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Lime Stucco Versus Portland Cement Stucco

 
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pharding



Joined: 25 Jun 2005
Posts: 2218
Location: River Forest, Illinois

PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 6:58 pm    Post subject: Lime Stucco Versus Portland Cement Stucco Reply with quote

It is my understanding that lime stucco is a good alternative to portland cement stucco. It is softer and authentic to the period when the Davenport House was built, 1901. The sand finish is beautiful. It has a soft mottled appearance which I like. Are there any known drawbacks to it? The example that I saw had an overall beige tone with some lighter, semi-white mottling showing through. Can the contrast of the mottling be controlled?
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Paul Harding FAIA Owner and Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, the First Prairie School House in Chicago | www.harding.com | LinkedIn
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Spring Green
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know about the contrast of the mottling (it could no doubt be controlled by an expert), but the 2 problems with lime stucco that I know of are: (a) it takes a long time to set up (up to a week), in which time, as my understanding is, you have to keep it moist and (b) not a lot of people work w/lime stucco anymore, so the fees are quite hefty.



Oh, and there are no lime kilns in the US that manufacture lime anymore that will set up on its own w/out Portlan Cement (US kilns cook the lime too much), so you need to put Portland Cement into it to get it to set up; or you have to get the lime from Europe. So I guess that definitely sounds like a third problem.



Heritage Conservation Network may be able to help you get in touch with someone.



I understand that U.S. Heritage Group has been working with the plaster on the Martin House, but I may be wrong.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have some experience working with stuccoing various houses and we have always used one bag of portland cement with one bucket of lime added in to it. The addition of lime keeps the portland from setting up too quickly and from cracking. I recommend adding a bag of coloring to the mix so that painting is unnecessary. I haven't had problems with mottling using our technique.
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