Luggate House, Near Haddington, East Lothian
Luggate House is a two and a half storey building constructed of mass stone (sandstone) and lime walls with a traditional slated roof dating from the mid nineteenth century. Around the 1950s, an inappropriate coating of a cement rich ‘dry dash’ was applied to the exterior walls, essentially a ‘straight jacket’ that offered no vapour permeability to handle moisture from wind driven rain. The owners were keen to restore the house authentically and were advised by Heath architects that stripping off this work and reinstating lime finishes would not only be aesthetically correct but also be the right thing to do technically, whereby the building would regain ‘breathability’. Heritage Masonry were asked to carefully strip off the inappropriate dry dash, make good the sandstone masonry substrate with lime mortars and reinstate the original lime based finishes. The finishes were applied in three stages, first a ‘pricking up coat’ was applied to a single sand grain thickness using a moderately hydraulic lime mortar, delivered onto the wall with a mechanical spray gun and allowed to cure for at least 5 days. Next a ‘straightening coat’ was applied to a thickness of 8-10mm using an air entrained moderately hydraulic lime mortar, again applied with a mechanical spray gun. Short straight edges were then used to flatten but not totally straighten out the walls. This coat was left to cure for up to 7 days, kept moist by additional spray misting of the work. The finish coat of lime mortar was then applied to a thickness of 6-8mm and again cured slowly before two coats of lime paint were applied. The lime paint finish offers an unrivalled beauty and glow that cannot be attained using modern film forming paints.