Stucco or render is a material made of aggregates, a binder, and water. Stucco is applied wet and hardens to a very dense solid. It is used as a decorative coating for walls and ceilings, and as a sculptural and artistic material in architecture. Stucco may be used to cover less visually appealing construction materials, such as metal, concrete, cinder block, or clay brick and adobe.

In English, "stucco" usually refers to a coating for the outside of a building and "plaster" to a coating for interiors; as described below, the material itself is often little different. However, other European languages, notably including Italian, do not have the same distinction; stucco means plaster in Italian and serves for both.[1] This has led to English often using "stucco" for interior decorative plasterwork in relief.

Stucco from the House of Borujerdi-ha, 1850s, Kashan, Iran
Top mirror home
Stucco from the Sardar Rafie Yanehsari building (Shahryari building 1), Hezarjarib District, Behshahr County, Iran


Stucco wall
Stucco used as an exterior coating on a residential building.
Stucco rock dash - detail
Rock dash stucco used as an exterior coating on a house on Canada's west coast. The chips of quartz, stone, and colored glass measure approx. 3-6 mm (1/8" - 1/4").

The difference in nomenclature between stucco, plaster, and mortar is based more on use than composition. Until the latter part of the nineteenth century, it was common that plaster, which was used inside a building, and stucco, which was used outside, would consist of the same primary materials: lime and sand (which are also used in mortar). Animal or plant fibers were often added for additional strength. In the latter nineteenth century, Portland cement was added with increasing frequency in an attempt to improve the durability of stucco. At the same time, traditional lime plasters were being replaced by gypsum plaster.

Traditional stucco is made of lime, sand, and water. Modern stucco is made of Portland cement, sand, and water. Lime is added to increase the permeability and workability of modern stucco. Sometimes additives such as acrylics and glass fibers are added to improve the structural properties of the stucco. This is usually done with what is considered a one-coat stucco system, as opposed to the traditional three-coat method.

Lime stucco is a relatively hard material that can be broken or chipped by hand without too much difficulty. The lime itself is usually white; color comes from the aggregate or any added pigments. Lime stucco has the property of being self-healing to a limited degree because of the slight water solubility of lime (which in solution can be deposited in cracks, where it solidifies). Portland cement stucco is very hard and brittle and can easily crack if the base on which it is applied is not stable. Typically its color was gray, from the innate color of most Portland cement, but white Portland cement is also used. Today's stucco manufacturers offer a very wide range of colors that can be mixed integrally in the finish coat. Other materials such as stone and glass chips are sometimes "dashed" onto the finish coat before drying, with the finished product commonly known as "rock dash", "pebble dash", or also as roughcast if the stones are incorporated directly into the stucco, used mainly from the early 20th through the early 21st Century.

Traditional stucco

As a building material, stucco is a durable, attractive, and weather-resistant wall covering. It was traditionally used as both an interior and exterior finish applied in one or two thin layers directly over a solid masonry, brick, or stone surface. The finish coat usually contained an integral color and was typically textured for appearance.

A stucco face from the ancient Greek city of Ai Khanoum, Afghanistan, 3rd-2nd century BC.

Then with the introduction and development of heavy timber and light wood-framed construction methods, stucco was adapted for this new use by adding a reinforcement lattice, or lath, attached to and spanning between the structural supports and by increasing the thickness and number of layers of the total system. The lath added support for the wet plaster and tensile strength to the brittle, cured stucco; while the increased thickness and number of layers helped control cracking.

The traditional application of stucco and lath occurs in three coats — the scratch coat, the brown coat and the finish coat. The two base coats of plaster are either hand-applied or machine sprayed. The finish coat can be troweled smooth, hand-textured, floated to a sand finish or sprayed.

Originally the lath material was strips of wood installed horizontally on the wall, with spaces between, that would support the wet plaster until it cured. This lath and plaster technique became widely used.

In exterior wall applications, the lath is installed over a weather-resistant asphalt-impregnated felt or paper sheet that protects the framing from the moisture that can pass through the porous stucco.

