While the stucco on the exterior of your house is made to last for what seems forever, the paint on top of it does not. In that regard, unpainted stucco can last for years and years without needing much attention, save for some cleaning now and then. Painted stucco, however, will need to be repainted every few years, depending on your climate. Let’s look at a few easy steps to get your stucco painting looking good and so it will last.
Prep your stucco for painting
As with anything you paint outside, you’ll want to clean your old stucco thoroughly and remove loose paint before applying paint to it. Essentially, you can wash off your stucco with a garden hose, but it’ll be a good idea to scrub your walls with a strong nylon brush (use one you can put on a handle, like this one). Work the brush into dirty areas to remove dirt, stains and mildew. You can use a light detergent, and if you have any thin layers of mildew to clean, do so with a bleach/water mixture. Stubborn stains on your stucco as well as peeling paint can be worked out easier with a wire brush. Rust stains that don’t come off can be covered with a stain sealer just like these.If scrubbing isn’t your cup of tea, feel free to use a pressure washer. Be careful not to get so close as to blast off stucco! The spray is all right, if it’s removing some of the loosened old paint though. You don’t want any flaking old paint on your stucco before you paint, so washing or scraping it off is a must.
Your stucco may have cracks showing. While this usually isn’t a problem, you can easily fill these in with acrylic latex caulk. Check that it is for outdoor use and is paintable. For cracks wider than the thickness of a credit card, you can use vinyl concrete patch or elastomeric (synthetic rubber) stucco patch. Apply with a small putty knife. If cracks are wide (more than a quarter of an inch or so), you should get your stucco looked at before painting as it may be weak and ready to come off your wall. Simply squeeze the caulk all along and into cracks, then wipe it into the cracks firmly with your finger or a rag, removing excess after you’re done.
Paint that stucco wall
When you’re ready to paint, you should make sure to use the highest-quality latex or elastomeric paint possible. You should be able to find this paint labeled as being designed just for stucco. You’ll want to apply two coats, so don’t worry about lathering on just one thick coat. Two will last longer and look much better. A thick nap paint roller with a powered roller pump are usually the best ways to paint stucco walls and ceilings. Roll the paint over the stucco in multiple directions to get every nook and cranny. For other crevices, work paint into the stucco surfaces with a masonry brush like one of these.
One final tip if you’re painting new stucco. Make sure that the stucco has cured for a month or more. If you don’t, your painted stucco could get discolored or peel off.