The Ten Books on Architecture, 7.2.1

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 7.1.7 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 7.2.2 ›››

Gwilt translation

2Having given the necessary directions in respect of pavement, we shall explain the method of stuccoing. This requires that the lime should be of the best quality, and tempered a long time before it is wanted for use; so that if any of it be not burnt enough, the length of time employed in slaking it may bring the whole mass to the same consistence. If the lime be not thoroughly slaked, but used fresh, it will when spread throw out blisters, from the crude particles it contains, which, in execution, break and destroy the smoothness of the stucco.

Morgan translation

2Leaving the subject of floors, we must next treat of stucco work. This will be all right if the best lime, taken in lumps, is slaked a good while before it is to be used, so that if any lump has not been burned long enough in the kiln, it will be forced to throw off its heat during the long course of slaking in the water, and will thus be thoroughly burned to the same consistency. When it is taken not thoroughly slaked but fresh, it has little crude bits concealed in it, and so, when applied, it blisters. When such bits complete their slaking after they are on the building, they break up and spoil the smooth polish of the stucco.