Stucco is a long-lasting and great-looking exterior finish, but it isn’t invincible.

If your stucco walls are starting to show wear and tear, you may be wondering if it’s time for stucco painting. In general, we recommend that exterior stucco should be painted every five to 10 years, though that can change based on your location and other factors.

As with all home upkeep tasks, it’s important to perform stucco maintenance on the right schedule. This will keep your home looking good and free of problems like hairline cracks that can grow larger and be expensive to repair.

Many homeowners neglect proper stucco maintenance because the process can seem intimidating, but avoiding or delaying maintenance can leave your home vulnerable to costly damage.

But what should your stucco maintenance schedule be?

Use these questions from the Five Star Painting experts to decide when to paint your stucco home:

  • Questions to answer before painting the stucco exterior:
    • Do you live in a climate with high moisture or humidity?
    • Do you see hairline cracks?
    • Do you see white powder or white streaks on your stucco?
    • Do you see peeling, mold, or blistering?
  • What kind of paint do you use on stucco?
  • Tips for painting stucco.

A home with stucco siding that has recently been painted.

Painting Stucco Exterior

Painting a stucco house is similar, but not exactly the same as painting a house with wood siding — preparation and technique will determine longevity. However, 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.

Answering the questions below will help you determine whether your stucco needs painting.

Do You Live in a Climate With High Moisture or Humidity?

Stucco homes are built nationwide but are not as popular in some areas of the country. This is because stucco does not do well in areas with excessive moisture or precipitation, so they are most commonly seen in arid climates. Your maintenance and painting routine should be more frequent if you have a stucco home and live in a moist climate.

Do You See Hairline Cracks in Your Stucco?

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 not as concerning if they’re covered and sealed with paint. However, if ignored, hairline cracks will allow moisture to enter behind the stucco, which can lead to rot or water damage. Larger cracks pose a greater risk and need to be filled with a textured masonry caulk before painting.

So if your walls show cracks on the surface, it’s a sign you should schedule stucco painting soon.

Do You See White Powder or White Streaks on Your Stucco?

This is known as efflorescence and indicates water damage behind the stucco. It’s from water moving through the stucco, dissolving salts, and leaving the salts behind when it evaporates.

Rather than just painting the stucco to cover this up, the source of the problem needs to be fixed as the first step. Schedule a free estimate with your local Five Star Painting for repairs today!

Do You See Peeling, Mold, or Blistering?

These are all signs that the stucco should be painted. Before covering these eyesores up, investigate why they happened. There could be an underlying problem that no amount of paint can fix.

Even if you don’t spot any issues now, you might just want a new look for your stucco. In that case, a fresh coat of paint is a simple way to improve your home exterior. A fresh coat of paint is a great choice to give your stucco exterior that much-needed spruce up.

A good rule of thumb: check for the problems on this list before you get going!

What Kind of Paint Do You Use on Stucco?

Elastomeric paint is best for stucco since it can expand and contract. Always use the highest quality stucco paint that you can afford. While it may cost more upfront, higher quality stucco paint will typically last longer, seal hairline cracks more effectively, and prevent water damage. This means you’ll paint your stucco less often and save more money in the long run.

Flat paint is easiest to work with when you’re touching up a wall or hiding imperfections because it blends in with areas that have already dried.

Tips for Painting Stucco

To keep your house from looking like it has paint patches due to different shades of color, paint all your stucco walls at the same time. Don’t be tempted to just paint the areas that need it the most. Use this time to closely inspect all the walls to identify problems (cracks, mold, and pests) before they get worse, and address them all at once. Here are some other tips you should know:

  • 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 complete coverage. Brushing is not recommended because it is the most time-consuming and messiest option.
  • If you choose to spray, 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 lambswool paint roller. This pushes the paint into cracks and crevices the sprayer cannot reach.
  • Always apply two coats of paint to ensure complete coverage.

Professional Stucco Maintenance and Painting

Stucco is a durable and attractive finish that offers many benefits to homeowners. But just like other exterior finishes, it does require periodic maintenance and upkeep. The pros at your local Five Star Painting have years of experience in maintaining and painting stucco houses. If you’d rather spend your free time on something you enjoy, let the experts at Five Star Painting help. We deliver exceptional customer service, great results, and a two-year service warranty. We use only high-quality paint and equipment to ensure your paint job is done right—that’s our Done Right Promise™. To get started, just give us a call or schedule a free estimate online today!

We can also help you find the right color, repair any cracks, wash the walls, and more to ensure your stucco paint job lasts for years.

help icon
Leave The Painting To Us! Schedule Your Free Estimate Today!