Can I Paint My Stucco?

Can I Paint My Stucco

There is a popular question that comes up when it comes to stucco and that is whether or not you can paint stucco.

There is a ton of information out there and it can seem confusing when looking over it all...


This article is going to be short and to the point in regards to whether or not you can actually paint stucco surfaces. Let's get into it...

So Can You Paint Stucco?

The short answer is yes, you can paint stucco! You can paint any type of finish coat, whether it is a traditional (cement based) finish or when using an acrylic type of finish.

I have even seen some people paint the brown coat (the base coat) of their stucco and skip applying the finish coat altogether!

Is It Safe To Paint Stucco?

In reality, another question that comes up when it comes to painting stucco is whether or not it is safe for the stucco. The answer is again yes!

There can be a few problems that can come up when painting stucco but really these are not likely to show up if you follow four basic steps:

  • Make sure the stucco is clean prior to painting. Pressure wash older stucco walls before painting.

  • Let the stucco surface moist cure for 1-2 weeks (this is for best results and my personal opinion when it comes to cure time) and make sure there is no moisture in the wall for the last 3 days.

  • Use a primer that is suited for masonry surfaces

  • Apply a paint that is suited for masonry surfaces

That's basically it in a nutshell! There are other variables like how many coats to apply, what type of paint and so on but the three steps above are basic instructions that will make nearly all stucco paint jobs come out great, 9 times out of 10.

What Will Painting Do To The Stucco?

Paint really just seals stucco and that is about it. An acrylic paint will have a little breathability to it when compared to an elastomeric product.

Many homes have been painted that I have worked on and they hold up just fine over the years, when properly maintained.

You will just want to make sure that you keep up on the painting to maintain a vibrant, fresh look. If the paint is starting to peel in many different spots, then you are probably due for a new coat of paint.

Painting Finish Coats And Base Coats...

Like I mentioned earlier, you can paint the finish coat of stucco (if applied) or you can even paint the base coat, if you wanted to.

That is the beauty of paint and stucco, you can basically cover nearly every coat of the stucco process.

If you have a traditional cement based finish: A traditional type of stucco finish is a cement based product that uses the same basic ingredients that the base coats use but instead of a grey cement, a white cement is used and different sized aggregate pieces (sand).

A primer coat is recommended, along with a top coat of paint, just make sure they are rated for masonry surfaces.

If you have an acrylic finish: An acrylic finish will usually not need to cure as long as a cement based surface and is usually fully cured in about 48 hours in 70 degree weather. I still like to give an acrylic finish about a week to cure though, just to be safe.

I prefer to use an acrylic paint on top of an acrylic stucco finish because the materials are similar and provide a strong bond.

You do not usually need a primer coat over an acrylic finish unless it is an older wall that is aged.

If you want to paint the brown coat: Some people also paint the brown coat of stucco and the same rules apply for the traditional type of finish (cement based) because it is essentially the same materials.

The only difference is that a grey cement is used instead of a white one.

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!

Leave a comment here or if you have a question that needs to be answered, fill out my Q and A form (link in author bio box above) to give me a clear picture of what's going on. Thanks for stopping by!: