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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We don't have many stucco homes in this region, so I am hoping someone here can offer advice...
I am looking at a stucco in need of paint (that has never been painted before).

I was going to suggest cleaning (to remove mildew), and then top-coating with a Flat Acrylic Exterior paint.

The homeowner is hesitant to paint the stucco (for historical preservation purposes??), but the place is covered with cracks, discoloration, and there are a few places where the stucco is starting to flake off.

Any advice appreciated. Thank you.

Sky Cloud Tree Rectangle Wall
 

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Holland -

Stucco can definitely be painted on to freshen up the look. I would suggest you stick to acrylic-based paints as they will both bond to the surface of the stucco as well as give it the best-finished look. Depending on the condition of the stucco, and in your photo some spots look pretty weathered and aged, we'd recommend using a base primer for the acrylic top paint to adhere better too. This will both help the paint and surface ahesion age well and will likely help prevent any future cracks, blemishes from needing stucco repair work years later.

My 2 cents!

JT
www.tempestucco.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Holland -

Stucco can definitely be painted on to freshen up the look. I would suggest you stick to acrylic-based paints as they will both bond to the surface of the stucco as well as give it the best-finished look. Depending on the condition of the stucco, and in your photo some spots look pretty weathered and aged, we'd recommend using a base primer for the acrylic top paint to adhere better too. This will both help the paint and surface ahesion age well and will likely help prevent any future cracks, blemishes from needing stucco repair work years later.

My 2 cents!

JT
www.tempestucco.com
Will painting help to waterproof the stucco (ie., keep the stucco from more cracking, and keep moisture out)?
I was planning to caulk the cracks (with a mortar caulk) and then paint.
 

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Yep, it will act as a moisture barrier as much as paint on any other surface would. It will help seal and improve the look for smaller cracks. I think you are on the right track with the mortar caulk - definitely go that extra step of filling in anything that looks large enough to not be filled in by the paint. It will go a long way to improving the finished painted look as well as keep preexisting cracks from getting worse.

- Tim (Stucco Repair of Scottsdale)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What to do about areas where the stucco is starting to flake off?
Only in a few areas at this time, but there is definitely a few places where I can see and pull off loose stucco.

Thank you!
*Make sure you introduce yourself in the New Member introduction- people seem to appreciate that here.
 

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What to do about areas where the stucco is starting to flake off?
Only in a few areas at this time, but there is definitely a few places where I can see and pull off loose stucco.

Thank you!
*Make sure you introduce yourself in the New Member introduction- people seem to appreciate that here.
You'll want to pull away and remove any flaking stucco that's not adhered well to the surface anymore. Depending on how much your talking about will dictate how much work it will be. Something large enough you probably want to take the time to redo the area with fresh stucco, small enough or in not that noticeable a location and you can get buy with a quick fix product.

For quick fix route here's a good video from a product I've used before for small repairs to success:


For larger problem areas check this video out:


The level of work you decide to get into will eventually reflect in the finished look and the closer you go back to original materials the more blended and clean the look will be in the end. Best to use your judgement and work within the bounds of the clients budget.

- Tim (Stucco Repair of Scottsdale)
 

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Elastomeric. Thats exactly what its made for. Use a 625 tip, get super close, spray it till its dripping down, and roll the crap out of it with a 1 1/2" roller. It will take about 3 times as much paint as you'd normally use, BTW. You need a beefy pump, though. We used to thin it with a half gallon per five. A lot of folks recomend against that though.
 

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I always figured elastomerics to be asking for trouble down the road. AKA bubbling and recoating. When I used to do Stucco, back in the day, we would just thin down the first coat of acrylic to help it penetrate. Full strenth 2nd coat. I don't think backrolling is necessary but wouldn't hurt I suppose. Tape and spray, fill big cracks with caulking.
 

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My input is not about product or process...I'm learning something too with this thread. 😊

Would it be correct to say the failure level of the stucco isn't really known until you are up on it? If so, could you structure your quote with a T&M aspect for potential "extensive stucco removal and replacement? Or a separate charge to get up there and inspect

On the same line, is this particular project worth your time? You stated that there aren't many stucco homes in your area, so be sure you want to take on something new-ish that potentially won't be much call for in the future. However, if you want the gained experience, go for it.

All the best with it. ✌🏽
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
My input is not about product or process...I'm learning something too with this thread. 😊

Would it be correct to say the failure level of the stucco isn't really known until you are up on it? If so, could you structure your quote with a T&M aspect for potential "extensive stucco removal and replacement? Or a separate charge to get up there and inspect

On the same line, is this particular project worth your time? You stated that there aren't many stucco homes in your area, so be sure you want to take on something new-ish that potentially won't be much call for in the future. However, if you want the gained experience, go for it.

All the best with it. ✌🏽
I think you are correct.
It was my feeling as well that the “stucco failure” added too many variables for an accurate quote. I already told them I was only comfortable with an Estimate based on T+M.

She was not necessarily interested in painting the stucco, although she wanted a price. I personally think it is in worse condition than the parts she wants painted.

Is this project worth my time? Lol!
Who knows! It could be a can of worms… Even so, these are the kind of projects I like to work on, and to base my reputation on (older homes with some local history and character/personality, where you never quite know what you’re going to find, and they look good when they’re).

I haven’t done many stuccos, maybe four(?), but they are almost non-existent here, so I would welcome the chance to work on another one.

All that aside, I won’t be too sad if someone else gets the job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I always figured elastomerics to be asking for trouble down the road. AKA bubbling and recoating. When I used to do Stucco, back in the day, we would just thin down the first coat of acrylic to help it penetrate. Full strenth 2nd coat. I don't think backrolling is necessary but wouldn't hurt I suppose. Tape and spray, fill big cracks with caulking.
Would you mind sharing a little more about your taping/prepping method? How exactly would you approach prep for spraying a whole exterior? Wonder if you could be specific.
 

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Would you mind sharing a little more about your taping/prepping method? How exactly would you approach prep for spraying a whole exterior? Wonder if you could be specific.
Nothing ground breaking really. Pressure wash or downstream with strong solution for cleaning. Whether trim is being painted or not would determine exact process..
If all trim is being done then just sloppily bag windows and over spray onto trims and paint after. I used to do everything off ladders but since moving to NL with all the wind, I prefer to set up scaffolding on complete repaints and do 1 side at a time. If you have 2 people, you can set up scaffolding in No time. Way nice than working off ladders in imo..
If stucco damage is excessive, maybe sub it out to a stucco guy. But honestly, it's not rocket science to mix up some quickcrete and trowel it on. Some bonding glue first may be beneficial.
 

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I always figured elastomerics to be asking for trouble down the road. AKA bubbling and recoating. When I used to do Stucco, back in the day, we would just thin down the first coat of acrylic to help it penetrate. Full strenth 2nd coat. I don't think backrolling is necessary but wouldn't hurt I suppose. Tape and spray, fill big cracks with caulking.
I dont understand why you'd think that. Where Im from, almost every new house is stucco'd and elasto'd. Ive not once, seen any form of bubbling whatsoever. The houses are pretty bulletproof, actually. I also dont understand why you wouldnt backroll such a rough surface. You'd have to to get it in the nooks and crannies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
I dont understand why you'd think that. Where Im from, almost every new house is stucco'd and elasto'd. Ive not once, seen any form of bubbling whatsoever. The houses are pretty bulletproof, actually. I also dont understand why you wouldnt backroll such a rough surface. You'd have to to get it in the nooks and crannies.
@Woodco
Your advice is probably pretty good, I am just unfamiliar with what you’re referring to. I don't typically work with elastomerics (aside from caulks).
 

