Stucco is a durable and great-looking exterior finish, but it isn’t invincible. Ideally, stucco should be painted every five to ten years.
It’s important to paint and perform other stucco maintenance on the right schedule to keep your home looking great and to prevent hairline cracks from growing larger. But what should the schedule be?
Many homeowners neglect proper stucco maintenance because the process can seem intimidating, but this can leave a home vulnerable to costly damage. Use the tips below from Five Star Painting experts to decide when to paint your stucco home.
Painting a stucco house is similar to painting a house with wood siding; preparation and technique will determine longevity. In part due to expansion and contraction, paint on stucco does not behave like paint on vinyl or wood, so it can be hard to tell when a stucco home needs to be painted. The guidelines below will help:
Do you live in a climate with high moisture or humidity?
Stucco homes are built nationwide, but they’re not so popular in some areas. This is because stucco does not do well in areas with excessive moisture or precipitation, so it’s most commonly seen in arid climates. If you have a stucco home in a climate that is not arid or dry, your stucco maintenance and painting routine should be more active.
Do you see hairline cracks?
Stucco is prone to cracking due to settling and expansion of the home, foundation, and soil. Hairline cracks (that fit the edge of your fingernail) are nothing to worry about as long as they’re covered and sealed with paint. If ignored, hairline cracks allow moisture to enter behind the stucco, which can lead to rot or water damage. Fill larger cracks with a texturized masonry caulk before painting.
Do you see white powder or white streaks on your stucco?
This is known as efflorescence and is an indication of water damage behind the stucco. It’s from water moving through the stucco, dissolving salts, and leaving the salts behind when it evaporates. Don’t just paint the stucco to cover this up, but fix the root of the problem first.
Do you see cracking, peeling, mold, or blistering?
This is a sign that the stucco should be painted. Before covering these eyesores up, investigate why they happened. There could be an underlying problem no amount of paint can fix.
Looking for a fresh, new look?
No complicated explanation is needed here. If you want to give your home a new look, a fresh coat of paint is a great choice. Just check for the problems on this list before you get going!
What Paint Should I Use?
Elastomeric paint is best to use for stucco since it can expand and contract. Always use the highest-quality stucco paint you can afford. The stucco paint with a higher up-front cost will typically last longer, seal hairline cracks more effectively, and prevent water damage. Flat paint is easiest to work with since it blends in with areas that have already dried when you’re touching up a wall.
Tips for Painting Stucco
To avoid different shades of color on your home, stucco walls should all be painted at the same time. Don’t be tempted to just paint the areas that need it. Use this time to closely inspect all the walls to identify problems (cracks, mold, pests) before they get worse.
Before painting stucco, always begin with a dirt-free surface by power washing the walls. Scrubbing the lower 1/3 of the wall with detergent and a stiff brush will remove excess dirt. Stucco paint can be rolled or sprayed on. While spraying is faster, it doesn’t always result in the fullest coverage. Brushing is not recommended.
If spraying, back rolling is a professional technique for ensuring complete coverage: Immediately after spraying a wall, have someone follow behind and roll the fresh paint with a lambs’ wool paint roller. This pushes the paint into cracks and crevices the sprayer cannot reach.
Always apply two coats of paint.
Professional Stucco Maintenance and Painting
Five Star Painting has years of experience in maintaining and painting stucco homes. If you’re looking for exceptional customer service and a two-year service warranty, just give us a call. We can help you find the right color, repair any cracks, wash the walls, and more to ensure your stucco paint lasts for years to come. Give us a call at (703) 810-7698, or schedule a free estimate online.