So, you’re staring at your stucco-clad home, wondering if a splash of color might just be the facelift it needs. Stucco, with its rugged charm and undeniable resilience, often leaves homeowners pondering the painting question.

Can it be done? Should it be done? And if so, how?

We’re HBP, an exterior painting company based in O’Fallon Missouri with over 4 decades of experience. If you live in the Greater St. Louis area and are considering hiring a professional company to paint your stucco, we offer a first-time discount and a free in-home consultation.

If you’re a DIY’er, follow this comprehensive stucco house painting guide to understand the advantages of painting stucco, proper paints and tools to use, and techniques for flawless results you’ll love.

The Central Debate: Can You Paint Stucco?

Man applying stucco to home exterior

Stucco siding is designed to be long-lasting and low-maintenance. So why mess with a good thing? Well, even this stalwart material shows signs of wear after years of exposure.

Fading color, hairline cracks, staining near windows – these can all detract from your home’s curb appeal. This is where a fresh coat of stucco paint enters the picture.

Done correctly, painting stucco can be a game-changer. We’re talking protection from the sun’s relentless rays, a shield against the elements, and a fresh, updated look that could be the envy of your block.

But there are counter-arguments too. Some worry paint destroys stucco’s natural breathability, causing moisture issues. However, modern high-quality acrylic latex paints allow proper vapor transmission.

Others cite the need to re-paint every 5-7 years. True, but with proper prep and materials, results can look great over a decade later. Your alternative is a re-coat of stucco which is a layer of colored stucco added to the surface but it’s far more expensive to do.

Ultimately, painting your stucco can refresh the appearance and add protection to your stucco siding. With informed prep and product choices, painted stucco can help retain the charm of your exterior walls for years to come.

Beware of DIY Pitfalls When Painting Stucco

While painting stucco yourself may seem like an easy way to save money, statistics show it often leads to lackluster results or serious problems down the road.

According to industry surveys, over 60% of DIY exterior paint jobs fail within 2 years, while professional painters deliver lasting results over 90% of the time.

Common rookie mistakes like using the wrong paint, inadequate surface prep, or improperly applied coats can lead to a number of issues:

  • Flaking or peeling paint within months due to poor adhesion
  • Visible cracks reappearing shortly after painting due to failure to properly seal stucco
  • Moisture damage, mold growth, and rot underneath due to trapped moisture
  • Uneven coverage resulting in blotchy, unattractive finishes
  • Paint failing to penetrate textured surface fully

So take this into consideration before proceeding.

What Are The Advantages of Painting Stucco?

There are a few key advantages of painting stucco that you want to consider when deciding.

Stucco Exterior Gray Wall
  • Curb appeal – Painting stucco offers nearly limitless options to change up your home’s look with vibrant new colors that breathe life into tired siding and make your home stand out
  • Protects Against The Elements – Quality exterior paint forms a protective barrier, shielding stucco from moisture, UV rays, temperature swings and other environmental factors that can cause damage over time.
  • Sealing Minor Imperfections – Paint can fill in tiny hairline cracks in stucco. This helps prevent further cracking and more costly repairs down the road.
  • Cost savings – At $2-$6 per square foot, painting costs a fraction of $8-$20 per square foot for stucco removal and replacement.

Paint Selection: Choosing The Best Type of Paint for Stucco

Acrylic Latex: The Gold Standard for Stucco:

When selecting paint for stucco, experts recommend acrylic latex options. Top brands like Sherwin-Williams offer acrylic latex paints designed specifically for stucco’s demands. This paint offers a trifecta of benefits for stucco surfaces. Its flexibility means it can handle the expansion and contraction of stucco without cracking. Its breathability ensures that any moisture trapped in the stucco can escape, preventing blistering or peeling. Lastly, its durability stands up to the elements, ensuring your stucco looks fresh for years. Oil-based paints lack the flexibility stucco requires.

Within acrylic latex paints, look for:

  • Exterior-grade – Formulated to withstand temperature swings, sun, rain, snow
  • Masonry-specific – Optimized adhesion and penetration into stucco
  • Vapor permeable – Allows interior moisture to escape, preventing buildup

What Are The Best Exterior Paints for Stucco?

Sherwin Williams has carved a niche for itself in the stucco painting realm. Their range of paints include Duration, SuperPaint, and Emerald, tailored for stucco, offer superior coverage, longevity, and a finish that’s second to none. Flat or eggshell are the most common sheens for stucco paint.