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Hey @Holland, if you haven't already, read through this thread from a prior PT member. Although he's banned now, he offers what I feel is excellent advice and insights as far as when to use elastomerics and when not to use them. I understand that @Woodco uses elasto on new construction homes, and that may very well be ideal in his situation, but caution must be taken when considering the use of elasto on old homes. Due to the sheer thickness at which it's applied, (approx 20-25 mils WFT), it has a very low perm rating. This can be great for protecting surfaces by limiting the amount of potential water intrusion, but it has the capability of being completely disastrous if water somehow finds its way behind the film, or if excess water vapor is constantly trying to escape. For new construction, I think it makes great sense, since you're starting off with good bones and a solid envelope. For repaints however, it should only be used after careful scrutiny of the entire structure. Get a paint rep involved to insure the right products are being specified.

I've seen elastomerics hold up extremely well and make pinholed concrete blocks looks nearly smooth. I've also spent thousands of hours removing elastomerics in sheets; sometimes due to applicator error, but more often than not, as a result of moisture being trapped behind the surface with no place to escape. We once scraped cinderblock walls with bubbles bigger than bowling balls; roughly 2,000 lineal feet, so I'm always cautious as far as specifying elastomerics on older structures, and rarely find myself doing so.
 

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I dont understand why you'd think that. Where Im from, almost every new house is stucco'd and elasto'd. Ive not once, seen any form of bubbling whatsoever. The houses are pretty bulletproof, actually. I also dont understand why you wouldnt backroll such a rough surface. You'd have to to get it in the nooks and crannies.
Troy sorta said what I was thinking. I never felt the need to backroll stucco, but it wouldn't hurt. Backrolling elasto would pretty tough too no?! To be honest I never really used it.
 

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Troy sorta said what I was thinking. I never felt the need to backroll stucco, but it wouldn't hurt. Backrolling elasto would pretty tough too no?! To be honest I never really used it.
Oh, yeah, its a workout for sure, and the splatters are REALLY hard to wash off your skin. It sticks GOOD. I did it with Tract homes. Like I said, I would put on a 629 tip, (with a powerful gas powered pump) get three inches away from the wall, and spray till its dripping down like syrup, then the backroll guy would do his thing. This was also raw, and VERY rough stucco, mind you... Repaints are nowhere near as intense or material/labor intensive. But, I would absolutely elasto this job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Oh, yeah, its a workout for sure, and the splatters are REALLY hard to wash off your skin. It sticks GOOD. I did it with Tract homes. Like I said, I would put on a 629 tip, (with a powerful gas powered pump) get three inches away from the wall, and spray till its dripping down like syrup, then the backroll guy would do his thing. This was also raw, and VERY rough stucco, mind you... Repaints are nowhere near as intense or material/labor intensive. But, I would absolutely elasto this job.
I have suggested top-coating paint with 100% Acrylic Exterior Paint.

Given their budgetary constraints, and my inexperience with 'Elasto', it seemed the right direction to go.
It will still add some waterproofing/breathabilty, and will be much more within my realm of comfort.
 

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i’d used to do a ton of homes like this in Tucson. do the repairs it and it looks like a splatter texture so for your patches you could use a Masonary brush and flick the texture right over your patches. I would then spray and back roll a good heavy coat of sw loxon Masonary primer. Then I would just spray two coats of top shelf paint.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
i’d used to do a ton of homes like this in Tucson. do the repairs it and it looks like a splatter texture so for your patches you could use a Masonary brush and flick the texture right over your patches. I would then spray and back roll a good heavy coat of sw loxon Masonary primer. Then I would just spray two coats of top shelf paint.

Thank you. I understand that this is the preferred "best" method:
-Patch and texture first
-prime w/ Loxon and backroll
-paint x2 coats 100% Acrylic Exterior Paint.

*Great tip about splattering the texture. Makes sense!

Just to clarify, I am only bidding on this house at this time, and the owners did not originally want stucco painted. I suggested it based on many cracks throughout, the staining, and the general neglect. I may not be able to upsell (and I have not been awarded any contracts yet, I am simply investigating so I am informed).


Just so I understand completely what is involved with painting stucco, are there levels of "painting finish" that are considered acceptable for stucco?

For example:
I am assuming that all stucco patches should be primed before painting, as a general rule? Is this true?
Can the stucco house be painted directly without priming? I am simply looking to be informed, thank you.
Can a primer like Bullseye 123 be used instead of Loxon?
 
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