Asked on Jun 19, 2013

How to re-stucco a house.

Jo FieldWoodbridge Environmental


It looks like the bank owned home we bought has been painted right over the stucco. Big chips are starting to come off and it looks pretty ugly. How do you re stucco, is it a DIY project or for professionals only?
2 answers
  • Stucco work is hard, heavy and not really a home owner DIY type of project. Also what type of stucco do you have? Is it three coat, two coat, or EIFS. Every one is done different. And not knowing makes a difference on how it is fixed. The biggest issue with stucco is the paint. When stucco is applied the color is in the finish coat. So it is not painted when new. What folks do not understand stucco needs to breath. It is moisture permeable. Meaning it allows water vapor to move through it but not liquid water. If you could put the wall under a microscope you would see that the surface is much like a window screen. Lots of tiny holes in the surface. It is those holes that allow water vapor which its molecules are much smaller then then the holes in the surface. Because of this the moisture travels through. With water however those molecules are much larger then the holes in the wall so the moisture is kept out. Knowing this, house paint which many people who do not understand should not be used, It is NOT moisture permeable so it prevents the moisture from freely traveling through the surface should liquid water which would turn to vapor make an attempt to get out from behind of the wall surface should a leak occur. Also elevated interior humidity will also become trapped within the wall. it is seen all the time on wood walls outside bathrooms as peeling paint where poor vapor interior vapor barriers exist. A good example of this happening is blistering paint seen on wooden homes. Elevated moisture becomes trapped behind the paint film applied and when the sun hits the siding it blisters the paint and causes it to peel. Well with stucco house paint does not come off as easy when the moisture vapor becomes trapped behind it. The elevated moisture levels that become trapped often cause softening of the cement surface causing it to fail. The correct type of paint is called elastomeric moisture permeable paint. This type of paint sheds moisture but allows vapor to travel through it and it is also flexible allowing it to move with the surface preventing it from failing. So to answer your question, I would not try to re-stucco the walls by covering the old up. and if I did I would hire a pro to do this for you, It is difficult and hard to blend in repairs and its one of those projects that once you start you need to complete in short order, not one you can simply start on one weekend and finish on another. Also you need to remember not to apply in direct sun, so you can only work on sides of the home where the sun is not hitting the wall directly, meaning you need to be able to move around the house as the sun does. This requires scaffolding and manpower. and unless you have a dozen kids and access to scaffolding, I would suggest you steer clear of this and doing it on your own. However when repairs are made you will power wash or soda blast the siding to remove any paint that was applied to the surface, then repair the damaged areas with new top coat finish material and then when the walls have been patched repaint using the correct finish materials as described above. There are a few other options however, You can install EIFS if its not that type of siding already. EIFS siding is stucco applied over a EPS board. ( foam) And again that is a pro type of job, or you can install new wood, vinyl, or cement siding boards over the stucco by installing sleepers and filling in between with foam boards. This is a difficult job but can be done by a DIY person if they have the necessary tools and abilities to install siding.

  • Jo Field
    on Jun 24, 2013

    thank you. I will need to find someone to give me an estimate.

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