Following World War II, the introduction of metal wire mesh, or netting, replaced the use of wood lath. Galvanizing the wire made it corrosion resistant and suitable for exterior wall applications. At the beginning of the 21st century, this "traditional" method of wire mesh lath and three coats of exterior plaster is still widely used. In some parts of the United States (California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Florida), stucco is the predominant exterior for both residential and commercial construction.

Sculptural and architectural use

Baroque stucco decorations of the main nave of the Jasna Góra Monastery basilica, 1693–1695[2]

Stucco has also been used as a sculptural and artistic material. Stucco relief was used in the architectural decoration schemes of many ancient cultures. Examples of Egyptian, Minoan, and Etruscan stucco reliefs remain extant. In the art of Mesopotamia and ancient Persian art there was a widespread tradition of figurative and ornamental internal stucco reliefs, which continued into Islamic art, for example in Abbasid Samarra, now using geometrical and plant-based ornament. As the arabesque reached its full maturity, carved stucco remained a very common medium for decoration and calligraphic inscriptions. Indian architecture used stucco as a material for sculpture in an architectural context. It is rare in the countryside.

In Roman art of the late Republic and early Empire, stucco was used extensively for the decoration of vaults. Though marble was the preferred sculptural medium in most regards, stucco was better for use in vaults because it was lighter and better suited to adapt to the curvature of the ceiling. Baroque and Rococo architecture makes heavy use of stucco. Examples can be found in churches and palaces, where stucco is mostly used to provide a smooth, decorative transition from walls to ceiling, decorating and giving measure to ceiling surfaces. Stucco is an integral part of the art of belcomposto, the Baroque concept that integrates the three classic arts, architecture, sculpture, and painting.

Since stucco can be used for decoration as well as for figurative representation, it provides an ideal transitive link from architectural details to wall paintings such as the typically Baroque trompe l'oeil ceilings, as in the work of the Wessobrunner School. Here, the real architecture of the church is visually extended into a heavenly architecture with a depiction of Christ, the Virgin Mary or the Last Judgment at the center. Stucco is used to form a semi-plastic extension of the real architecture that merges into the painted architecture.

Because of its "aristocratic" appearance, Baroque-looking stucco decoration was used frequently in upper-class apartments of the 19th and early 20th century.

Beginning in the 1920s, stucco, especially in its Neo-Renaissance and Neo-Baroque materialization, became increasingly unpopular with modern architects in some countries, resulting not only in new buildings without stucco but also in a widespread movement to remove the stucco from existing tenements.

Stucco was still employed in the 1950s in molded forms for decorating the joints between walls and ceilings inside houses. It was generally painted the same color as the ceiling and used in designs where a picture rail or rat rail was in use.

Modern stucco

Modern stucco is used as an exterior cement plaster wall covering. It is usually a mix of sand, Portland cement, lime and water, but may also consist of a proprietary mix of additives including fibers and synthetic acrylics that add strength and flexibility.[3] Modern synthetic stucco can be applied as one base layer and a finish layer, which is thinner and faster to apply, compared to the traditional application of three-coat stucco.

Stuc à la chaux, sgraffito, Stéphane Baron
Applying stucco

As with any cement-based material, stucco must be reinforced to resist movement cracking. Plastic or wire mesh lath, attached with nails or screws to the structural framing, is embedded into the base coat to provide stiffening for the stucco. One method often used to help conceal the smaller surface cracks that may appear is the application of one of a variety of pre-mixed acrylic finishes. Flexible acrylic finishes have the ability to stretch and bridge over cracks, improving appearance and limiting the passage of moisture behind the stucco.

Where stucco is to be applied to a structure of wood-framing or light-gauge steel framing, the framing is protected from moisture damage by applying a cement based primer, or a vapor-permeable, water-resistant weather barrier; typically an asphalt-saturated paper or one of a variety of manufactured plastic-based sheets, known as "building wraps" or "stucco wraps". The properties of the weather barrier must not only protect the framing from rain and moisture, but at the same time allow the free passage of any water vapor generated inside the building to escape through the wall.

Stuc Marmorino-Stéphane
A wall finished with a stucco overlay, called tadelakt

A wide variety of stucco accessories, such as weep screeds, control and expansion joints, corner-aids and architectural reveals are sometimes also incorporated into the lath. Wire lath is used to give the plaster something to attach to and to add strength. Types include expanded-metal lath, woven-wire lath, and welded-wire lath.

