EXTERIOR PLASTERING Although exterior plaster surfacing for dwellings has been in use in Europe for many years, it has but recently met with favor in this country. In Italy, plaster, or stucco, applied in large, unbroken expanses upon a stone or brick building, has long been a favorite method of construction. Frequently, too, this plaster surface is stained or colored and worked up into different designs. In England, France, and Germany, plaster has been more frequently used in con notion with a half-timbered frame, although these countries also contain instances of its use in large, unbroken, simple surfaces.
In modern American work, it is not often that a brick wall is covered with plaster, as the aesthetic possibilities in the use of rough hard-burnt brickwork have now long been recognized; and when this—the cheapest brick-building material—is employed upon a dwelling, it is itself utilized for the exterior surface and to obtain the exterior effect of the structure.
Plaster has been used in this country in imitation timbered houses for some years; but recently its employment in large, simple surfaces, unbroken by the cross-barring strips of dark wood, has become popular —a treatment much more appropriate to this country. We also possess some examples of brick and stone houses, two hundred years old or thereabouts, that were covered and surfaced with white plaster ing; but in the most recent of American plastered dwellings, this effect has been simulated by applying the plaster to a wooden frame lathed with a fine-meshed wire cloth.
In any plastered building, the cornices should be projected sufficiently far to protect the walls and all exposed upper surfaces of the plastering. The farther this projection, the more certain the safety of the plaster, especially in the northern sections of the country.
The essentials for successfully-wearing exterior plaster applied in modern fashion, are: A well-seasoned, shrunk, and settled frame; a solid, immovable foundation; and a carefully applied and thoroughly worked job of plastering. The framework should be somewhat better constructed and more carefully arranged to prevent movement or settlement than on an all-wooden building. Other than this, the dwelling to be plastered outside does not differ, in any part, from the ordinary house, until the structure has been framed and boarded in. For plastering, the boarding is then covered with a slightly better and more waterproof grade of paper than if shingling or clapboarding were intended. Outside of this papering, the house is furred with strips of furring, seven-eighths of an inch thick by one and one-eighth to one and one-quarter inches wide (for metal lathing they are to be placed nine inches apart, for wood laths twelve inches, on centers), and the lathing is applied upon these strips.