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'Erasing' the cracks in exterior stucco

Q. My 1919 plastered house has cracks in the exterior stucco. How should these cracks be corrected? A brick mason recommended that I open the cracks more and use a filler which won't match the existing color. Dorothy Gray Springfield, Mass.

A. When in Rome, do as the Romans do; and when dealing with stucco cracks, go to a plastering contractor, not a brick mason. Brick masons are untrained about stucco just as electricians are inexperienced with plumbing.

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Call on a reputable plastering contractor for an on-site inspection. My guess is that he will recommend an application of a stucco paintlike material with sufficient body to fill the cracks while providing a uniform colored surface thereafter.

Years ago, we built a frame-stucco house which suffered through a mild earthquake before the stucco was cured. The exterior yellow stucco surface was cracked in many places.

The unperturbed plastering contractor, using a calcimine brush, applied a heavy coat of yellow stucco coloring mixed with water to a heavy paintlike consistency. The cracks were covered perfectly and did not reappear the last I knew.

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