The first layer of plaster is called a "scratch coat," consisting of plastic cement and sand. A trowel is used to scratch the surface horizontally or in a crisscross pattern to provide a key for the second layer. A brush is not used because it will cause delamination. The first coat is allowed to dry (cure) before the second layer is applied.

The next layer is called the "brown coat" or leveling coat. It also consists of sand, cement, and lime. It is leveled with tools called "darbies", "rods", and "feathereges", scraped smooth, and floated to provide a smooth, even surface onto which the finish coat is applied. It is then allowed to dry (cure) for 7–10 days minimum to allow "checking" (shrinkage) and cracking to take place.

If applied during very dry weather, the layers of stucco are sprayed with water for one or more days to keep a level of moisture within the stucco while it cures, a process known as "moist curing." If the stucco dries too soon, the chemical hardening ("hydration") will be incomplete, resulting in a weaker and brittler stucco.

The final, exterior layer is the "finish coat", of which there are two recommended types:

  1. Acrylic Finish, an acrylic-based finish from 1 to 4 mm (0.039 to 0.157 in) thick. It can be applied in many ways and can be ordered in any color.
  2. Color Coat, a colored sand, cement, and lime mixed finish typically 3 mm (0.12 in) thick. It is applied over the second coat (brown coat) and can be floated with water for a sandy finish or textured over with a trowel to create various styles of finishes. Premixed, bagged stucco is gaining in use and is available in coarse graded sand and finer graded sand for creating a variety of troweled finishes; it is available in a variety of colors.

Repairing historic stucco

Causes of deterioration

SDSU dean residence rammed-earth wall, W end damage 1
Damaged stucco that has begun to delaminate from its masonry substrate.

The repair of historic stucco should begin by identifying the cause of the damage to the stucco finish. Historically, the application of stucco was quite similar to the process of applying lime plaster. Repairs should be carried out as soon as problems become visible, as the damage will only become worse over time. Cracks may form in the stucco due to building settling or direct damage to the exterior coating. Once water is able to breach the coating, whether through an opening in the stucco itself or from beneath its surface, fragile stucco can begin to buckle and crumble. Wood is a common structural material that is often used as substrate beneath stucco. It can absorb moisture from at or below ground level and draw it away from the original source of the problem. Stucco can also be applied to masonry such as brick or stone, which can also be damaged by moisture infiltration.

Rising damp from groundwater or drainage issues is especially problematic. The stucco can delaminate from damp wood lath beneath and as the wood rots, the stucco may begin to deteriorate and separate from it and the building. Damage to the stucco itself leads to further moisture infiltration that exacerbates the deterioration of the finish as well as the substrate. Downspouts, gutters, flashing and other means of managing directing water away from the building will prevent damage from getting worse.[4] Without proper guttering, water may splash up onto stuccoed surfaces, staining and accelerating the deterioration of the finish.[5] Grading of the soil around the building may also be necessary to redirect moisture away from the structure and foundation.

Preparation and repair

Depending on the extent of the damage to the finish, varying degrees of repairs may be carried out. Small hairline cracks may be sealed with an additional layer of finish coat or even simply a coat of paint. Modern caulking materials are not ideal mediums of repair. Making the choice to patch or completely repair a stuccoed surface depends on the texture of the finish coat. Repairs, especially numerous ones, made to a smoothly finished surface will be more noticeable and recovering the entire surface with a new layer of finish coat may be more appropriate. Conversely, it may be easier to conceal patches of repair work to a textured surface and complete refinishing may not be necessary.[4]

Preparation should begin with the removal of all damaged material in the area to be repaired. Any stucco that is loose should be removed as it has already failed.[6] The removal of compromised materials may extend to wood lath or other substrates that may have also have been damaged, although it may be preferable to install new mesh over damaged lath. Care must be taken regarding this approach, as it may be especially critical when authenticity is of a concern regarding a historic building. In such cases, replacement of damaged lath is generally considered to be more appropriate than installing new mesh. All surfaces should be cleaned to remove paint, oil, or plant growth. Stone or brick mortar joints may be scored to a depth of 5/8" to allow for the proper adhesion of the new stucco. New stucco patches should not overlap old stucco.

