How to Apply Exterior Stucco

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For centuries the imagination of builders and artists alike have been expressed through the versatility and aesthetic appeal of stucco. Stucco can be applied to most any flat or curved surface with a minimum of preparation or fuss. With each application a new work of art is created, showing the skill as well as the personality of the user, allowing any project to be individualized. It’s also a remarkably inexpensive and long-lived wall finish. Many regal homes throughout Europe are finished with stucco that was applied centuries before. This guide will explain how to effectively apply stucco to any exterior wall.

Things You'll Need

  • Concrete Bonding Agent
  • Pre-Mixed Stucco
  • Plastering Trowel
  • Plaster Rake
  • Spray Bottle
  • Finishing Trowel
  • Putty Knives
  • Paint Brushes
  • Hammer
  • Wood Nails
  • Galvanized Roofing Nails
  • 15 Pound Roofing Felt
  • 17 Gauge Metal Netting or Mesh
  • Wire Cutters

Stucco Applied To Masonry or Concrete Walls

  • Prepare the surface by brushing a concrete bonding agent onto the wall. Allow a full day for the bonding agent to dry.

  • Pry open your containers of pre-mixed stucco and scoop up a large dollop onto your plastering trowel.

  • Smear a thick layer of stucco onto the wall directly from the trowel. This is called the scratch coat. It should evenly cover the wall in a thickness anywhere between one quarter and one half inch thick.

  • Let this coat harden for a few hours and then scratch it down evenly with a Plaster Rake so that the stucco is about half as thick as it was to start with.

  • Leave the coat to harden for about two full days. Moisten the wall every few hours with a water spray bottle.

  • Apply the finish coat of stucco with your trowel, making sure to smooth the edges with a putty knife. This second layer should be between one quarter and one eighth of an inch thick.

  • Use your finishing trowel to smooth and texture the stucco wall however you like. This is your opportunity to be creative, so go nuts.

  • Let the wall cure for another two full days, again misting the wall evenly every few hours. Once the stucco is hardened you're done.

Stuccoing A Wood Wall

  • Prepare the surface by covering the wall with 15 Pound Roofing Felt and using short wood nails to hold it in place. Don't worry about using too many nails. The fewer sags in the Felt the better.

  • Cover the Felt with 17 Gauge Metal Netting and fit it to the wall, remove the excess with the wire cutters. Nail the Mesh in place with Galvanized Roofing Nails. It's alright if every part of the Mesh isn't perfectly flush against the wall.

  • Pry open your containers of pre-mixed stucco and scoop up a large dollop onto your plastering trowel.

  • Smear the stucco onto the mesh. Make sure to force the stucco through the holes of the netting first, and then put a layer between half and a quarter inch thick over the netting. The stucco on the other side of the mesh will help the whole mass adhere to the wall when it dries.

  • Let this coat harden for a few hours and then scratch it down evenly with a Plaster Rake so that the stucco is about half as thick as it was to start with.

  • Leave the coat to harden for about two full days. Moisten the wall every few hours with a water spray bottle.

  • Apply the finish coat of stucco with your trowel, making sure to smooth the edges with a putty knife. This second layer should be between one quarter and one eighth of an inch thick.

  • Use your finishing trowel to smooth and texture the stucco wall however you like. This is your opportunity to be creative, so go nuts.

  • Let the wall cure for another two full days, again misting the wall evenly every few hours. Once the stucco is hardened you're done.

Tips & Warnings

  • Let your imagination go wild when applying the stucco. Stucco comes in many different colors. Specific scenes or designs can be etched into wet stucco with any tool or stylus at hand. Also you can texture your stucco with sponges, cutouts, and dry brushes of any size once the stucco has already been applied.
  • High levels of humidity or rain can ruin the stucco's curing process. Stucco your walls only during a dry time of the year that you can count on not to rain.

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  • Photo Credit http://www.sdcustomcolors.com/thumbs/stuccoLugano.jpg
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