1. The basic trowel ('catalana').
  2. Thinner trowels for deep work.
  3. Wire brush - both rough and fine.
  4. The impovised 'hod' - the bottom right corner from a plastic tray

Use the wire brush end for light work, the whole brush for heavier work.
As the tip becomes worn, use the older brushes for the deep work.

Basic Mix

1:3 Buckets (Chaux:Sand). Note use NHL5 chaux and fine builder's sand. This is a rich mix. 1:4 and even 1:5 are possible

Dry Mixing

  1. Put the sand in first, then put the chaux on top.
  2. Ensure you pull from bottom to top when dry mixing.
  3. Mix dry until no sand can be seen.

Adding Water

  1. Add slightly less than 1 bucket. A full bucket will ensure a mix that does not dry as quickly. This is important for brushing as it is much easier to do before the mix dries completely.
  2. Add water little by little again pulling from bottom to top to ensure a good mix.

Applying the mix

Use the bottom right corner from a plastic tray as a 'hod'. This gives you something to scrape from.
Use more mix than you need.
For vertical(ish) lines or deep holes use the 'flick' technique (fore or backhand) using the tip of the trowel to point the direction of the 'throw' of the mix.
Try and get an 'even' surface for the mix so that when hard it forms a plane.
Every once in a while remix the mix in the hold using a chopping motion with the side of the trowel.
If the mix gets too dry add water.
Also when using the flick technique a slightly sloppier mix works better.


Do when the mix is not yet dry, but not so moist that the mix sticks to the wire brush. If this happens, either stop or move onto another area.
Light brushing to 'reveal' the stones. If possible a 'shadow of the stone' should be visible.
For areas where the mix is too flat - use the light brush to coarsen the surface. A flat surface auses the light to reflect differently.
If chaux is left on the surface of the stone - remove it as soon as possible as it is much harder when dry.

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