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We have developed several handouts that will assist in dealing with stucco and whitewash in cemeteries. Stucco is often found on box tombs and vaults -- and frequently this stucco was whitewashed. Improper repair has often compromised not only the beauty of these finishes, but also their functionality.

Typical box tomb that has had a hard Portland cement stucco applied as an old repair. This stucco was inflexible and failed. The first step in the treatment is to remove whatever old material that falls away easily or sounds hollow when gently tapped. The remaining stucco is undercut to provide a key for the new stucco being applied.





Stucco is not intended to fill large mortar joint gaps, so before it can be applied, the box tomb must be repointed. In the case of this tomb, some brick were so loose that they had to be removed and reset. The mortar being used is a 1:3 mix of NHL 3.5 and sand from Virginia Lime Works. The mortar must then cure prior to the application of the stucco.






The stucco used for this treatment is Jahn M60 from Cathedral Stone. This is highly breathable and contains no latex or acrylic bonding agents.







The brick must be thoroughly wetted prior to application of the stucco, which is applied like any plaster or rendering. The stucco being used was not color matched since the client desired a top coat of traditional whitewash after the stucco had completely cured.






The tomb has had the new stucco applied around the small areas where the previous Portland cement stucco was still firmly adhering. With color matching provided by Cathedral Stone no whitewashing would have been necessary and it would have been difficult to distinguish the old from new stucco.






After three coats of Virginia Lime Works whitewash (limewash), the tomb is taking on its original brilliant appearance. This brightness is one of the historical characteristics of whitewash that has been lost using modern coatings. The more coats applied, the longer the whitewash will hold up, but these three coats should provide satisfactory service for about three years.





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