$50-100 / Paint / Wall Art

A Great Alternative to Paint: American Clay Plaster

I have known about American Clay plaster wall applications for quite some time, but I have dragged my feet on sharing it with you. I am all about low- and zero-VOC options when I want to change the color of my walls, but that usually involves some sort of latex paint. But clay plaster is a great alternative that also happens to be an environmentally sound choice.

It is zero-VOC, non-toxic and made in the USA, these plasters can give your walls depth and texture. They are traditionally seen as more of an alternative to cement, acrylic and lime plasters because of the application and the texture. It is designed to cover most wall surfaces, but they don’t recommend using it on materials that are prone to expansion and contraction with changes in temperature and moisture (like tongue and grooved paneling) or as a finish over ceramic tile.

What I have noticed is that the clay application tends to lend an Earthy, more rustic feel to space, and the American Clay color palette reflects that. But as you can see from the photo above, you can also pair it with modern decor for a look that has nice depth. They offer several finishes and 43 standard colors, but they can match almost unlimited colors.

The other great thing about this company is that their website provides an extensive set of online tutorials, explanations and resources so that even the first time user be able to get insight in the process, or even take a workshop from a local dealer or applicator. You can also find a professional applicator if you’re uncomfortable taking a DIY approach.

And if you’re still hesitant about buying after reading all their information, or if you want to try out a color or finish before you buy, small samples of their plaster are available from their shop. You can also reach out to them via Twitter and Facebook.

Why It’s Green:

  • Clay plaster is a non-toxic, zero-VOC finish
  • American Clay is dedicated to recycling and reusing content, maintains low-energy production standards to reduce energy consumption, and sources locally to keep fuel shipment costs low.
  • Application contributes to LEED credits.

Price: Start at $55 for an 80-lb. bag of plaster. Many accessories, pigments and more also available for purchase.

About Author

I am a graphic designer by trade who has a strong passion for interior design and doing what we can to protect the environment. This blog and my other site, Green & Gorgeous, are my ways of giving back to the Earth.


  • Arlene Grasman
    September 30, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Fabulous tips…such unique colors and they give plenty of room to play with.

  • RUTH
    June 17, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    What is an LEED credit?

  • RUTH
    June 17, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    I am putting american clay on my ceilings and walls. I also
    want to cover a brick fireplace. I have heard that is resists
    dust clinging to it and that spiders cannot crawl on your walls
    anyone know if that is true?


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