Do I need special paint when painting stucco?

Painting stucco is potentially difficult due to its bumpy, uneven surface. Before painting stucco, make sure the surface is properly cured by waiting 60 days after the stucco is poured. It’s best to fill in any cracks in the wall before beginning. Consider pressure washing the surface to remove any existing paint, as well as any dust or other detritus that’s on the surface of the wall. Take care to cover all surfaces you do not want painted, as usual.

Particularly rough-textured stucco will take extra paint, so be ready to buy more than you might usually estimate for this project. If the stucco has not been painted before, remember that its surface will soak up plenty of paint, so you may need several layers.

Use a flat, no-gloss paint so that your stucco will look its best, and use a masonry primer to prep the surface. Start painting on a warm day with moderate humidity, and wait 24 hours before applying each successive coat. A muted color will typically have better coverage than a brighter one, with fewer applications.

Consider using a paint sprayer to ensure good coverage of your exterior. If you use a sprayer, make certain that all protective coverings are secure; paint sprayers operate at an extremely high pressure and can easily remove these coverings. You can also use the sprayer’s shield to protect these areas. Use an even pattern with the sprayer and spray with short bursts rather than long strokes to get good coverage. Try to paint the stucco from several directions.

If you don’t use a paint sprayer, paint rollers are the way to go. If your stucco is very rough, choose a roller with a large, soft nap to better get into the surface’s nooks and crannies. (It may be a good idea to go over the surface with a roller even if using a sprayer to ensure complete coverage.) Smoother stucco will not need as large of a nap. You may want to buy several rollers for your project, since stucco’s rough surface will damage rollers. Use several painting patterns for full coverage.

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