Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by cc-rider, Jan 13, 2004.

  1. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

    Jul 29, 2003
    flatlands of Ohio - sigh
    Interesting. What have YOU built with it? How did you finish the outside/inside to make it waterproof?

    I'm thinking it would be neat to make a mold that would make "lego" type blocks. Just start stacking them together. :)

    I looked at the website, but it seems like you have to buy the books and videos to get any information. :no:
  2. erikland

    erikland Guest

    Have you checked out Its got info on papercrete. Good site. Nice guy.


  3. earthship

    earthship Well-Known Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    You pretty much have to buy a book(s) to get the full scoop on any building method. Mike McCain has a video on it that is pretty straightforward and informative. I think you will find all the materials on Charmaines site:
    I think she even rents books and videos - a very fine lady.

    As far as water proofing - If you are exposing the surface to a lot of water - you should probably add some stucco to help - but like most stucco and certainly adobe - you should try and have overhangs that keep gobs of water off the surface. This said I have seen papercrete hold up very well to water as long as it has a chance to dry out. It will maintain shape even when very wet. I have a porch step made of papercrete with a little stucco added. This is on the ground used as a step and exposed to the elements and it is in good shape. Kelly Hart of has a papercrete dome house in Crestone, CO. that is exposed to the elements and it seems to be holding up well - I have seen it several times. He also recently completed a very cool papercrete covered quonset hut shop/garage at the same location. Check his sight out for papercrete info. The information's out there - no hmmmm about it. ;-)
  4. terragirl

    terragirl Member

    Aug 25, 2003
    One of my neighbors lives in a papercrete house. The outside was sealed with some kind of thick sealing paint, not sure, but the inside is not sealed. They complain about the dust from it and I don't think it would be healthy to breathe in the paper and cement dust. But they like the way it looks and don't want to seal the inside. It is a nice solid well-insulated house that looks rustic. I jokingly call it the Flintstone House. I wouldn't mind living in it if the inside was sealed.
  5. lacyj

    lacyj Well-Known Member

    May 14, 2002
    Calif, The Mother Lode
  6. Shrek

    Shrek Singletree Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Apr 30, 2002
    North Alabama
    I use papercrete to build drywall, doghouses and by using worm protein as a bonding agent I have made container planters that held up for three seasons before mulching into the gardens. On non gardening applications such as dog houses, a coating of waterseal on the outside ensures a waterproof and insulative structure.
  7. gartht

    gartht Guest

    I have been using papercrete for almost 6 years now, only my favorite recipe is heavy clay and paper. I dislike paying for cement. I use a good exterior paint on the outside and paint the inside with natural home made paint.

    I live in Texas, about 125 miles from the gulf, so humidity is a problem. I drain the excess water from my paper slurry before I mix in the clay and this gives me a much drier product to work with. It dries faster and you can basically do a cob job on it rather than needing much in the way of forms.

    I do have extreme winds to deal with, so I run remesh through my walls.

    I recomend working out your own formulas depending on what you are doing. I use 4/1 by weight clay to paper for exterior walls, but 1/1 for interior. I have neighbors that don't understand the words 'burn ban' so I found papercrete when looking for a fireproof way to build.

    Bright Blessings,
  8. joan from zone six

    joan from zone six Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    i suspect anyone interested in the merits of papercrete would also appreciate the benefits of "poured earth" - similar but not identical and inexpensive
  9. TXlightningbug

    TXlightningbug Well-Known Member

    Jan 18, 2004
    Worm Protein??? That's a new one on me. What do you mean by worm protein - blended worms? Worm Poo? Worm food? I've been studying papercrete, but worm protein is one bonding agent that I had never heard of before. But then I understand people come to you with their worm questions. Why? :eek: Judi
  10. Peg

    Peg Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2002
    I made a couple of molds out of wood scraps that made 8 bricks. This was a couple of years ago and any info I got was from the papercrete website. The blocks were interesting - light but very strong. I think I just experimented with the amounts. I used an old kitchen blender, which takes FOREVER. This is not the way to go. I would like to know how others are mixing their papercrete, and shredding their paper.