Based on expert and consumer feedback, top stucco paint recommendations include:

Sherwin Williams SuperPaint
Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint
Sherwin Williams Duration
Sherwin-Williams Duration
Sherwin Williams Loxon XP
Sherwin-Williams Loxon XP
  • Sherwin-Williams Duration is a top-tier option that offers maximum durability and protection – Acrylic latex allows the porous stucco to properly breathe.
  • Melissa McKenna from Sherwin Williams recommends Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint to keep the texture of your stucco looking its best. Listen to her talk about it in this video.
  • Sherwin-Williams Loxon XP Masonry Coating – Fully waterproofs while allowing vapor transmission
  • Elastomeric paint like Sherwin-Williams CONFLEX SHERLASTIC is extra flexible and very thick, enabling it to bridge minor cracks in weathered stucco.It does not allow walls to breathe so if you had any moisture in your walls before painting, it’s not the right option. If your walls already have several coats of paint, this is also not the best paint to use.

Other notable options include:

  • Behr Premium Plus Ultra Exterior – Budget-friendly option offers excellent hide and coverage
  • Benjamin Moore Ultra Spec Masonry Acrylic Paint – High breathability provides protective flexibility
  • PPG Perma-Crete Alkali Resistant Primer – Tackles efflorescence; strong stucco adhesion
  • Valspar Duramax Exterior – MaxFlex additive resists cracking; outstanding fade resistance

Should You Roll or Spray Paint on Stucco?

Family members using roller to paint stucco

While smaller stucco paint jobs can be rolled, most professionals use airless sprayers on full exteriors for speed, efficiency, and flawless results.

The textured surface demands a sprayed-on coat, followed by back-rolling perpendicular to the initial spray direction. This pushes paint into every crevice while evening out the coat.

Here’s how spraying compares to rolling:

Spraying Pros:

  • Much faster coverage on large exterior walls
  • Pushes paint into crevices better
  • More even application for a pro-quality finish
  • Requires back-rolling to even out texture

Rolling Pros:

  • Easier for DIYers to control
  • Creates subtle stipple texture based on roller nap
  • No need to mask off other areas
  • Works well for smaller stucco painting projects

For roller application, use a 1/2″-3/4″ nap roller. Work in small sections, thoroughly coating all bumps and divots in the stucco texture. A second coat ensures maximum coverage and longevity. Let the pros handle spraying using proper masking and back-rolling techniques.

Stucco House Colors

When it comes to transforming the exterior of your home, selecting the right stucco paint color is crucial. The color you choose can enhance your home’s curb appeal and reflect your personal style.

With Sherwin Williams’ range of vibrant and captivating exterior color options, you can effortlessly find the perfect shade to suit your taste and make a lasting impression.

Explore the color options below and discover the art of transforming your home with stucco paint. From classics to bold, here are Sherwin-Williams expert picks.

SW 7006 Extra White
SW 7005 Pure White
SW 7008 Alabaster
SW 7029 Agreeable Gray
SW 7015 Repose Gray
SW 7036 Accessible Beige
SW 7641 Colonnade Gray
SW 0055 Light French Gray
SW 9173 Shiitake
SW 6235 Foggy Day

How to Best Prepare Stucco for Painting

Powerwashing house

Preparing stucco correctly before painting is crucial for lasting results:

  1. Pressure washing – Thoroughly clean the stucco walls first with a pressure washer to remove dirt, chalky areas and loose paint. Scrape off any remaining loose paint chips with a wire brush. Let the surface dry completely before priming or painting. Caution: Too much pressure can damage the stucco. Keep the pressure under 1500 PSI, using a 25 or 40-degree nozzle, staying 2 ft away. If your stucco is relatively clean, a garden hose with a scrub brush might suffice.
  2. Caulking cracks – Use acrylic or elastomeric caulk to fill in hairline cracks throughout the stucco walls to prevent water entry behind the paint. According to Bob Vila, you should caulk all cracks wider than 1/16-inch.
  3. Patching holes – Repair larger holes or cracked areas using stucco patch compound. Allow patches to cure fully before painting.
  4. Sanding – Lightly sand any nibs or bumps in the existing stucco to smooth the surface for painting.
  5. Masking and Protecting: Unless you’re going for a modern art look, you’ll want to keep paint off windows, doors, and fixtures. Use painter’s tape and plastic sheeting to mask off areas that aren’t getting painted.
  6. Priming – Roll on a high-quality primer like Sherwin-Williams Loxon XP to maximize paint adhesion and coverage. Allow to dry fully.

