How to Apply Stucco Siding

Lead Image
  • 8-40 hours
  • Advanced
  • 2,000-18,000
What You'll Need
Cleaning supplies
Binding compound
Roofing felt
Chicken wire/metal netting
Bucket and stick for mixing
Portland cement
Masonry cement
Clean, damp medium sand
Color (optional)

If you live on the West Coast or in the Southwest, then you are probably familiar with stucco siding. Stucco siding is a highly durable, inexpensive form of residential and building siding that is very popular in areas that are heavily influenced by Spanish or Mexican building styles.

If you're looking to spruce up your stucco or transform your home, here's what you need to know to avoid making application mistakes.

Step 1 – Preparation

Examine the wall you will be stuccoing. If you will be applying stucco siding to an already existing concrete, brick, or another type of siding, you need to completely clean the walls of dust, dirt, and debris.

You will also need to seal any cracks or breaks in the wall that might allow water seepage, which would damage the interior of your walls. You can use caulk to repair any damage or breaks.

Step 2 – Apply Binding Compound

If you are applying stucco to cinderblock or concrete walls, you will need to apply a binding compound and let it dry so that the stucco will adhere to the wall. If you are applying the stucco to a wood wall, you will need to place roofing felt on the wall along with chicken wire or metal netting.

Step 3 – Mix Stucco

Mix 1 part Portland cement with 1 part masonry cement and 8 parts clean, damp medium-grain sand. You will be using this mixture for both the scratch coat and the topcoat of stucco.

Step 4 – Apply Scratch Coat

Next, you will need to apply the first layer or scratch coat to the wall. Apply approximately a quarter to half of the stucco to the wall. Let the stucco harden slightly, and then use a rake to cut horizontal lines into the stucco about 1/8 inch deep. Stucco does not do well when it is applied on extremely hot days or when it is very windy and will dry out too quickly. This is a siding application that needs to dry evenly and not be allowed to completely dry out before the second top layer is applied.

Let this layer cure for approximately 36 to 48 hours, spraying lightly with water occasionally to prevent it from completely drying out and so that the second layer will adhere correctly.

If you have not yet practiced applying stucco, start with a back wall that is not facing the street so that your final walls will be those in which you have had enough practice applying the stucco to become proficient and you will have the best application.

Step 5 – Apply Second Coat

Add the top layer of stucco. This is the layer that should have color in it if you are going to color the stucco. This layer should be applied so that it is approximately 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick.

Step 6 – Apply Texture

Once you have the stucco applied, use a trowel to create a texture into the siding. This texture can be as light or as heavy as desired. As you work, try several different trowel styles until you settle on one that is pleasing.

Step 7 – Cure

Let the final coat cure for 36 to 48 hours. Let the topcoat of stucco cure for six to eight weeks before painting.

It only took seven simple steps. Now you have applied a beautiful stucco siding!