Because of the widespread use of stucco as exterior house coating, especially in hotter climates such as California, New Mexico, and Arizona, commercial home builders have had to learn the art of mixing stucco. Although the composition of stucco is not too different from that of plaster and mortar, there are few handymen today who know or use stucco. But because it is easy to apply and is versatile enough to cover concrete, cinder block, brick, or adobe surfaces, you will find stucco to be a desirable material to use in covering either interior or exterior walls. There are five simple steps to mix stucco properly.
Step 1 – Collect Materials
Because stucco hardens quickly, you will need to mix and apply it with as little delay as possible. This means you'll need to gather all materials and tools before you begin the actual mixing process. Measure your ingredients carefully. Otherwise, you may finish your project only to find that you have run out of the mixture you need, or that you have an excess amount that you will be unable to use.
Step 2 – Wet All Tools and Materials
Because lime is one of the main ingredients in stucco, and because lime quickly absorbs moisture and easily sticks to hard surfaces such as you metal and plastic, you will need to wet all of your tools and materials such as containers, trowels, and mixing tools before any of them touch your stucco mixture. Everything that touches the mixed stucco without having been first made wet will likely have dried stucco stuck to it early into the project.
Step 3 – Add Sand to Your Stucco Mix
If you're planning on applying your stucco to a larger area, say an exterior house wall, you will want to use a commercial mixer for faster mixing of larger amounts. A bucket or wheelbarrow will work if your coverage area is smaller. But whether you mix in a commercial mixer or bucket, add two to three parts construction sand for every part of stucco mix. A good way to keep track of these proportions as you add individual components is to use a shovel. For each shovel full of stucco mix, add two to three shovels of sand, depending on the amount of grit you want in the final product.
Step 4 – Add Water to Your Stucco Mix
You can determine how much water you need to add by judging the consistency of your wet mix and its color. If your dry stucco mix is a gold color, for example, your final mixture should be the same gold color. Its viscosity, or thickness, should be similar to that of a thick paste.