18 July 2020

Bottle-dash stucco

Saw a gif today of a man applying pebbles to a wall, so I tried to look up pebble-dash and found an interesting article on bottle-dash:
If you are not familiar with what it is, houses with bottle-dash (unlike pebble-dash) have bits of glass (most often brown beer and green pop bottles), instead of the more commonly used rock bits, embedded in the exterior stucco finish. I have been curious about bottle-dash stucco since I was a child and first saw it on my great aunt’s house in East Vancouver.  Back in the 1970s and into the 1980s, it was quite common to see it on Vancouver houses of a certain era... 
In the early days the aggregate for dashes was mostly just simple beach or river gravel. In the earliest example of this style of finish, one can occasionally find sea shells, crab legs and other such bits. Starting as early as the mid 1930s more refined crushed rock (like white quartz and black obsidian) was used to impregnate the surface. This style of finish is known as pebble or rock dash...
An apparent local variant to rock-dash, bottle-dash was used to add some colour and sparkle to the stucco finish. Crushed glass (brown beer bottles, green pop bottles, clear milk bottles and blue milk of magnesia bottles) was added to a white quartz aggregate... 
A house updated with a bottle-dash (or other dash) stucco exterior requires little, if any maintenance... Unlike regular rock-dash stucco which was quite common in North America, bottle-dash stucco seems to be a purely Pacific Northwest [Canada] phenomenon... Predominated by bits of brown and green glass, my aunt’s house also had bits of blue glass dotting its stuccoed surface. My mother once told me that when she was young, she recalls rare instances when bits of red glass were found.
More info and photos at vanalogue.  Photo credit C.Hagemoen.


  1. I project managed some high end apartments in the late 90s, the specs called for polished concrete floors with sea shells mixed in .... guess who had the job of hosing all the bits of fish flesh out !
    And when the concrete polishers came, whew, the smell as they took the top layer off of the concrete !

  2. That stuff will shred you if you fall against it. Speaking from experience.

  3. i'd like to think the glass bottle dash would be done at a height that is out of reach?


  4. Because the glass and chips are applied to the wet cement on to wall by flicking them off a gob...ie “dashing” them against the wall. I remember seeing this being done when I was a kid in the mid 70’s.

  5. Actually "hod" rather than "hob." :-)

  6. It seems like west coast of Canada is the only place in the world besides Argentina (mostly Buenos Aires) where this can be found. It is called Frentebril or Vidrio lavado here.


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