Clay Concrete Base Molding on Clay Wall

Eco Brooklyn is a New York clay wall installer. We don’t use any brand name clay mixed but prefer to mix the clay ourselves depending on the use. We recently installed some cool clay concrete base molding onto a clay wall. The challenge was that the clay wall was not flat enough for salvaged wood base molding. There would have been gaps between the wood and the clay wall. The other challenge was even if the wall was straight how do you attach the wood to the clay wall (on top of a brick wall).

So we decided to make a base molding out of a clay and concrete mix. It was a classic green building moment where practicality, aesthetics and green thinking synthesized.

The aesthetics of the clay concrete base molding went beautifully with the clay wall. And the clay base molding matched perfectly the wood molding in the rest of the house.


So how did we do it? First we made a plaster mold from the wood base molding. We put oil on the wood so the plaster wouldn’t stick:


Then we smeared the plaster onto the base molding. Once solid we had a mold of the wood shape:


With the mold as our trowel we pressed the clay and concrete mix onto the clay wall:


Once done it looked like a rustic but very real base molding that mirrored the texture of the clay wall and also mirrored perfectly the wood molding it butted up against (see in the pic below):


The end result was a harmonious use of design for the space. It worked well with the salvaged wood floor:


About the author: Gennaro Brooks-Church

5 comments to “Clay Concrete Base Molding on Clay Wall”

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  1. Will Davidson - November 8, 2013 at 12:24 am

    Sweet! But~~ What’s your recipe fellas? Inquiring minds want to know! Thanks & blessings…

  2. josh - July 23, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Hi Joanne, I am also a potter/sculptor looking to do the same thing! If you are interested in sharing each other’s findings, please get in touch! Go to my website and contact me from there if you like. I want to produce a clay-like substance that does not require firing, and will set just like concrete. It should also be weather proof, and have some other properties which I will be happy to share with you if you are also experimenting with this. Also, thanks Gennaro for your suggestion of using a cement sealer – very useful.

  3. Gennaro Brooks-Church - April 25, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    An effective mix is lots of sand and to dry pack it. This allows water to drain through the piece if it is for a planter or pot.
    As a piece of art a cement clay mix pay work but in that case you want to keep the water out. 15% to 20% cement is fine but it really depends on what you want. You could definitely go higher with cement.

    I would mix in some waterproofing cement sealer. The danger is that the water gets into the piece, can’t drain out and expands to crack it.

  4. Joanne - April 25, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Hi, I am a potter looking to mix clay and concrete for exterior piece for the garden. I saw in another site that they mix 15% of the concrete weight??? would that be good and I guess I don’t have to fire the piece? right? Can someone help me with this. Thank you,

  5. JohnB - April 9, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    beautiful. good job guys!

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