Step By Step Guide to Paint Stucco

When your stucco home exterior needs a makeover, get the paint done and follow these step-by-step instructions on how to paint the stucco. A stucco exterior finish makes a home beautiful and elegant, no matter the style. But like all finishes, it loses its good looks with normal wear and tears.

You could have traced it (adding a coat of stucco to the existing surface), but a cheaper and easier solution is to paint it. It is definitely in the do-it-yourself realm and is similar to painting a house with paneling.

Just follow the steps below to paint with stucco. You can paint the trim before or after the walls, depending on your home and personal preferences. Want to refresh your stucco without painting it? Instead, consider whitewashing your stucco.

Tools and materials for painting with stucco

Gather these tools and supplies before starting this project.


  • Caulking Gun
  • Extendable ladder
  • Brushes
  • Paint roller cage
  • Pressure washer
  • Roller covers (with thick fur)


  • Exterior acrylic putty
  • Block filler primer (optional)
  • Polyurethane external caulking
  • Sandpaper (80 or 100 grit)
  • Stucco patch (optional)
  • External acrylic latex paint, smooth finish

How to paint stucco

This is what you need to do before you begin.

Step 1: Inspect the house

Before painting, check the condition of the plaster. Are there cracks? Cracks are normal and will typically fill in with whatever paint you apply, says Gregg Cantor, president, and CEO of Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel in San Diego.

Stress cracks that protrude from the corners of windows and doors that go into the floor are also common. They occur over time with settlement and can be repaired.

But Cantor says that if he sees signs of other damage, such as horizontal cracks, large chunks of plaster missing, or unusual discoloration, it could be a sign of more serious problems, such as moisture behind the plaster. Hang up the painting and let a stucco contractor look around to assess the causes.

Step 2: Pressure wash the house

Stucco must be free of dirt and debris before painting. Pressure washing is a quick and efficient way to clean it, Cantor says.

You can rent a pressure washer if you don't have one. Follow directions carefully and wear safety glasses. Cantor recommends setting the washer to between 1,500 and 2,500 pounds per square inch (PSI).

If you want to use a detergent, Cantor recommends a neutral and ecological detergent. If you are not comfortable doing this, hire a professional to do it for you. After washing, the house must be completely dry before taking the next steps.

Step 3: Prepare the stucco

Cantor suggests repairing small cracks and holes with an external acrylic sealer. Larger cracks or damaged spots can be repaired with a stucco patch. If the plaster was previously painted and the paint has chipped in some places, lightly sand the edges of the chipped areas with 80 or 100 grit sandpaper to remove loose paint.

If there is evidence of water leaking from a gutter and running down the side of the stucco (look for discoloration or deteriorated stucco), try to determine if there is water behind the stucco. If not, repair the gutter leak before painting.

Step 4: Choose your paint

For stucco, Cantor recommends matte gloss acrylic latex paint. Keep in mind that you will need more stucco wall paint than other siding materials. That's because stucco is porous and has a rough texture.

Step 5: Prime the stucco, if necessary

If this is the first time stucco is being painted, you should first prepare the walls with an acrylic latex block filler, says Ashley Kloehn of Hirshfield's in Minneapolis. He recommends Benjamin Moore's block fillers, such as Ultra Spec Interior / Exterior High Build Acrylic Masonry Primer.

Step 6: Apply the paint

First, cut around windows, doors, and other trim with a brush. Then paint the walls with a thick terry roll cover. Start at the top and work in small sections to keep the edge moist.

Alternatively, you can spray paint with an airless sprayer. If the plaster has a lot of texture, after spraying, go over the paint. If you are priming your walls, you will probably only need a single finish. Otherwise, it may be necessary to apply two coats.

We hope you enjoy watching this video about 4 secret painting tips to paint stucco:

Source: Paint Life TV

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