How Long Does It Take Stucco To Dry To Its Final Color?

How Long Does It Take Stucco To Dry To Its Final Color

Choosing a stucco color can be a difficult decision, but after you do have that color picked out and you see it applied to your walls, you might be a little worried because it looks slightly different from the initial color that was chosen.

In this article, I will go into how long it takes for your stucco color to dry out and show its "true colors"!

How Long Does It Take Stucco To Dry To Its Final Color?

In general, it will take 24–72 hours (1-3 days) for your stucco to dry out completely and show its true color. This can vary depending on what type of finish you are using (acrylic vs cement based), the outside temperature and humidity, the finish applied to the walls, etc.

Different Finish Materials Have Different Dry Times:

Like I already mentioned, the two different types of finishes will have slightly different drying times and will change over time, depending on certain variables like the type of finish chosen (1 or 2 coats), the outside temperature and humidity, etc. Knowing what to expect can help eliminate any possible color concerns you might have.

Acrylic Material Dry Times: 

The acrylic finishes are made up of primarily acrylic, so it will usually take between 24–48 hours to dry completely to its true color. In most cases, an acrylic finish will dry in 24 hours, from my personal experience, but I have seen a longer 48 hour dry time for finishes that require two coats, applied on cooler days (50-60 degrees F).

Dries Darker: Acrylic material will actually darken slightly as they dry out, so if your color looks a little light when applied to your walls, then don't fret, it will darken as time goes on.

Cement Based Material Dry Times: 

Cement based finishes can take a little longer than acrylic materials to dry but will still be relatively fast too, taking on average between 24–72 hours to dry to its true color. 

The outside temperature and humidity plays a much larger role for cement based materials, when it comes to dry times, because the material is porous and absorbs the moisture in the air, which slows down the drying process.

Helpful Tip: If the humidity levels are very high for several days in a row, it could affect the drying time for a much longer period of time, so keep this in mind and be patient!

Dries Lighter: Cement based materials tend to dry slightly lighter than when the color is freshly applied to the walls, so it is opposite of acrylic colors. This will be super important when trying to match an existing color.

A Word On Cure Times:

I also wanted to point out that dry time is different from cure time and they are not the same. When I say "dry time" it is basically referring to the initial set of the material, which gives it a small amount of strength and the color is fairly accurate to what it is going to permanently look like.

Cure times are usually extended time periods, where the materials will have their full strength and final color. These can be anywhere from 1 week to a full month, again depending on outside elements, the material, etc. In most cases, you do not need to wait for the material to cure to visually see the true color.

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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