To obtain a neat repair, the area to be patched should be squared-off with a butt joint, using a cold chisel, a hatchet, a diamond blade saw, or a masonry bit. Sometimes it may be preferable to leave the area to be patched in an irregular shape which may result in a less conspicuous patch. Proper preparation of the area to be patched requires very sharp tools, and extreme caution on the part of the plasterer not to break keys of surrounding good stucco by "over-sounding" when removing deteriorated stucco.[4]

Architect and engineer (1922) (14594575098)
Diagram showing the use of wire mesh as a substrate for an exterior application of Portland cement.

The application of new stucco should not include wire mesh when lime stucco is being repaired on a masonry surface. The new stucco repair should bond to the masonry substrate appropriately without mesh. The introduction of wire mesh has the potential to hasten deterioration of both the masonry and the stucco finish as the slightest amount of moisture will lead to rust developing on the wire mesh, which expands as it rusts. This may lead to the spalling of not only the new stucco, but also of the masonry itself.[4]

After thoroughly dampening the masonry or wood lath, the first, scratch coat should be applied to the masonry substrate, or wood or metal lath, in a thickness that corresponds to the original if extant, or generally about 1/4" to 3/8". The scratch coat should be scratched or crosshatched with a comb to provide a key to hold the second coat. It usually takes 24-72 hours, and longer in cold weather, for each coat to dry before the next coat can be applied. The second coat should be about the same thickness as the first, and the total thickness of the first two coats should generally not exceed about 5/8". This second or leveling coat should be roughened using a wood float with a nail protruding to provide a key for the final or finish coat. The finish coat, about 1/4" thick, is applied after the previous coat has initially set. If this is not feasible, the base coat should be thoroughly dampened when the finish coat is applied later. The finish coat should be worked to match the texture of the original stucco.[4]

Additional considerations

Preparing for the repair process requires testing to determine the composition of the stucco that is to be repaired. Due to numerous factors, including regionally available materials and original workmanship, there is a variety of materials that may have been used for the original application of stucco. It must also be determined if the type of stucco used is lime-based or Portland cement-based. Of particular concern is the use of Portland cement, which is harder than previous methods used in stucco application. This material is not compatible with softer and more flexible lime cement that was used in the 18th and into the mid-19th centuries. Test sampling is critical to determine the best mixture, in terms of durability, compatibility, texture and color to use in the repair process. Test patches should be used to help make this determination. The same number of layers should be used in the repair as were used in the original stucco application.[4]

A professional plasterer or contractor familiar with the process of making repairs to historic stucco should carry out necessary repairs. Typically, a homeowner should not attempt to repair stucco finishes on their own.

Further research that should be conducted prior to the commencement of repair includes determining the types of ingredients used in the original stucco so that the color and texture of the original material can be matched as closely as possible. In some cases, shells or pebbles were used in the stucco covering. Regionally sourced sand, for example, may have been used in the original application, but may no longer be readily available. In this way, stucco tended to be tinted directly, although sometimes it was painted after being applied.[7] Additionally, the use of ingredients such as animal hair was popular in some regions. Care should be taken that repairs made include similar ingredients that are clean and free of oils.[8] This is another reason for the use of test patches, to ensure that the repairs blend into the original building fabric as much as possible.

See also


  1. ^ Henry, Alison; Stewart, John, eds. (2011). Practical building conservation. Mortars, plasters and renders. Farnham/Burlington: Ashgate Publishing. p. 87.
  2. ^ "The saint city Częstochowa - the merina for Faithfulls". Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. Retrieved March 12, 2009.
  3. ^ "Stucco Mixture". Sto Supply. Retrieved November 15, 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Preservation Brief 22: The Preservation and Repair of Historic Stucco". Retrieved 2017-12-03.
  5. ^ "Common Stucco Issues | Murtagh Construction PA". 2016-01-27. Retrieved 2017-12-03.
  6. ^ "How to Repair Stucco". 2007-06-05. Retrieved 2017-12-03.
  7. ^ "Repairing Stucco". Old House Restoration, Products & Decorating. Retrieved 2017-12-03.
  8. ^ "Exterior Stucco". Retrieved 2017-12-03.

