How To Apply Stucco: Texture and Finishes

Follow this Guide to Stucco Application for Your Next Home Project

Stucco application

So you want to learn how to stucco? I will do my best to show you the quickest and cheapest way to do this. You will need some patience and a few tools that you can pick up at any home improvement store.

For now, let's talk about applying exterior stucco. Here's how to apply stucco: 

  1. Prepare the surface that you want to stucco. You will need a brush (you can get this in the garden or painting center of a home improvement store), a half-full five gallon bucket of water, and a hammer.
  2. Using a hammer, remove any loose cement from the surface to be stuccoed. Brush the area clean with the dry brush.
  3. At the store where you got your brush, you will also need premixed masonry cement and some additive (sometimes called texture 1-11). When buying stucco siding, ask any associate in the garden department for help. Check out the different types of stucco finishes because the material in the mixture will dictate the stucco texture and finish. Add according to manufacturer's recommendations.
  4. In the wheelbarrow, mix the mortar with water until it has the consistency of peanut butter. Add the additive as you mix.
  5. Now that the mortar is mixed and is ready to use, you will need to brush some water onto the surface until it is damp.
  6. With the back of your mason trowel, scoop up some of your mortar mix and apply to the area to be stuccoed. Apply in an upward motion until your trowel is clean of mortar. Once again, you can purchase the mason trowel (and a hawk, if you wish) at your local home improvement store.
  7. Continue applying mortar to the area while checking to see if your mortar has set up on stuccoed area. You may be wondering how to tell if your mortar is ready for the next step. Here's how: you must touch it with your bare finger and see if you can still make a dinger imprint easily. If you can't make an easy fingerprint, then you're ready to start sponging the wall.
  8. Take a sponge (which you will find in the tile section of your home improvement store) and get it nice and wet in your bucket. Now in a circular motion (similar to waxing a car) sponge the area that is set up. You will see that the sand is beginning to rise to the surface as you sponge. Continue until the desired look is attained. If you don't want a sand look as a finish, you can just let the mortar set up on the surface as is. That is up to you.

The stucco application process is complete! Let the mortar set up for a day or two and you will have a nice-looking surface that should hold up for quite a while.

NOTE: If you are doing a vertical surface, you may want to apply lathe to the surface with concrete nails. This is a more difficult option which may require a professional.


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