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What is the Best Exterior Paint for Stucco?

What’s the best paint for stucco? Well, let’s take a look at some details first. Stucco is a material made up of water, cement, and aggregates. It is commonly used as a coating for walls and ceiling panels, and it can also be used as a sculptural and architectural material.

Best Paint for Stucco

In English, the term “stucco” often refers to a coating for the exterior of a building, while the more common term “plaster” refers to a material that is mainly used for interior applications. Today, we’re going to take a look into all things stucco: teaching you how to paint stucco walls and what the best paint for stucco is. Keep reading!

Top 3 Picks

Best Acrylic Paint: Microblend Exterior Paint and Primer

This durable, 100 percent acrylic paint is great for painting stucco surfaces. It can resist harsh weather conditions, such as snow and wind, and it can also be used to repair minor scratches.

Best Elastomeric Paint: AMES BWRF5 Elastomeric Liquid Rubber

The AMES is an elastomeric paint that effectively protects against moisture. It’s also highly durable and can withstand various types of damage.

Best Eco-Friendly Paint: Montage Signature Eco-Friendly Paint

This acrylic paint comes in multiple color options and is available in a variety of semi-gloss and low-sheen finishes.

Types of Paint for Stucco

The type of exterior stucco paint you choose will most likely fall into one of these three categories.

Acrylic

Known for having the highest permeability out of all three varieties, allowing it to penetrate deeper into the stucco, acrylic paint is often a go-to choice. It allows moisture to escape from the plaster rather than producing unattractive bubbles beneath the paint. This is a low-cost choice with excellent color persistence and durability. It is available in a variety of colors and is known to dry faster compared to other options, but it does not bind to stucco as effectively as the alternatives. It falls short on waterproofing.

Masonry

Masonry paint, which is designed to connect with masonry substrates such as stucco, concrete, and cinder blocks, is extremely durable and resistant to mildew and moisture. Masonry paints, on the other hand, come in fewer hues and have less coverage than acrylic paints.

Elastomeric

Elastomeric paint is a liquid rubber paint that cures as a solid layer of rubber. It poses as the most water-resistant alternative and has a thick formula which is perfectly capable of masking hairline cracks in stucco walls. It will not, however, produce brilliant color or a shiny appearance, and it may take up to 72 hours to properly cure. Because its weight can cause the previous paint to slide away from the wall, elastomeric paint may have difficulty attaching to stucco that already has several coats of paint.

How to Choose Exterior Stucco Paint

How to Choose Exterior Stucco Paint

Now that you know what the three main types of exterior stucco paint are, it’s time to list all the other features and characteristics that you want to keep an eye out for when you’re choosing the best paint for stucco:

Durability

Four factors influence the durability of exterior paint: viscosity, the number of coats applied, finish, and formula. Thick, durable paint with a high viscosity will generally require more time to fully cure. When it comes to formula, acrylic paints have a high resistance to staining and are more durable than other types of stucco paint. You will usually find four finish categories for this type of paint: semi-gloss, gloss, satin, and flat. As far as the number of coats is concerned, consider that multiple coats usually lead to a more durable result. You also should consider the fact that every new coat adds more weight to the paint, and it can reach a point of zero adherence because of that.

Weather Resistance

Since we’re talking paint designed for the exterior of your home, weather resistance is a particularly important factor to consider.  The most weather-resistant alternative is elastomeric paint. The formula’s rubber shuts out moisture and comes with a viscosity level that protects against UV rays. Use an external primer to help guarantee that elastomeric paint adheres to stucco. Masonry paint adheres well to stucco and can produce a watertight seal. It is, however, susceptible to UV light, which can cause the paint to break. Acrylic paint is designed for breathability and deep permeation, allowing it to seal the stucco. It also offers a certain degree of UV and water damage.

Dry Time & Coverage

The dry time and coverage of paints are determined by the formulation. The coverage and other such details are usually written on the label of the product.  Acrylic paints cover more surface area than elastomeric and masonry paint, often covering between 300 and 400 square feet with each paint gallon. Masonry and acrylic paint both cures relatively quickly, in around 24 hours. It can take up to 72 hours for elastomeric paint to fully cure. Remember that excessive humidity and cold temperatures can both lengthen the curing time.

Color Lifespan

Acrylic paint is the finest choice for color endurance because it penetrates the stucco the most deeply. Elastomeric and masonry paints are excellent for sealing out moisture and attaching to stucco surfaces, but they are less successful at preserving clear, vivid colors because they do not penetrate as deeply. It’s important to remember that the hue of the house paint might also affect its resistance to sunlight exposure. Darker hues fade consistently more than lighter tints. If you’re tackling the idea of experimenting with dark hues for your home’s exterior, note there are pains that come with titanium oxide in their formulas, an ingredient that helps prevent color fading.

Exterior House Paint Ideas

Gray Exterior House Paint Ideas

Gray Exterior House Paint Ideas
Image from 3rd Street Custom Homes

Gray is one of the more versatile color choices and, unless you’ve been dreaming about a specific color for your home ever since you were a kid, gray is the type of color you can’t go wrong with. It’s a versatile color and blends in really well with a lot of exterior home designs, as you can see in this picture. The combination used in this image is Benjamin Moore Copley Gray (HC-104) trimmed with Benjamin Moore Elephant Tusk (OC-8).

