Everyone knows that you can apply stucco to walls using a hock and trowel but that takes a lot more skill to do and to make it all look good too! Spraying stucco would be a lot easier for people but can it be done?
Can Stucco Be Sprayed On?
Yes, you can spray stucco on walls instead of hand applying it. You can spray every coat of stucco ranging from base coats to finish coats which includes cement based materials and acrylic/synthetic materials. All types of materials!
You will need specific guns though to spray the different types of materials and this is where some of the confusion can come from but it is all simple and easy to understand!
Spraying Base Coats:
It is important to remember that stucco base coats will range in thickness from 3/8" - 1/2", so you need to spray a lot of material on the wall in order to get that depth.
The sprayers that you will need to spray stucco base coats will have the ability to move a lot more material. There are larger pumps that stucco companies use that can spray on a lot of material per hour (8,000 lbs.+) and smaller units that the "average guy/gal" would use.
The larger sprayers are a kit/unit and has everything you need to spray the stucco integrated into the spraying rig. The smaller units consist of a smaller sprayer that has a hopper and is hooked up to a compressor that can pump out a good amount of cfm (8+).
Spraying Finish Coats:
Stucco finish coats are relatively thin compared to the base coats and usually have a thickness of 1/16" - 1/4" but usually range from 1/16" - 1/8". The sprayers for these types of materials will usually not need to be as "beefy" in most cases and a lot less air pressure is used, compared to spraying base coat materials.
There are larger sprayers that spray on a lot of finish at once that professionals use but I have seen smaller drywall style hoppers also perform well using the right materials, the proper nozzles and the right air pressure.
Can I Use A Drywall Hopper?
I have seen many people use a drywall texture hopper to spray finish coats but not base coats.
It would take forever to spray enough material through the hopper for stucco base coats and usually the material is a bit wetter when you are spraying it, so it would likely slide off the wall before you ever got your desired thickness anyways.
Keep in mind, that a drywall hopper is very limited to what types of stucco it can spray. Cement based finish coats with finer sand (20-30 mesh) seem to be the best type of materials to spray through these types of hoppers.
Types Of Sprayers:
As I mentioned earlier in this article, there are a number of different stucco spray setups that you can use...
Larger Setups: Larger guns are self contained and are very large in size, usually the size of a small to medium sized truck and can cost anywhere from $10,000 and up. These are usually only used by larger stucco companies that have bigger crews (crew of 10+ people) and take a coordinated effort to operate.
Smaller Setups: There are smaller sprayers that are used by professionals with smaller crews (4-6 workers) that can spray both base coat materials and finish materials. The example below is a smaller sprayer called the Imer Small 50 which still pumps out a good amount of material but more managable as far as speed goes.
Mortar Sprayers: Mortar Sprayers are smaller units that have small hoppers and are designed to spray base coat materials. These are quite affordable, compared to the other sprayers mentioned above, costing anywhere from $50, all the way up to $350. Amazon has the best selection to choose from and will give you a good idea of whats out there.
Remember that a lot of these sprayers will need a compressor that can pump out a significant amount of cfm, which in short, correlates to the cost of the compressor, usually ranging from $500 and up.
Drywall Sprayers/Hoppers: Standard drywall hoppers/sprayers can be found online at places like Amazon and in stock at many home improvement stores and are relatively inexpensive, ranging from $30-$60, on average.
Remember that these drywall hopper guns are very limited in the type of material that they can shoot though, typically reserved for cement based finishes with finer sand particles.