After a recent conversation with a client about painting their stucco I thought that I would do a Q&A on painting stucco. If you are looking for our process for completing a stucco paint job go to /painting-services/stucco-painting
Q: What is the best product for painting stucco?
A: Depends on what your intended result is. For instance, if the stucco is in good repair and you are just looking for curb appeal (if you are selling) a regular flat acrylic latex paint like WeatherOne from Cloverdale might be the ticket. It adheres well enough to the stucco that it will last you and the new owner a long time. If your stucco has a lot of hairline cracks or has a lot of calcification you may want to look at the Elastomeric (i.e., Towerathon or Polymer Science’s Better Than Paint) option, super-adherent and flexible, this product offers superior “bridging” (ability to cover over cracks) and flexibility as well as top marks for adhesion to masonry. If you are planning on doing wood work the same color you can use a solid stain which will adhere well to both wood and stucco.
Q: Is stucco painting a spray only application?
A: Unless you are fine finishing you should always roll or brush product on to a substrate. This ensures the best adhesion possible. Stucco should be sprayed and back-rolled to work the product into the seemingly endless cavities. Often times to help with coverage in all areas we mist the stucco to allow a capillary action where the atomized (very nearly a solid) spray is reconstituted to a liquid when it hits the substrate helping the product be absorbed into the stucco.
Q: How much paint does stucco take?
A: A lot, since stucco has so many folds and crevices the actual surface area of the stucco is many times the square footage of the wall. For a normal 1800 square foot two storey house it will likely take up to 40 gallons of product (2400$ in retail terms). In the past we’ve used upwards of 65 gallons on a single house.
Q: Is stucco paint breathable?
A: Yes, depending on coat thickness Elastomeric are rated 6-7 Perms. This is quite a bit less than stucco is so if you have moisture control issues in your home currently you may not want to paint your stucco.
Q: How long will painted stucco last?
A: If applied correctly the product may not fail for upwards of 15 years. However, it will fade (especially on the South and West exposed sides) you will likely want to recoat it every 7 years. No fears, the product bill will be a lot less the next time around.
Q: Will hail damage my painted stucco?
A: We can’t guarantee 100% that the job won’t receive hail damage (nothing really holds up to baseball sized hail) but if the job is done properly i.e., proper coat build, back rolled, proper product, then the likelihood of hail damage will be severely reduced.
Q: Do I need to power-wash before I apply the product?
A: It is industry best practice to power-wash a home prior to painting it especially with calcifying substrates and areas with mil-dew problems. Keep in mind to let the substrate dry out after power-washing. If you have any more questions I will answer and re-post updates.
Q: What colours can I paint my stucco?
A: All proper elastomeric coatings need to be matched thus you may pick any color you wish from any manufacturers swatches and the paint store will custom tint that colour. Remember, it is a match so it will never be perfect, so do a test patch before purchasing all of the product you will need. The colour you pick, or as I like to say "the house picks" is often a result of the unchangeables on your home i.e., brick, custom cladding, roof. If you have a red roof and red brick, you probably don't want to pick green or anything with a green undertone.
At the end of the day the lifetime and durability of painted stucco depends on proper application. As far as pricing goes you might expect anywhere from $1.50/sqft to $3.00/sqft depending on product, challenges presented by the job, how much preparation and masking is required. Most Stucco projects come in around $2.00/sqft.
Happy Painting, J.