Painting stucco exterior

sierraeastFebruary 2, 2006

Out here in the mojave desert, the majority of exteriors are stucco, or combinations of stucco, sidings,brick/stone veneer, but predominately stucco.I was told by another that painting the newer stucco's the paint will peel and fail. I know on older exterior plastering before stucco,(hardcoating), paint was the final finish coat.Im asking this for a friend who has a heavy textured stucco exterior. To scrape the existing texture down and re-color coat is pretty involved effort as well as a hefty expense.I have seen it done on a few residenses,(painting), but it's not real common practice. Looking for some more opinions/advise on this.Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Mark

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Mark: I think the confusion is what the stucco that you are painting is on. Paint adheres very well to stucco. However, neither paint nor stucco is waterproof. So typically the wall of a house is built-up with black paper (waterproof) behind the metal lath, scratch coat, brown coat and top (color) coat. There is a weep screed installed at the bottom of the wall. Accordingly, if it rains, any moisture seeping through the stucco drips down between it and the black paper and goes out through the weep screed. On a masonry wall the stucco is applied directly to the concrete block. Therefore, if you paint a stuccoed masonry wall, the moisture can get trapped in the stucco and cause the paint to blister and peel. This doesn't happen on a house since the moisture runs out through the weep screed. I'm pretty sure that this is the way house walls are built even in the desert. You can see the weep screed along the bottom of the walls where the slab ends. If you have them it's fine to paint the house. If your friend paints, be sure to prep the walls well (pressure wash) and use a long nap roller. If the paint is sprayed on, still go over it with a roller to make sure the paint adheres well in the crevices.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2006 at 7:41PM
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Thanks ventupete, That is the lathing application used out here using Stucco-rite panels that are felted,pre-wired panels, or foamboard over felt with lath wire over the foam.Both applications use weep screed at the base of the sill plate.Their house was built in the late eighties, but when i was in new work in the early eighties, weep screed was used, but pre-wired panels were pretty new, with foamboard coming later on down the road. Stringing wire diagonally across the stud bays, covering with felt, then lath wire furred out with nails that had a cardboard type of washer to hold the wire out, was generally the accepted practice from the early eighties back to the earliest houses in this area being the fifties(young town).Thanks again with the advise, especially the pressure washer, and a heavy nap roller, as the texturing is pretty heavy duty and im sure there's a lot of dirt in the crevices.I'll pass this advise on as well to people who have stucco'd block walls as there are quite a few around. Some are framed walls that are stucco'd, others are block walls.Have a good one!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2006 at 10:07PM
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Mark: I spoke to an old buddy of mine recently and I remembered he used to do a lot of stucco work in Arizona. I asked him about painting stucco walls and what I had told you. He said that while what I told you is the conventional wisdom, he saw a fair amount of stucco walls painted in Arizona with no apparent problems. He thought this was because there is so little rain the moisture never really becomes a problem. There was one exception though. A client of his had a retaining wall that had been painted and the paint had blistered and peeled in several places...he figured that was from the hydrostatic pressure on the dirt side of the wall. Anyhow, just thought you might be interested in some first hand experience in an area with a similar climate to yours.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 6:32PM
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Thanks Ventupete,I passed on the info, and He's going on with it.This is a d.i.y'er for him where as re-stuccoing would not have been.Most poeple dont realize we have our battles with moisture in the desert.You would think that water would drain on down to china when it rains, but it seems to do the opposite and stay near the surface and running on top,(flash flooding).On block walls,retaining walls, foundations,etc. the moisture seems to stay around longer,(depending on time of year).I sure appreciate the info.Our bud has airless experience and is going to rent one after cleaning the stucco. This will save him some dinero compared to having a plasterer re-coat the stucco. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2006 at 11:04AM
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Great. If he wants to do a top notch job, he should quickly go over the sprayed area with a long nap roller to make sure the paint adheres in all the little crooks and crannies (especially if it's a knock down finish).

    Bookmark   February 13, 2006 at 3:11AM
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I passed that advise on when you first mentioned it, but will remind him again.I told him about this website only to find out he's not online.He's enlisted the help of his daughter who can give him a hand with the rolling.I have heard that even when you're spraying siding, you want to roll it out to get rid of spray lines and to work the paint in. He rented an airless and sprayed out a fence as well as a shed, so he's got a feel for it. The stucco is fairly heavy textured, but not a knockdown.I went over to offer a hand ,but the daughter is out visiting and wants to help out.Has some hairline cracking in places,but surprisingly nothing major. I advised digging the hairlines out a little and simply caulking with latex caulk before painting,spreading it in to the crack and feathering it out.Had a minor chunck out on a back corner down by the wepp screed, but had filled it with a product called pourstone. They are probably getting ready to start, as they wanted to get it done this week while we are in a warm spell and while the daughter is here.I'll let you know how it turns out. Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2006 at 10:53AM
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We are involved with a mission compount in northern Mozambique where it is pretty dry. The buildings are mud brick with stucco exterior. They use a white (or colored) paint, which washes off after a year or two. Is there a better paint for stucco rather then this white wash?

Any advice would be helpful. Thanks

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 7:13AM
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