In the 1920s, builders in the United Kingdom used a process called pebble dashing—covering a wall with small pebbles from the ocean floor—to cover old bricks on the outside of buildings. It was an inexpensive way to refresh and weatherproof a home’s exterior, especially near the seaside. The construction method was also popular during the Arts and Crafts movement, the Tudor era, and “is widely found on medieval buildings,” too.
Today, pebble dashing or roughcasting is created around the world with a variety of pebbles, glass, stones, and other materials. This 2011 video from Keith’s Plastering Services in Wallsend, England demonstrates the pebble dash method “with sand and cement mortar, dashed with Canterbury spar, or rose flint spar”. From SFGate:
Pebble dashing is a type of wall covering typically used on exterior walls. It consists of two coats of a lime and sand “base” into which pebbles are thrown and pressed. The result is a wall covered in tiny, smooth pebbles. Pebble dashing is considered an art by some masons who may mix their own special blend of base coat.
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