“Sgraffito: (It., scratched; pl. sgraffiti) A technique of decorating stuccoed surfaces, in which a layer of colored plaster is laid over a dry underlayer and then incised with designs while still damp—making use of the contrasting color of the underlayer. Also, a drawing or words hastily scratched or written on a wall.”
Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.