Image from Cathy Schwabe Architecture

This bungalow-type house shows us just how easy it is to match gray with all sorts of home designs. The cedar shingles bear the mark of Cabot’s Slate Gray, combining a stain blocker with a fungicide. All the sides have a finish coat and were subject to a second coat after being installed.

Blue Exterior House Paint

Blue Exterior House Paint
Image from widingcustomhomes

Blue is one of those exterior paint colors that you can’t really go wrong with, especially since a lot of people have been dreaming about that little house with blue walls and a white picket fence ever since childhood. Here you can see how blue paint and white window trims come together to create a coastal Greek-island romantic vibe.

Black Exterior House Paint

Black Exterior House Paint
Image from Blackstone Painters

If you have a ranch style and would like to take a more different approach the next time you paint the exterior walls, black is quite a bold option to go with. The surface of the walls was cleaned using a pressure washer and primed using a high-quality acrylic primer that works on masonry surfaces.

Modern Exterior House Paint Colors

Modern Exterior House Paint Colors
Image from decorlovin

There are so many different combinations that will work really well with a modern exterior. We particularly loved the suggestion for modern mid-century home exteriors that blend shades of Fresh Sawdust with Malaysian Mint and Rocky Mountain sky. Another favorite was the modern white exterior color scheme, combining Dark Secret with Blanca Peak and Snow Fall.

Craftsman Green House Exterior

Craftsman Green House Exterior
Image from D3 Architects

Don’t you just love looking at house photos where everything seems to come together? That’s one of the reasons why we chose to show you this idea: because the green used to paint the exterior walls of this house blend so incredibly well with the surroundings! To complete this natural look, the architecture features a manufactured stone veneer apron.

Paint Color Ideas for Stucco

Beige Mediterranean Exterior

Beige Mediterranean Exterior
Image from Frankel Building Group

The Frankel Building Group is here to delight our visual senses with one of the most beautiful Mediterranean homes we’ve seen. This two-story stucco house may have Italian vibes to it, but it’s actually a Houston-based residence that combines large windows with a shingle roof and a gorgeous green view.

Southwest Contemporary Home

Southwest Contemporary Home
Image from Soloway Designs Inc | Architecture + Interiors AIA

Thanks to the inspiration brought by Soloway Designs Inc | Architecture + Interiors AIA, we were able to feast our eyes on this gorgeous modern home. Naturally, we poked around a little bit and discovered that the stucco was painted using Dunn Edwards DE6208 – Tuscan Mosaic. You’re welcome.

Midcentury Exterior

Midcentury Exterior

Ana Williamson Architect is here to inspire us with this 1950s gray concrete fiberboard exterior home design. The combination of colors here is stupendous and we love the vividness given by the red outdoor chairs and the lime green choice for an entry door color. It’s magnificent how these two drops of color make the entire house appear so cheerful.

Best Paint for Stucco

Microblend Exterior Paint and Primer

Microblend Exterior Paint and PrimerView in gallery

When it’s primer and paint you’re after, the Microblend is an excellent choice for refreshing the look of outside stucco surfaces. Its acrylic compound is resistant in the face of weather’s elements and can also resist chipping and peeling. The paint is available in a variety of sizes, with the 5-gallon bucket being the most convenient option of all.  The low-VOC paint is available in 24 light hues and finishes.  Unless the prior paint is substantially darker, The Microblend paint can cover existing exterior paint in just one application. It takes a full day for the paint to cure entirely.

INSL-X SXA11009A-01 Stix Acrylic Waterborne Bonding Primer

INSL-X SXA11009A-01 Stix Acrylic Waterborne Bonding PrimerView in gallery

With a single gallon of INSL-X SXA11009A-01 paint, you can cover between 300 and 400 square feet of surface, being an excellent cost-friendly choice. It takes about two hours for the paint to dry, and you can apply another coat in three to four hours after the first application. However, it takes around 72 hours for the paint to fully cure. It works on a variety of surfaces, from aluminum to concrete, so it isn’t just for painting stucco, although it works really well in such a scenario.

Romabio Masonry Textured, Italian Mineral Paint for Brick

Romabio Masonry Textured, Italian Mineral Paint for BrickView in gallery

Whenever you want stucco paint that works on a variety of different surfaces, from brick to cement, the Romabio is a great option to consider. It is a mineral-based paint that delivers excellent durability, allowing for both indoor and outdoor applications. Romabio promises to deliver a breathable coating that calcifies to the masonry to allow the release of moisture. You don’t need to add primer before putting on a coat of paint if you want to add two coats to surfaces such as stone or unpainted brick.