Further reading

  • Grimmer, Anne Grimmer. The Preservation and Repair of Historic Stucco. Technical Preservation Services, Heritage Preservation Services Division, National Park Service.
  • Ling, Roger (Editor) (1999). Stuccowork and Painting In Roman Italy. Aldershot: Ashgate.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  • Wadsworth, Emily (1924). "Stucco Reliefs of the First and Second Centuries still Extant in Rome". Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome (4): 9–102.
Abbasid architecture

Abbasid architecture developed in the Abbasid Caliphate between 750 and 945, primarily in its heartland of Mesopotamia.

The Abbasids inherited Persian architectural traditions in Mesopotamia, and were later influenced by Central Asian styles.

They evolved distinctive styles of their own, particularly in decoration of their buildings.

While the Abbasids lost control of large parts of their empire after 870, their architecture continued to be copied by successor states in Iran, Egypt and North Africa.

Ancient Maya art

Ancient Maya art refers to the material arts of the Maya civilization, an eastern and south-eastern Mesoamerican culture that took shape in the course of the later Preclassic Period (500 BCE to 200 CE). Its greatest artistic flowering occurred during the seven centuries of the Classic Period (c. 200 to 900 CE). Ancient Maya art then went through an extended Post-Classic phase before the upheavals of the sixteenth century destroyed courtly culture and put an end to the Mayan artistic tradition. Many regional styles existed, not always coinciding with the changing boundaries of Maya polities. Olmecs, Teotihuacan and Toltecs have all influenced Maya art. Traditional art forms have mainly survived in weaving and the design of peasant houses.


Churrigueresque () refers to a Spanish Baroque style of elaborate sculptural architectural ornament which emerged as a manner of stucco decoration in Spain in the late 17th century and was used up to about 1750, marked by extreme, expressive and florid decorative detailing, normally found above the entrance on the main facade of a building.

Comalcalco (archaeological site)

Comalcalco is an ancient Mayan archaeological site in the State of Tabasco, Mexico, adjacent to the modern city of Comalcalco and near the southern coast of the Gulf of Mexico. It is the only major Maya city built with bricks rather than limestone masonry and was the westernmost city of the Mayan civilisation. Covering an area of 7 km2 (2.7 sq mi), Comalcalco was founded in the Late Classic period and may have been a satellite or colony of Palenque based on architectural similarities between the two. The city was a center of the Chontal Maya people.

Conservation and restoration of lighthouses

The conservation and restoration of lighthouses is the process by which lighthouse structures are preserved through detailed examination, cleaning, and in-kind replacement of materials. Given the wide variety of materials used to construct lighthouses, a variety of techniques and considerations are required.

Lighthouses alert sea goers of rocky shores nearby as well as to provide landmark navigation. Lighthouses also act as a physical representation to maritime history and advancement. These historic buildings are prone to deterioration due to their location on rocky outcrops of land near the water, as well as severe weather events, and the continued rise of sea levels. Given these conditions preservation and conservation efforts have increased.

Embassy of Ethiopia, London

The Embassy of Ethiopia in London is the diplomatic mission of Ethiopia in the United Kingdom. It is located in a terrace overlooking Hyde Park in Kensington Road, South Kensington, next to the Embassy of Iran. The building forms one of a group of Grade II listed stucco buildings, along with the Iranian Embassy and the Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum.


A lath or slat is a thin, narrow strip of straight-grained wood used under roof shingles or tiles, on lath and plaster walls and ceilings to hold plaster, and in lattice and trellis work.Lath has expanded to mean any type of backing material for plaster. This includes metal wire mesh or expanded metal that is applied to a wood or metal framework as matrix over which stucco or plaster is applied, as well as wallboard products called gypsum or rock lath. Historically, reed mat was also used as a lath material.

One of the key elements of lath, whether wooden slats or wire mesh, are the openings or gaps that allow plaster or stucco to ooze behind and form a mechanical bond to the lath. This is not necessary for gypsum lath, which relies on a chemical bond.

