American Clay is an all natural, mineral based clay that replaces paint. While I was in The Zero Point on Queen Street, I asked Maura Coulter, the green building specialist who manages the store, to explain the advantages of using clay over paint. After all, putting up this clay is no easy task so there should be some serious benefits from such an involved process. In fact, unless you’re a fairly skilled DIYer in the plaster department, this is just one of those jobs that’s better left to professionals.
The benefits of clay:
- Because clay is a natural mineral product, rooms with clay walls tend to have cleaner air than painted walls because the negative ions in the clay actually repel dirt particles.
- Clay’s negative ions help neutralize the static electricity associated with electronic gear from TVs to computers.
- Because clay is a porous material it is mould and mildew resistant.
- It has no off-gassing of any kind (zero VOC).
- It is incredibly durable and will last the life of the building where it’s used.
This product is very popular for babies’ rooms and playrooms, or any rooms where children spend most of the time.
Health benefits of clay’s negative ions: According to American Clay’s website:
Negative ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy. Normal ion count in fresh country air is 2,000 to 4,000 negative ions per cubic centimeter (about the size of a sugar cube). At Yosemite Falls, you’ll experience over 100,000 negative ions per cubic centimeter. On the other hand, the level is far below 600 negative ions per cubic centimeter in an office with computers. Earth Plasters can increase negative ions by 10 – 20 times more in the indoor air environment.
Finally, the clay comes in a variety of soft pastel colours and, from a design perspective, add a rustic look to a room. There are three available finishes: Loma, Porcelina, Marittimo and Enjarra.
The Zero Point can recommend a certified American Clay Applicator to apply the product and if you really are a DIYer, the American Clay website has a good tutorial video on how the product is used. Maura also told me that preparation before product application is key to success. There is a special primer that needs to applied first in order for the clay to adhere to the walls properly. Although American Clay can be applied to many different surfaces application over ceramic tile, tongue and groove wood paneling, oriented strand board and other surfaces prone to expansion and contraction is NOT recommended.
Cost (prices are from The Zero Point and may differ depending on retailer):
Primer: 1 gallon $80, 5 gallons $295. Coverage: 1 gallon covers 200 square feet of fresh drywall or 300 square feet of painted drywall.
50lb bag of clay (to be mixed with water according to instructions): costs $80-145 depending on finish. Coverage: 180-300 square feet depending on finish.
Colour pack: $30-$61 per pack. Colour added to final coat.
Standard application of product includes: a layer of primer, a layer of uncoloured Loma, and a top coat of any finish with a colour pack.
Jelinek Cork Group
2260 Spears Road,
Oakville ON, L6L 2X8,