Is your stucco looking a little worse for wear? Do you notice rust stains, cracks, white streaks and/or faded areas? Do you have mouldy spots? Stucco is a beautiful house finish, but it has its challenges! If you wish to preserve your stucco and keep it looking its best, consider repainting. Here’s when you should repaint your stucco! 

What Is Stucco?

Stucco is a combination of sand, water and powdered limestone or cement, mixed to a mortar-like consistency, applied over metal wire or lath and allowed to cure to a hard, durable state. This finish can last over 20 years without peeling and/or blistering! It can be used as an interior or exterior finish.

Why paint your stucco?

Over time, stucco develops water and rust stains. When painted with a quality product, these stains will not only disappear but won’t reappear for years! Paint also fills and covers hairline cracks, protects against damage by UV rays and makes stucco weather resistant. This allows your colour to remain consistent even in rainy periods and helps your home maintain an attractive appearance for many years. 

When to paint your stucco:

Timing regarding stucco renewal will depend upon the climate of your area and the original quality of the stucco. Stucco can withstand high temperatures and does best in arid climates. Moisture-rich environments will require more frequent painting and repairs. Inspect your stucco every couple of years to determine whether it needs repainting. Look for heavy staining, thin cracks, long cracks, bulges in the stucco finish and missing stucco. Pay attention to missing and/or aged caulk. Generally, stucco requires painting every five to ten years.

What type of paint should be used on stucco?

All paint is not created equal! There are three good paint options for refinishing stucco.

  • Elastomeric paint is a rubberized paint that is thicker and more water-resistant than acrylic exterior paint. It’s great for bridging hairline cracks and lasts seven to ten years longer than acrylic. Elastomeric paint is the best choice for longevity and protection but is expensive and has low breathability, which can cause moisture problems. Once you apply an elastomeric coat, all future layers of paint must be elastomeric and there is a limited colour selection in this type of covering. 
    • Acrylic latex paint is durable and flexible. Its permeability allows your stucco to breathe. This paint is affordable and easy to apply, clean up and recoat. The colour choices are virtually unlimited!
  • Masonry paint is specifically designed for exterior cement, concrete, brick or stucco surfaces. It contains additives that increase surface bonding and mildew resistance. It’s a medium-priced option and provides average flexibility and surface protection. Colour choices are quite limited. 


Steps for best results:

When done right, a professional stucco paint job should last 7-10 years. Prep work and quality paint are essential. Following are the steps involved in a good stucco paint job.

  • Powerwash stucco completely and thoroughly, ensuring a clean surface for the paint to bond to.
  • Apply a giant paint sample, giving you an idea of what the final colour will look like.
  • Remove anything secured to the house to ensure it will have paint behind it (downspouts, house numbers, lights, etc.).
  • Repair stucco and caulk cracks: Small, thin cracks in the stucco wall can be repaired with exterior latex paintable caulk. Choose a caulk colour that is close to your stucco colour. 
  • Mask and cover thoroughly: In order to prevent over-spray, mask all surfaces not being painted with tape and paper; including soffits, the roof, windows, doors, decks, parging, etc. Cover floors, pavers, decking etc. with drop sheets.
  • Prime where new masonry has been applied and any areas that are extremely weathered. Use a bonding primer to promote adhesion
  • Apply paint: Stucco requires a lot of paint to fill in all the cavities and surfaces. One gallon should be applied for every 50-75 square feet. It should be sprayed and back-rolled and two coats need to be applied to ensure even coverage, and proper adhesion and prevent flashing.
  • Inspection: Visually inspect the coating looking for an even appearance. There should be no misses, runs, holidays, streaking, etc.
  • Clean-up and re-installation: remove all tape, paper and plastic and re-install downspouts, house numbers, lights, etc.

Painting stucco, trim and moulding on your home offers a range of benefits, but only if the project is completed correctly. You can ensure that your stucco is painted properly by trusting your home with experienced professional painters. They know what type of paint to use, can advise you regarding paint colours and deliver high-quality results that last for years.

Need a coat of paint on your stucco? Want help with colour choices? Call the Calgary residential painting experts, Cal Res Coatings at (403) 917-0579. We’re a residential painting contractor that strives for quality, has an eye for detail and colour and will not rest until your job is done to your satisfaction. Request a free quote today.

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