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How to Paint Stucco Siding

The beauty of stucco as a siding choice is that it already contains its finish color when applied, and the look usually lasts for years. Eventually, however, the surface begins to show signs of age and must be painted.

Mask windows and doors with painter’s tape and plastic sheeting before painting stucco walls.

If you just want a change for aesthetic reasons, keep in mind that once stucco is painted, it will need to be refreshed periodically.

Like any surface, stucco must be clean and free of cracks, holes, or other blemishes for paint to adhere to it. To clean stucco that is sound, simply scrub it with a stiff nylon brush and detergent. If it has previously been painted, scrape it with a wire brush or with a scraper if it has a smooth finish.

Apply 100% acrylic latex paint. For more about paint, see House Paint Buying Guide.

Scaffolding makes the job of painting a two-story home much easier than painting with ladders. Edw / Shutterstock.com

Scaffolding makes the job of painting a two-story home much easier than painting with ladders.

New paint may have trouble adhering to previously painted stucco. To give the surface some “tooth” for the new paint to grip, “scratch” the stucco with a wire brush.

If the previous paint is in serious disrepair, you may want to sandblast the surface; this is best done by a professional. Pressure washing is not a good idea because it can damage the stucco. If you notice patches that look like they have a white powder on them, see How to Fix Chalking Paint.

Protect windows, doors, and fixtures from paint by masking them with plastic sheeting and and painter’s tape.

Stucco siding can be spray painted, but you’re more likely to get better paint adhesion by applying paint with a roller that has a nap suitable for the texture of the wall-the bumpier the texture, the thicker the nap. For best adhesion, brush-in the paint with a wide nylon-bristle brush.


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About Don Vandervort
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Don Vandervort developed his expertise more than 30 years ago as Building Editor for both Sunset Books and Home Magazine. He has written more than 30 home improvement books and countless magazine articles. He appeared regularly on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert. Don founded HomeTips in 1996.

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