Stucco cracks and will always crack due to the rigid nature of the material and constant movement brought on by many different forces, which we already know.
If you have cracks in your stucco, will applying a new color or finish coat hide the cracks and keep them from coming back? There are a few different variables involved in this question and we will take a look at all of these to get a better idea of what can be accomplished.
Will a New Color Coat Fix Existing Cracks In My Stucco?
The answer is yes, applying a new color or finish coat over a wall that has cracks in it, in addition to addressing the cracks individually, prior to a new color coat, will usually eliminate them from coming back, in most cases.
You will want to address the cracks first before applying a new color coat though, to get the best possible results. This procedure can vary depending on the size of the crack and the finish you currently have on your walls.
Addressing The Cracks First...
Before the new color coat is applied, you will want to fix the cracks individually, to get the best possible repair, in regard to the crack not reappearing again.
This is a critical step and will really help to fight the cracks from coming back again later on. This will require more time and materials, which could equate to more money, if you are having someone do the work for you, but it will be well worth it, in the long run.
This can be done a couple of different ways...
Applying caulking to the cracks: This is usually the fastest method to fixing smaller cracks and will usually stop them from reappearing, in most cases, because the caulking will then be able to expand and contract with the crack as the wall heats up (expands) and then contracts (cools down).
I have a very detailed tutorial on
Applying mesh over the cracks and filler material: Applying a strip of fiberglass (or similar) mesh tape over the cracks is the best way to stop medium to large cracks from reappearing, as long as there is no significant movement in the wall.
After applying the mesh tape, a base coat of material (cementitious or acrylic based) should then be applied over the meshed cracks to seal them up and to provide a suitable base for the new color coat, so these areas will be less noticeable.
Do I Have To Do The Crack Repair First?
I want to stress this point one more time... addressing the cracks prior to a recoat ensures the best chance from having the cracks return again in the future.
If you want to apply a new color/finish coat over your walls without addressing the cracks first, then you can, but keep in mind that some or most of the cracks could potentially return.
The best possible scenario would be if you had minimal cracking in your walls (maybe a dozen cracks) and the cracks were all hairline cracks. If you applied an acrylic finish coat over that, then you might be able to bridge those cracks and keep them from reoccurring.