What is Acrylic Stucco Made From? | An Inside Look!

What Is Acrylic Stucco Made Of

Acrylic stucco has become increasingly popular due to its versatility and attractive appearance, attracting the attention of both homeowners and builders, but few people know the details about this material and what goes into making it. Let's unravel this mystery and explore the components that make acrylic stucco an exceptional option for contemporary exteriors.

What Is Acrylic Stucco Made Out Of?

Acrylic stucco's durability and adaptability come from a unique blend of two main ingredients, with other ingredients added to it:

  • Acrylic Resins or Polymers: Acrylic stucco relies on the use of acrylic resins or polymers to achieve its flexibility, long-lasting color, and strong adhesion to different surfaces. This is the foundation for the acrylic finish and is what gives it the properties that it is known for.

  • Aggregate: Acrylic stucco utilizes aggregates like crushed quartz (Omega) or crushed marble (LaHabra) to achieve the desired texture that is seen on the walls. The main choices are fine, medium and coarse, which corresponds to the aggregate size used.

  • Proprietary Ingredients: In order to enhance the overall durability of the finish, acrylic stucco may also have other "proprietary ingredients" added to them as well, but in smaller amounts. These ingredients are specifically designed to tackle performance issues that can range from crack resistance, mold growth and water repellence.

Other Special Additives:

Certain unique finish materials are specially designed and customized to offer specific advantages, resulting in a product designed to tackle specific issues.

  • Elastomeric acrylic finishes are well-known for their exceptional flexibility, which allows them to effectively bridge hairline cracks that are already there or may develop in the future.

  • Acrylic finishes enhanced with silicone additives provide improved water repellency and exceptional resistance to dirt and other contaminants, making them stand out from regular acrylic finishes.

Acrylic Stucco Ingredients, A Deeper Dive:

Now that we have a better overview of the essential materials that make up acrylic stucco, let's delve further into each ingredient and how they specifically contribute to this material...

Why Acrylic Resins?

Acrylic stucco relies on acrylic resins, which are synthetic polymers made from acrylic acid or similar compounds. These resins are well-known for their outstanding durability and flexibility, making them a perfect fit for protecting exterior finishes against the constant challenges posed by weather fluctuations and other environmental variations.

  • Durability: Acrylic resins greatly contribute to the stucco's ability to withstand wear and tear from the elements, over time, ensuring the exterior maintains its integrity and appearance.

  • Flexibility: The flexibility of acrylic resins allows acrylic stucco to expand and contract with temperature changes without cracking, which is one of the advantages to using this type of finish material.

  • Color Retention: Acrylic resins are also very good at retaining color, and can resist the fading effects of the sun's UV ray, which is one of the main factors for why acrylic stucco fades. This equates to the color of your stucco lasting many years, which I have personally witnessed 20+ years after it was installed.

  • Water Resistance: While not completely waterproof, acrylic resins offer a level of water resistance that helps protect the building's structure from moisture penetration, an unavoidable issue that an exterior wall must be able to deal with.

Acrylic resins are essentially the foundation of acrylic stucco, offering the technical qualities that make it an exceptional ingredient to use for exterior wall finishes, like these. By incorporating them, your stucco not only is able to achieve a stunning appearance, but also maintains its aesthetic appeal for many years.

Graded Aggregates:

The aggregates that are used play a huge role in defining the texture and overall appearance of acrylic stucco finishes, no matter what texture is applied to the walls. These materials, typically consisting of some sort of crushed rock, are blended into the acrylic polymers in order to achieve a specific texture when applied to the exterior walls. 

Aggregate Size:

The choice of aggregate size directly influences the final look of the stucco, offering a range of finishes that range from smooth to fairly rough.

Some of these aggregate sizes will be more pronounced when using a specific texture, like a sand finish, which shows the size of the aggregate used, very prominently.

The variety in aggregate sizes allows for customizable textures tailored to individual preferences or architectural styles and the most common aggregate sizes used in acrylic stucco are:

  • Super Fine Aggregates: Provide a smooth finish with minimal texture, ideal for smoother textures but will not hide imperfections at all.

  • Fine Aggregates: Offer a slightly more textured surface, adding depth and interest without an overwhelming aesthetic look or feel.

  • Medium Aggregates: Create a more noticeable texture, suitable for adding character and can help hide moderate imperfections.

  • Coarse Aggregates: Have a heavy texture, which can hid larger imperfections and is able to bridge cracking a lot better.

With all the different sized aggregates available, you can achieve a wide range of textures and finishes, especially when you consider finishes that require two coats. The aggregates are slightly different from the aggregated used in traditional (cement based) finishes due to different aggregates used and how they bond with the different types of materials.

Proprietary Additives

In addition to the two main ingredients of acrylic resins and aggregates, acrylic stucco usually includes what manufacturers call "proprietary ingredients". These additives help improve the material's quality, tackling typical issues that can come with using these materials but are usually not listed by the manufacturers though.

Specialty Acrylic Finishes:

Specialty acrylic finishes are known for their exceptional performance that goes above and beyond what standard acrylic can offer. Crafted with cutting-edge formulations, these specialty finishes provide added benefits like improved flexibility, superior water resistance, and increased protection against environmental elements.

  • Elastomeric Finishes: To minimize the risk of hairline cracks developing over time, certain additives improve the material's elasticity and flexibility and can minimize the chances of cracks showing through the final coat.

  • Improved Water Resistance: To enhance the stucco's protection against water infiltration, water-resistant elements can also be incorporated, further decreasing the amount of water that could enter the stucco system.

  • DPR Protection: DPR, or Dirt Pickup Resistance, is another feature in some finishes that helps prevent dirt and other contaminants from adhering to the surface, keeping it cleaner, for longer periods of time. This feature seems to be more of a standard option these days.
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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