General

Where Did Stucco Originate?

Restorer with plastering tools for restoring a 300 years old wall of a historic farmhouse

Stucco has long been used for home exteriors throughout North America because of its beauty, versatility and durability. In fact, stucco is one of the most frequently used building materials around the globe. But this material is hardly new. It has been popular since ancient times and has been used as part of art and construction projects for more than 9000 years. It has transformed during this time, but today’s stucco is incredibly similar to what building contractors used in early history.

When you choose stucco for your home exterior or other property features, you can certainly expect lasting beauty, durability and stylish appeal. Stucco seems to always be on-trend, never really going out of vogue. You can also use this building material to create a broad range of looks, whether you prefer Mediterranean, Pueblo, Art Deco or modern appeal. Stucco is easily painted and its look updated or completely altered through choice of color.

Below, we explore the origins of stucco as explained to us by the professionals of Golden Trowel Stucco. With their insights and stucco repair services, you can make your old building look fresh and inviting again. Or, consider stucco for your new construction project to take advantage of this exterior material’s lasting aesthetic.

Where did stucco originate?

Plasterer

You can track stucco’s origins around the world, to ancient times more than 9000 years ago. In fact, the Roman Empire stucco was used for a range of purposes. These included vault design, private homes, public buildings, tombs and bathhouses. Research of that time indicated to Roman builders that stucco was made even better through addition of reactive silica and alumina from volcanic earth. They learned that these ingredients enabled faster solidification of the popular building material.

The ancient Egyptians also loved stucco, particularly for covering walls of their tombs. The Egyptians then painted the stucco with elaborate murals still visible today. If these murals and the tomb walls, themselves, do not show the easy maintenance and durability of the building material, little will. But today’s homeowners and commercial property managers know that through routine care and occasional stucco repair, a building can look fabulous for generations.

In the 120 CE, white lime plaster stucco adorned the walls of Hadrian’s Villa, the famous baths. This formulation was light and easy to work with, particularly when it came to molding curves on ceilings and other architectural elements.

Stucco formed ornamental and figurative relief artwork for ancient Mesopotamians and Persians. Islamic art also used the material in this manner, such as throughout Iraq. Iraq’s Great Mosque of Samarra employed use of stucco, as did the rest of the city of Abbasid Samarra. The ancient Greeks employed talented siding contractors who specialized in use of stucco for construction of their interior and exterior walls dating back to 1400 BC.

Ancient China and India also considered stucco plaster a beloved material. They spread it over brick walls or rough stone to create smoother surfacing. In the Middle Ages, crafty Europeans made their plaster set better through the addition of beer, hair, malt, milk and eggs.

How Today’s Stucco Differs

Today’s stucco uses different ingredients than the material of ancient societies. We use portland cement, water and aggregates. Portland cement works as a binding agent when it reacts with water. This material holds the aggregates together. The cement is made of iron, clay, limestone and shale ground into one powder, then kiln-baked. In fact, this composition for stucco dates back to 1824 when it was invented by a British stone mason named Joseph Aspdin.

Work with an Experienced Stucco Siding Contractor

If you want stucco used in the construction of your new home or commercial building, it is important to work with a skilled stucco siding contractor. The same is true for stucco repair, a task requiring a specific knowledge base and years of experience for the best results.

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