Louisville, Belize

Louisville is a village in the Corozal District of the nation of Belize, located at 18°19′N 88°30′W. According to the 2000 census, it had a population of 655 people mainly from Maya Mestizo ancestry.

Some substantial artificial mounds at Louisville are the remains of an ancient city of the Maya civilization. The site seems to have been occupied from about 400 BC to about 950 AD. Excavations, made here by Dr. Thomas Gann in the mid-1930s, uncovered polychrome stucco portrait heads.

Much of the ancient remains were demolished to reuse stone and make fill for roads. Further investigations and excavations of Louisville were made in 2000.

Mary W. Adams House

The 1905 Mary W. Adams House, is a Frank Lloyd Wright designed Prairie School home that was constructed in Highland Park, Illinois. The Adams House is a stucco-surfaced wood-frame house, built for Wright's oldest client.

Mechanicsville School (Philadelphia)

Mechanicsville School is a former school building located in the Village of Mechanicsville neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was built in 1866–1867, and is a one-story, three-bay, vernacular stone building coated in stucco. It has a gable roof with wood cornice and brick chimney.The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. It is now used as a private residence.

Medallion (architecture)

A medallion (French: médaillon) or medaillon is a round or oval frame (often made of stucco) which contains a plastic or pictorial decoration of a façade, an interior, a piece of furniture or equipment.

In the United Kingdom in the 19th century, this was a popular form of decoration on Neoclassical architecture. The frame and portrait were carved as one, in marble for interiors, and in stone for exterior walls.

It is also the name of a scene inset into a larger stained glass window.


Plaster is a building material used for the protective or decorative coating of walls and ceilings and for moulding and casting decorative elements.

In English "plaster" usually means a material used for the interiors of buildings, while "render" commonly refers to external applications. Another imprecise term used for the material is stucco, which is also often used for plasterwork that is worked in some way to produce relief decoration, rather than flat surfaces.

The most common types of plaster mainly contain either gypsum, lime, or cement, but all work in a similar way. The plaster is manufactured as a dry powder and is mixed with water to form a stiff but workable paste immediately before it is applied to the surface. The reaction with water liberates heat through crystallization and the hydrated plaster then hardens.

Plaster can be relatively easily worked with metal tools or even sandpaper, and can be moulded, either on site or to make pre-formed sections in advance, which are put in place with adhesive. Plaster is not a strong material; it is suitable for finishing, rather than load-bearing, and when thickly applied for decoration may require a hidden supporting framework, usually in metal.

Forms of plaster have several other uses. In medicine plaster orthopedic casts are still often used for supporting set broken bones. In dentistry plaster is used to make dental impressions. Various types of models and moulds are made with plaster. In art, lime plaster is the traditional matrix for fresco painting; the pigments are applied to a thin wet top layer of plaster and fuse with it so that the painting is actually in coloured plaster. In the ancient world, as well as the sort of ornamental designs in plaster relief that are still used, plaster was also widely used to create large figurative reliefs for walls, though few of these have survived.


Quoins ( or ) are masonry blocks at the corner of a wall. They exist in some cases to provide actual strength for a wall made with inferior stone or rubble and in other cases to make a feature of a corner, giving an impression of permanence and strength, and reinforcing the onlooker's sense of a structure's presence.Stone quoins are used on stone or brick buildings. Brick quoins may appear on brick buildings, extruding from the facing brickwork in such a way as to give the appearance of uniformly cut blocks of stone larger than the bricks. Where quoins are used for decoration and not for load-bearing, they may be made from a wider variety of materials beyond brick, stone or concrete, extending to timber, cement render or other stucco.


Roughcast or pebbledash is a coarse plaster surface used on outside walls that consists of lime and sometimes cement mixed with sand, small gravel, and often pebbles or shells. The materials are mixed into a slurry and are then thrown at the working surface with a trowel or scoop. The idea is to maintain an even spread, free from lumps, ridges or runs and without missing any background.

Roughcasting incorporates the stones in the mix, whereas pebbledashing adds them on top.

