Can I Make a Custom Stucco Color?

Q and A

In our latest stucco Q&A, we're tackling a colorful conundrum from Cheryl, who's in the midst of finalizing the exterior finish for her home. Cheryl writes:

"We are getting ready to stucco our home – the lath, scratch, brown coat, and mesh have been done for a fine sand stucco application. A sample of Clay X-830 (40) Base 200 has been applied, as well as an attempt to lighten it a bit – neither seem quite right. Do you have experience with customizing a stucco color? For example, if choosing stucco Base 200 colors, is it possible to do a mix of 75% Clay X-830 (40) Base 200 and 25% Silver Gray X-16 (57) Base 200? It appears La Habra has bought out most of the other stucco companies and closed them down. They will not do custom colors."

Stucco Color Samples Shown On Wall

Hi Cheryl,

I have had many experiences with color customization and I can certainly guide you through the process of achieving the perfect hue for your home. I've frequently created custom colors to match existing stucco colors, when I was not able to get a close enough color match from stucco manufacturers.

To answer your first question, you can mix different color additives to customize a stucco color. Your idea to blend 75% Clay X-830 (40) Base 200 with 25% Silver Gray X-16 (57) Base 200 could work well. It’s a common practice to tweak or modify the color by experimenting like this, but it's so important to document your formulas for any future repairs or additions, where you might have to mix up more of this custom color.

Lighten Colors: With that said, to lighten the color, experimenting with the addition of Base 100, which is white, might be more effective than using the white-gray color that is found in Base 200, which is colored like that for their darker colors. This approach would offer a brighter lift to the Clay color you're working with.

Keep in mind that customizing colors does require some trial and error. It's not just about getting the shade right; it's also about ensuring that the finish retains the durability and texture that stucco is known for, so adding too much color could be a bad thing. Another thing to consider is that this process takes additional time and resources, which could add to the overall cost of the project, but is absolutely worth it to achieve the desired color you are looking for.

Colors and Drying Time: It's also important to note that with cement-based finishes like the one you've chosen for your stucco, will often appear lighter once it fully cures. This curing process can take a couple of days, so I would recommend waiting to see the true color emerge before making any final decisions. The color when wet is typically not the color you will end up with, as the water content affects the hue significantly. Give it a little time, and then reevaluate to see if the shade has adjusted to your liking.

Color Advice: It's important for anyone out there getting new stucco installed to select their color early in the process, before the first layers of stucco are even installed! This will allow you to create samples and experiment ahead of time, providing ample time to adjust and experiment without disrupting the stucco project's timeline.

As for La Habra's policies on custom colors, it's true that consolidations in the industry (or any industry) can affect the availability of certain products and can create additional challenges. Don't fret though, with the right expertise, nearly any color can be matched or created using available bases and pigments, in most cases.

For future reference, you could also ask your contractor if they work with other manufacturers to see if they can create a custom color for you, which could also be an option, if done early enough in the construction process.

If you need more assistance with testing and perfecting your custom color, don't hesitate to reach out. Hope this helps!

Your Stucco Expert,

About the author

The Stucco Guy

My name is Ryan and I have been a licensed stucco contractor for many years and I feel that there is a huge "knowledge gap" when it comes to stucco, in particular. I hope you find the information here useful, and if you have a question for me fill out this Q & A form, so I can answer those questions better. Thanks for stopping by!

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