What Is Bottle Dash Stucco & Can You Paint It?
The Bottle Dash Stucco Mystery
Bottle dash stucco, also known as sparkle stucco or bottle stucco, is a rare form of stucco that can typically only be found in the Pacific-Northwest region, especially the Greater Vancouver region. Due to this rarity, it can be hard to find people knowledgeable on how to mend and work with the material. We get quite a few questions ranging from prospective home buyers to those just looking to do some remodeling on what can be done, if anything, with their bottle-dash stucco wall.
To alleviate concerns and answer some common questions, we have put together this quick overview of the material and what options you have when it comes to painting and refreshing a bottle-dash stucco surface.
But… what is bottle dash stucco?
Bottle dash stucco is exactly what it sounds like. It is a type of stucco, similar to pebble dash, that utilizes bits of glass rather than stones. Stucco is comprised of an aggregate, a binder (Portland cement or sand and lime, usually) and water. The aggregate would be the objects added to the finishing layer. In this case, it means bits of bottles broken by hand on site. Even the patterning must be done by hand. This gives the surface a unique glint in certain lights and can be rather fetching when done correctly.
It was most popular during the early to mid-20th century. It is easy to see why the material caught on for a time: it is a low-cost method of providing insulation and “modernizing” a home. Even though it is not regularly used today, it is incredibly durable and a significant amount of homes and structures built with it 50-60 years ago still operate well with the original material.
You can find quite a few accounts of those conducting renovations lamenting at the stubbornness and toughness of Sparkle Stucco.
Can you paint bottle dash stucco?
Yes, you can, and you should. It is a sturdy material – typically quite old – a revitalizing effort done with paint is usually the best option to give this resilient material new life.
The painting of bottle dash stucco is more or less the same process as the painting of other forms of stucco. The right type of paint job can repair hairline fractures caused by contractions and expansions of the material over time. Plus, it can provide a much fresher and healthier look to the surface. The paint also helps seal the material from mold, mildew and general stains.
A Spray-Net elastomeric coating is fifteen times thicker than regular latex paint. It provides an optimal waterproof solution to bottle-dash stucco issues. It can also completely transform the outer shape and color of your stucco. In many cases, bottle stucco can take on a drab appearance from a distance. A new paint job will not only make the surface less abrasive, but it will also give the building a whole new shine.
Whether you hire trained professionals or attempt to repair and renew the bottle stucco yourself, you need to undertake a few key steps.
1. Pressure Wash
You must thoroughly clean the stucco surface before attempting to do anything. Mold, mildew, dirt and other debris must all go. We use specially prepared water-based paint prep solution.
2. Damage Repair
Cracks must be bridged and filled, and for significantly large areas of damage the stucco pattern itself must be replicated and filled in. We prefer to use an elastomeric caulking filler to seal all hairlines cracks.
3. Protect and Cover Other Surfaces.
Before painting commences, you need to cover and protect all other surfaces, such as the windows, patio, etc.
We prefer to spray a flexible, elastomeric coating and then apply new color matching caulking where needed.
5. Clean Up and Spot Checking.
We ensure the job is done successfully and the property is left as clean as when we started. Even for DIY jobs, final inspections and job wrap up are just as important as any other stage.
While bottle-dash stucco can be hard to work with, and quality advice pieces on the matter can be few and far between, there are benefits to the material. It is tough and capable. Plus, you can repair and color it in a relatively short amount of time. Not many other materials over a half-century old can come out the other end of a fairly simple paint job looking as fresh and up to date as this form of stucco can.