According to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910–1911), roughcast used to be a widespread exterior coating given to the walls of common dwellings and outbuildings, but it is now frequently employed for decorative effect on country houses, especially those built using timber framing (half timber). Variety can be obtained on the surface of the wall by small pebbles of different colours, and in the Tudor period fragments of glass were sometimes embedded.Though it is an occasional home-design fad, its general unpopularity in the UK today is estimated to reduce the value of a property by up to 5%. However roughcasting remains very popular in Scotland, with a high percentage of new houses still being built with roughcasting.This exterior wall finish was made popular in England and Wales during the 1920s, when housing was in greater demand, and house builders were forced to cut costs wherever they could, and used pebbledash to cover poor quality brick work, which also added rudimentary weather protection.

Pebbles were dredged from the seabed to provide the building materials needed, although most modern pebbledash is actually not pebbles at all, but small and sharp flint chips, and should correctly be called Spar dash or spa dash.

There are several varieties of this spar dash such as Canterbury spar, sharp-dash, sharpstone dash, thrown dash, pebble stucco, Derbyshire Spar, Yellow spar, golden gravel, black and white, and also sunflower.

According to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, the central tower of St Albans Cathedral, built with Roman tiles from Verulamium, was covered with roughcast believed to be as old as the building. The roughcast was removed around 1870.


Screed has three meanings in building construction:

a flat board (screed board, floating screed) or a purpose-made aluminium tool used to smooth and true materials like concrete, stucco and plaster after it has been placed on a surface or to assist in flattening;

a strip of plaster or wood applied to a surface to act as a guide for a screed tool (screed rail, screed strip, screed batten);

the material itself which has been flattened with a screed (screed coat). In the UK, screed has also come to describe a thin, top layer of material (sand and cement, magnesite or calcium sulphate), poured in site on top of the structural concrete or insulation, on top of which other finishing materials can be applied, or it can be left bare to achieve a raw effect.

Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar

Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar, a project consisting of Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar, Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar Some More and Return of the Son of Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar, is a series of albums by Frank Zappa. Released as separate albums in May 1981 on Barking Pumpkin Records, it was subsequently reissued as a triple album box set in 1982.

As the title implies, the album consists solely of instrumentals and improvised solos, largely performed on electric guitar. The album series was conceived after Zappa shelved a proposed live album, Warts and All, and two tracks intended for that album appear on this series.

The individual Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar albums and box set have been well received by critics, and Zappa subsequently produced two more albums focusing solely on guitar-oriented music: Guitar (1988) and Trance-Fusion (posthumously released in 2006).

Sod house

The sod house or "soddy" was an often used alternative to the log cabin during frontier settlement of the Great Plains of Canada and the United States. Primarily used at first for animal shelters, corrals and fences, if the prairie lacked standard building materials such as wood or stone, or the poverty of the settlers precluded purchasing standard building materials, sod from thickly-rooted prairie grass was abundant, free, and could be used for house construction. Prairie grass has a much thicker, tougher root structure than a modern lawn.

A type in Alaska is a barabara.

Construction of a sod house involved cutting patches of sod in rectangles, often 2'×1'×6" (60×30×15 cm), and piling them into walls. Builders employed a variety of roofing methods. Sod houses accommodated normal doors and windows. The resulting structure featured less expensive materials, and was quicker to build than a wood frame house. However, sod houses required frequent maintenance and were often vulnerable to rain damage, especially if the roof was also primarily of sod. Stucco was sometimes used to protect the outer walls. Canvas or stucco often lined the interior walls.

While the influence of the sod house cannot be overlooked, stone or timber was preferred when available. In addition, where railroads existed, framed houses and buildings were used extensively during the settlement period.

Stucco keratosis

A stucco keratosis is a common benign skin condition characterized by a lesion with a dull or lackluster surface, and with church-spire-like projections of epidermal cells around collagen seen histologically. Stucco keratoses are often light brown to off-white, and are no larger than a few millimeters in diameter. They are often found on the distal tibia, ankle, and foot.

Traditional Persian residential architecture

Traditional Persian residential architecture, is the architecture employed by builders and craftsmen in the cultural Greater Iran and the surrounding regions to construct vernacular houses. The art draws from various cultures and elements from both Islamic and pre-Islamic times.

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