How to Paint Stucco in 6 Easy Steps!

There’s no other feeling like owning and entering your first home for the first time.

But in most cases, the number of repair jobs an old home requires can ruin that feeling for a while.

Imagine you have bought your first house. While inspecting the property, you discover that the stucco exterior of your new home could use some serious attention.

Sounds familiar? If you are in the same fix, I know exactly what you are looking for.

This is why I have written down a detailed guide on ‘how to paint stucco’ from my first house painting experience.

So without further ado, let’s start!

How to Paint Stucco: Step-by-Step Guide

In this section, I will take you through the detailed six steps of painting stucco like a master!

StepsEstimated Time
Prepare the Stucco Surface45 minutes
Repair Cracks1 hour
Masking the Surrounding30 minutes
Prime the Stucco1 hour
Paint the Stucco2 hours
Apply a Second Coat2 hours

Step 1: Prepare the Stucco Surface

  • Use a soft-bristle vinyl brush to brush the stucco surface before pressure washing.
  • This will loosen the dirt and debris, making pressure washing more effective.
  • Plug your pressure washer into a GFCI outlet for safety.
  • Then, attach the hose to a hose bib for water supply.
  • Start washing your stucco surface from the top and keep working your way down.
  • This technique is effective in removing dirt, dust, and debris.
  • Make sure to clean the top areas where cobwebs and insect nests accumulate.
  • Ensure to clean the mud splashes at the bottom as well.
  • Take a break and carefully examine the stucco surface for any peeling paint.
  • If you find any, scrape the damaged paint using a paint scraper.
  • Hold the scraper at a low angle to avoid damaging the stucco.
  • If you find any mildew growth, it’s important that you take care of it before you start painting.
  • You can use any household cleanser or bleach to get rid of them.
  • Apply the cleanser to the affected area and give it a few minutes to kill the mildew properly.
  • Once everything is done, rinse the whole stucco surface thoroughly.
  • Let the stucco surface dry completely before you start painting, as the paint won’t adhere to a damp surface.
Cleaning stucco surface

Required Tools

  • Soft-bristle vinyl brush
  • Pressure washer
  • Paint scraper
  • Household cleanser or bleach

Step 2: Repair Cracks

  • It’s important to repair the existing cracks on a stucco surface to achieve a smooth finish.
  • Carefully go through the stucco surface to find any cracks or holes that are wider than the paint scraper blade.
  • If you find any, use a 5-in-1 tool to scrape out the old stucco from the cracks.
  • This ensures that the repaired area has a solid foundation for the caulking.
  • Gently brush the cracks to clear out the debris or any other loose particles with a wire brush.
  • Apply beads of silicon caulking along the length of the cracks with a caulk gun.
  • Press the caulking deep into the crack to ensure proper coverage.
  • This step ensures that your repairs stay for long.
  • Moisten a chip brush using water and feather the edges to blend the caulking with stucco.

Required Tools

  • 5-in-1 tool
  • Wire brush
  • Chip brush
  • Silicon caulking
  • Caulk gun

Step 3: Masking the Surrounding

  • Once your stucco surface is free from dirt and debris and repaired fully, it’s time for masking.
  • Masking ensures that only the stucco surface receives the fresh paint coat with clear lines and that the surrounding is untouched.
  • Begin by mapping the areas that need masking.
  • These areas include soffits, railings, pipes, windows, and doors.
  • Use flooring paper to cover up every surface and secure it using painter’s tape.
  • Cover the surrounding plants with tarps so they stay paint-free.
  • If there are any light fixtures or electrical wires on the surface, remove them and carefully tape off the wires.

Required Tools

  • Flooring paper
  • Painter’s tape
  • Electrical tape
Spray painting stucco surface

Step 4: Prime the Stucco

  • Pour stucco-friendly primer into a lined paint tray.
  • Make sure there is enough primer to cover the whole stucco surface.
  • Attach a ⅜-inch nap roller cover to a roller frame, then run the roller over the stucco surface, including the patched cracks.
  • For the top areas, you can attach an extension pole to the paint roller.
  • Ensure the roller is evenly coated but not overloaded so it drips.
  • Work methodically, covering each area equally with a heavy coat of primer.

Required Tools

  • Primer
  • Paint tray
  • Paintbrush
  • ⅜-inch nap roller cover
  • Paint roller
  • Extension pole

Step 5: Paint the Stucco

  • Now that your stucco surface is well-prepped and primed, you can start painting a vibrant finish.
  • Ensure that the paint is outdoor-friendly and can withstand extreme weather conditions.
  • Wear protective glasses, gloves, masks, and clothing to cover your skin.
  • Set up the hopper gun and start spraying.
  • Choose an 8×8 feet area at a time to paint.
  • Hold the paint sprayer nozzle at a suitable distance and spray directly from the front.
  • Respray the same section from multiple angles while the paint is still wet.
  • This ensures proper coverage over the bumps and ridges of the stucco surface.
  • Immediately roll your paint roller over the freshly sprayed paint to press it into the stucco and create a seamless blend.
  • This method is called backrolling, and it ensures a consistent appearance.

Required Tools

  • Protective glass
  • Gloves
  • Masks
  • Appropriate clothing
  • Paint
  • Hopper gun
  • Paint roller
Backrolling stucco surface

Step 6: Apply a Second Coat

  • Check the paint manufacturer’s instructions for timing conditions and optimal temperature for applying the second coat.
  • Use the same spraying and backrolling technique as the first coat.
  • Give the stucco surface sufficient time to cure and dry fully.
  • This waiting period is essential for the paint to set and create a vibrant finish.
  • Once the paint is dry, your stucco surface will be prepared for regular use with a revitalized appearance.

Required Tools

  • Protective glass
  • Gloves
  • Masks
  • Appropriate clothing
  • Paint
  • Hopper gun
  • Paint roller

Bottom Line

Great job!

If you have followed the guide to the teeth, your gorgeous stucco walls should be boasting the beauty of your house to your neighbors by now.

Well, don’t just stop there. Do you want to know how to get more outdoor painting jobs done?

Keep an eye on our blogs; there are new DIY home decor projects every day!

Happy Decoring!


What is stucco material?

There are two types of stucco: synthetic stucco and traditional stucco.

Synthetic stucco or Exterior Insulation Finishing System (EIFS) is typically softer and maintains color for longer periods, while traditional stucco is a cement-type mixture that is created by combining Portland cement, lime, sand, and water and is more durable than the first one.

What type of paint do you use for stucco?

Acrylic latex exterior paints are the best for painting stucco. They are light, durable, and allow the stucco to breathe.

You can easily apply these paints to your stucco surface, requiring very little maintenance.

What paint finish is best for exterior stucco?

Stucco looks elegant with any flat or low-sheen paint.