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How To Paint Exterior Stucco Some Helpful Tips

How To Paint Exterior Stucco, Some Helpful Tips

If you have a house that is made out of stucco and want to refresh the look of it then stucco paint is something that you might want to look into. Basically the paint is specially formulated to stick to the cement and give it a fresh, new look.

There are some tips and tricks that you could implement to make the job easier and make it look like a professional did it. Lets dive right into it to see what methods there are out there and what to expect from each one.

Some Things To Consider In The Beginning:

  • Take a look at the existing stucco that is on the house/building and check to see what kind of shape it is in. Are there any patches or cracks that need to be fixed before painting begins? Is the stucco peeling off in any places, or are there any areas that need a little TLC? These kind of issues need to be taken care of prior to painting the structure and will make the end result much better.
  • Is the stucco that is currently on the house painted or not, it really doesn’t make too much of a difference, both scenarios will require a good pressure washing (3,500 psi) to get rid of all of the loose paint and material that may come off in the painting process.
Pressur Washer Chart
  • If the stucco is new, then you will want to wait at least 60 days before painting it, to allow it to fully cure and harden up before you seal the stucco with any kind of paint.
  • What type of texture do you have, a rough one or a smoother kind? The two different types of textures will require different methods and tools to properly adhere to the exiting texture. A rougher texture will require a larger nap on the roller and more paint, a smoother type will not need a nap as aggressive and will tend to use a little less paint. Take a look at different samples by clicking here.
  • Do you plan on using a roller or a sprayer, or both? A sprayer can be rented and is the optimal way to paint exterior stucco, it is much faster, uses way less material and provides a professional looking end result but back-rolling is recommended to get rid of the lines that the sprayer may leave.

The Prep Work Involved:

  • You will want to make sure that all of the windows, doors, trim, vents and anything else that is not going to be painted is covered very well. This will save time in the end and will ensure that professional results are achieved.
  • Caulk cracks and small gaps (1/8″ or smaller) using a paint-able exterior grade caulk, a good idea would be to ask a salesperson at the building supply store that you purchase your paint from what type of caulking they recommend. When caulking, only fill the cracks and use a wet rag to wipe the excess caulk off of the wall, or it will stand out like a sore thumb. Try to add a little texture to the caulk to match the stucco, if it is a rougher texture, like a sand finish, dab the caulk lightly with a paintbrush to match the texture a little better. Anywhere wood meets stucco, you will want to apply a bead of caulking, because it will crack or a gap will form, this is natural and is a normal occurrence.
  • Pressure washing the stucco is a good idea prior to painting, it removes dirt and debris from the surface and ensures that the paint will adhere well to the finish. These can be rented as well and only cost about $30-$50 a day to rent. If you do not pressure wash the stucco, you can use a garden hose instead, but really, pressure washing is the way to go and is recommended.
  • Make any necessary repairs to the stucco that need attention, meaning larger voids or damaged areas. To achieve this, remove the existing stucco, keeping the paper and wire underneath intact and fill with a stucco patch material, using two to three applications. Try to avoid filling in the spots with a single application, seeing as how it will likely crack and make even more work for you in the long run.

Using A Sprayer:

When using a sprayer, certain techniques and tricks can be used to achieve professional results, not to mention, it can cut the time the project takes in half! This is the best way to paint a stucco surface and will yield the best results.

  • Be sure that everything is masked off very well, these sprayers have a tremendous amount of pressure and can blow your covering right off, tape every joint of the plastic/paper, so no edges are exposed.
  • When spraying, use a shield to avoid over-spraying on areas that you do not want to be painted, such as walkways, the eaves, etc. Cardboard works well for a shield and is free, cut a couple out, so you can toss the ones that get too saturated with paint. A good size for these is 12-15″ wide by 3-4′ long, holders can be purchased or made so you don’t have to hold the cardboard with your hands.
  • Try to avoid making lines with the sprayer by having an even spray pattern and using quick, short bursts, as opposed to longer ones. Pull the nozzle away from the wall in order to blend the starting and stopping points of your spray pattern and to avoid any hard lines.
  • Be sure to spray the stucco in many different directions, to better blend the paint and minimize the appearance of hard lines. For rougher stucco, have someone use a roller and go over what you have sprayed, this will help cover the surface and get the paint into any crevices and low spots that the texture may have.

Using A Roller:

Some of you may choose to use a roller to paint the stucco on your home, which is just fine, but requires a few different techniques than a sprayer would. It will take a bit longer to do it this way, but can still give professional looking results if done correctly.

  • You will want to use a roller with at LEAST a 3/8″ nap on it, in order to get into the low spots and ensure that you have a nice, even coat of paint. Stock up on rollers because they will get abused and will wear very quickly.
Roller Nap Chart For Stucco
  • When rolling, use more paint and less pressure when applying, this will save your roller, making it last longer and will make it easier on you as well.
  • Use a different pattern when rolling, not just one or two different motions. This will make the paint blend better and will help hide any paint edges that may appear later on.
  • If your stucco is unpainted (have some type of cement based finish to paint) then remember that it will soak up quite a bit of paint on the first coat, a second coat (primer and paint) is recommended, after the primer coat.
  • Use a smaller roller setup on the trim around any windows or doors, this is the best way to paint these items, cut in the detail work later using a paintbrush.

That’s about it when it comes to stucco paint and how to apply it for a fresh, new look. Take your time and remember to really prepare the surface for the paint, this will be the determining factor for how good the project looks in the end.

About the Author The Stucco Guy

My name is Ryan and I have been in the construction trades for many years now and I feel that there is a huge "knowledge gap" when it comes to particular trades.... like stucco. I made this site to inform others about the simplicity of the art and that many people can do stucco themselves, if they put their minds to it. I hope you find the information here useful and please don't hesitate to contact me by leaving a comment. Thanks for stopping by!

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