am just going to drill it off gently, and if that’s not possible well then i will get if off one way or another.

Behind the pieces that fell off, there was, lo and behold, the infamous dampness. So i will do my best to knock it off, clear out the cement grouting and let it dry.

There are some good youtube videos showing guys mixing lime mortar. Looks all kind of fun. Think i will go for the re-pointing, as rendering just is not my preference.

The other 3 walls of my house are a nightmare that i will not be touching at all, they all have recent thick looking layers of cement and it really looks like too much to deal with, in spite of the humidity issues.

Looking forward to my one wall project!!!

Thanks for all the info, its been extremely informative.

I shall no doubt be back with more questions at a later date!!

Cheers folks. Good night and good luck.

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Thanks a million James!!

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is it sable de loire??
what type of of chaux, presumably the NH 3.5, which brand?
Did you use a colorant?

This is the result that am dreaming off but unlikely to achieve, but still, this look is my aim. Its amazing!!!

I normally use the St Astier chaux naturel and sometimes do use a colour. In the picture I used No 29, it’s a coloured lime, rather than a colour to add to the mix. I used 1 large trowelfull as part of the lime ratio.

It does depend on the sand, I get mine direct from the quarry - sable riviere,/fluviale . Sometimes it can be very yellow so a colour isn’t needed, but ours tends to be paler so a bit of colour makes it “less white”…

Good luck getting the old cement out, an SDS drill fitted with a chisel is good, but heavy to use after a while.

We always mix 3:1 (sand/chaux), only point from March to May and then Sept and October.

To get uniformity of colour make sure you buy enough sand for the whole job and measure the mixes accurately using buckets.


Thanks for this tip. Much appréciated. Is there a reason not to point during thé summer months?

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Simply heat. You don’t want the mixture to dry too fast. Even at Easter it can be too warm in direct sunlight.

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