Prestige Exterior Paint and Primer In One

Prestige Exterior Paint and Primer In OneView in gallery

When you want to change the appearance of your exterior walls, the PRESTIGE paint works great on worn or fading stucco. The paint covers up to 400 square feet per gallon and includes a high-hiding composition that helps conceal stains in old or worn plaster. Prestige paints is a high-end exterior latex paint that is designed to be used on all exterior surfaces, including wood, masonry, and vinyl. A flat finish provides a uniform look and helps hide surface imperfections. It’s also one of the best ways to hide minor scratches and dents.

KILZ 13511201 L340711 Interior/Exterior Self-Priming Masonry

KILZ 13511201 L340711 Interior/Exterior Self-Priming MasonryView in gallery

If you want another solid option to paint exterior stucco walls, the KILZ paint is a pretty suitable choice. It is an acrylic latex water-based paint that can hide imperfection pretty well and is highly adhesive and easy to paint with. It works on texture surfaces, be they inside or outdoors. It is a self-priming paint (which means no additional primer purchase is needed) characterized by a mildew-resistant finish. Aside from being perfect for stucco, it also works on brick, drywall, and masonry surfaces.

Montage Signature Interior/Exterior Eco-Friendly Paint

Montage Signature Interior/Exterior Eco-Friendly PaintView in gallery

This Montage Signature product is a low-cost acrylic paint available in a variety of colors and finishes and that works really well for both interior and exterior surfaces.  It’s the type of paint that can easily be applied with a roller or sprayer, taking an entire day to cure and about one hour to be dry enough to touch. With one gallon, you can cover up to 300 square feet and you can also purchase a sample if you’re not sure this is the right product for your needs.

AMES BWRF5 Water Base High Strength Elastomeric Liquid Rubber

AMES BWRF5 Water Base High Strength Elastomeric Liquid RubberView in gallery

This AMES paint’s elastomeric compound is particularly successful at keeping moisture away from the walls making it an excellent choice for areas that routinely experience snow, rainfall, or just live in an environment with high humidity. This paint has a highly thick consistency that makes it capable of easily filling cracks and works on different surfaces, from stucco to stone. It doesn’t have a high toxicity level and is only available in a white option (you can add colorant if you want to obtain a certain color).

FAQ

How Much Paint Do I Need to Paint the Exterior of My House?

It usually takes one gallon of paint to cover a space of about 400 square feet. A can that contains four gallons of paint will cover an area of up to 1,600 square feet. You can also use some free online tools that do the math for you, such as this Dutch Boy calculator that determined how much paint you need to cover the exterior of your house.

How Much Does it Cost to Paint a House Exterior?

It normally runs from $1,700 to $3,700, but if you choose your supplies wisely and hire the appropriate contractor, you may get a lot of color for your money. And it’s a true investment because whatever money you spend now will result in years of curb-appeal brilliance.

How to Paint Exterior of a House

Don’t get me wrong, painting the exterior of your house does take time and effort, but it is way less intimidating than it sounds. The steps you need to follow are:

  • Make sure your walls are clean. Apply TSP solution or a TSP alternative cleaner with a broom or wire brush. If you’re in a hurry or want to put in less effort, you can always use a pressure washer, but be careful not to allow water to infiltrate the cracks. When working with cleaners and chemicals, make sure to use gloves and safety eyewear.
  • Use a garden hose to rinse the exterior walls of your home. Rinse any TSP solution you might have used in the previous step twice to ensure that all of the solutions is gone. Allow at least two days for the siding and trim to dry completely before painting.
  • If you notice water stains, prime the masonry. If you want to top-coat glossy paint, you’ll also need to prime the surfaces. Because redwood and cedar contain less resin and water-based paints have minimal bleeding chances, they should be primed with an oil-based primer. Check that the surface you are painting is dry and that there is no upcoming rain that might interfere with your home’s painting.
  • Use a trim brush or a corner roller to paint these areas that are otherwise tough to reach. Before painting the face of clapboard or shingle siding, cut in the bottom borders.
  • Starting from the top of the wall, proceed to brush or roll.
  • Use a technique called “feathering”. Feathering refers to applying the surface of the roller or brush to the siding gradually rather than abruptly. With this step, you can negate that definite start line and this allows for easier blending.
  • Blend the strokes. To avoid overlapping marks, work fast and integrate the new stroke with the previous while the paint is still wet. Never come to a halt in the middle of a passage. Paint the house’s corners to ensure that the paint color is consistent. Adjust the ladder so that you can reach the finished block of siding. Rewet the feathery edges of the previously painted block using a roller or a brush just before beginning each fresh stroke. Repeat the technique until the top piece is finished, then finish the bottom sections.

Average Cost to Paint a House with Stucco Exterior

The average cost of painting a stucco house is $4,500 for a 2,000 square foot property with a new stucco façade. Smaller houses could be painted for as little as $3,600. Larger homes could cost up to $7,200. Depending on the area and type of project, you could pay between $1.80 and $3.60 per square foot.

Conclusion

One of the first conclusions that you can draw from this article is that you need special paint to cover stucco-type surfaces. Certain types of stucco paint are able to cover cracks, but this usually works with those that measure up to 3 mm. Before painting a stucco wall, you typically want to use primer for better paint sticking, but some types of paint already double as a primer.