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What You Need To Know About Painting Stucco

Everything You Need to Know About Painting Stucco

We’ve discussed painting stucco here, but we’re back to answer even more of your questions about painting stucco. A lot of homeowners decide to paint their stucco as an affordable option to keep their home looking updated and fresh. Painting your stucco is similar to a standard paint project, but there are a few key differences that you’ll want to keep in mind. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about painting stucco.

Aerial photo of Tan painted stucco home

How to Test Paint Samples on Stucco

One of the most important differences between stucco and most siding options is how you test paint colors. Testing your paint colors before you paint helps ensure that you’ve chosen the colors you’ll love. Do not skip this step! Testing paint colors is essential. With most exterior painting projects, you can just paint your samples right onto your siding, but stucco is a bit different. You should avoid painting samples directly onto your stucco, because the surface is porous. Applying inconsistent layers of paint can cause serious problems.  

If you were to paint a test swatch onto your stucco, you would consequentially fill the pores of that area of stucco. This makes the stucco appear different from the surrounding area once it’s been painted over.  Essentially, the slight change in appearance will stand out even more and draw the eye to the test swatch area. There are a few ways you can avoid this. Paint your samples on your garage door or trim, use a peel and stick sample service like Samplize, or paint your samples directly onto cardboard.  This will allow you to test your colors without creating unwanted focal points on your home. If you absolutely must test your colors on your stucco then just be sure to do so in an inconspicuous area.

photo of an exterior stucco painted by kind home solutions

What Happens When You Paint Stucco?

Something that many homeowners don’t realize until after they’ve painted is that painting their stucco will actually accentuate the texture of the stucco. Stucco itself doesn’t have much of a sheen to it so when you apply paint it creates a protective barrier that is then caught by the light.  This results in more emphasized texture so you should take that into consideration when you’re looking to paint. To address this, we recommend you use a flat exterior paint product. This sheen will have the least amount of shine; however, you may still notice the texture on your home. We also recommend a very high quality paint because a flat sheen doesn’t have as much protection as a satin sheen.  This can result in premature fading on your stucco which is less than ideal!

How to Fill Cracks 

As the ground settles your home may shift, which can result in cracks throughout your stucco. These can be unsightly, but you do have options for repairing those. If your stucco primarily has hairline cracks that are less than a half inch in width then you can save money and fill these cracks with caulking. The downside of caulking is that it’s not designed to mimic the look and feel of stucco. In other words it won’t have the same texture as the rest of your home.  For this reason, we only recommend choosing this solution if the stucco cracking is minimal. For more advanced stucco failure we recommend having a stucco professional address the repairs. Get a quote for stucco repair and talk to your paint professional about options to make the best decision for your home.

How to Paint A Stucco Home

One of the last things you need to know when painting stucco is how you apply the paint. For most substrates we recommend spraying out the body of the home and brushing and rolling the trim. Stucco is a little different, because it’s more porous than wood and therefore requires more paint. To get a truly high quality coverage on your stucco, we recommend spraying out and back-rolling the stucco. This is typically at least a two man job so be sure to recruit someone for help. Back-rolling helps press the paint into each pore of the stucco which results in a rich, thorough saturation of the home. 

kind home solutions painters painting a stucco home with one painter back-rolling
Notice the painter on the left back-rolling the paint into the stucco

Should You Paint Your Stucco?

At the end of the day, whether or not you should paint your stucco comes down to personal preference. Some people really don’t like the look of painted stucco and believe it should just be resurfaced as needed. Others find painting a reasonably easy and affordable way to keep up with and update their stucco. If you’re really not sure, request quotes for both projects and see what works best with your budget.  At the end of the day, there is nothing wrong with painting your stucco; however, it’s also not necessary to maintain your stucco. Find the solution that’s best for you and you’ll be well on your way to a beautifully maintained home! To see more of the stucco homes we’ve painted check out our Instagram.




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