By properly cleaning, repairing, and priming the stucco beforehand, you ensure the paint bonds tightly for a long-lasting paint job.

The Importance of Priming Stucco

Priming stucco before painting may seem like an unnecessary extra step, but it’s vitally important for proper paint adhesion and durability. Priming ensures paint properly adheres to the bumpy surface.

Here’s why you should always prime stucco:

  • Seals porous surface – Stucco primer soaks into the microscopic holes in the concrete-based material to create a more uniform surface for paint.
  • Promotes adhesion – Primers are specially formulated to bond tightly to stucco walls for enhanced adhesion and paint longevity.
  • Improves coverage – By filling pores and sealing the wall, primer allows topcoat paint to glide on more easily for even coverage.
  • Prevents reactions – Stucco chemistry can adversely react with paint. Quality primer creates a protective barrier to prevent this.

For best results, use a purpose-made acrylic latex masonry primer like Sherwin-Williams Loxon Concrete & Masonry Primer.

Tools and Materials You Need for Painting Stucco

Succeeding with a DIY stucco paint job requires having the right tools and materials on hand. Here’s a comprehensive list of what you’ll need:


  • Paint sprayer – For those leaning towards the spraying method, airless sprayers provide the most efficient coverage on stucco’s uneven texture, significantly speeding up the painting process. (Graco, Magnum, or TrueCoat Paint Sprayer)
  • Protective Gear – Safety first! Consider safety goggles to protect your eyes from splatters, gloves to keep your hands clean, and a mask or respirator if you’re using a sprayer or working with paints that produce fumes.
  • Rollers with Thick Nap – A 1/2″ or 3/4″ nap is ideal for back-rolling after spraying
  • Paint brushes – Angled sash brushes for cutting in edges and trim. (e.g. Wooster Shortcut Angle Sash Paintbrush). Stucco Brushes designed with stiffer bristles, perfect for navigating the textured terrain of stucco. (e.g. Kraft Tool Stucco Dash Brush)
  • Paint roller poles – Multi-section poles for reaching high exterior walls
  • Ladder/scaffolding – To safely access all areas of the home’s exterior
  • Pressure washer – For thoroughly cleaning prior to painting
  • Putty knives – For scraping off loose stucco or paint chips
  • Caulk gun – Needed for repairing cracks and gaps


  • Exterior acrylic latex paint – Choose quality paint formulated specifically for stucco
  • Acrylic masonry primer – Enhances paint adhesion on bare stucco
  • Exterior acrylic caulk – For sealing cracks wider than 1/16″
  • Hydraulic stucco patch – Repairs dings and large damaged areas
  • Paintable masking tape – For protecting windows, trim, and other surfaces
  • Tarps/drop cloths – To cover plants and prevent drips/spills on surfaces
  • Paint thinner/cleaning solvents – For cleanup according to manufacturer
  • Paint strainers – For removing debris that could clog sprayer
  • Paint Tray and Liners – These are essential for those opting to roll. The tray holds the paint, while liners make cleanup a breeze.

Having these essential tools and materials on hand will make your stucco painting project far easier and set you up for the best results.

Stucco Painting: A Step-by-Step Guide

Repairing stucco walls

Proper application technique is vital for getting flawless, long-lasting results when painting stucco. Follow these steps from start to finish:

Inspect and Repair Stucco

  • Look for cracks, damage, peeling paint. Repair small areas with premixed stucco patches. Caulk cracks wider than 1/16″. Allow repairs to cure for 7-10 days before painting.

Pressure Wash and Dry Time

  • Clean the entire surface with a pressure washer at 1,500-2,000 PSI using a 25-40° nozzle. Avoid damaging stucco. Allow 24-48 hours to fully dry before painting.

Mask and Protect Areas

  • Cover windows, plants, and surfaces not being painted with tarps/drop cloths. Tape off trim. Remove fixtures if needed.

Prime Bare Stucco

  • Apply high-quality acrylic primer like Loxon XP to bare stucco using a thick nap roller. Allow 24 hours to dry.

Calculate Paint Quantity

Measure square footage of walls. Stucco needs more paint than the gallon may quote – add 25% for first coat, 10% for subsequent coats. Budget 1 gallon to cover 200 sq ft.

Apply 2-3 Coats

  • For best coverage, spray paint using .017″-.021″ tip. Immediately back-roll. Allow paint to dry 24 hours between coats. It’s important to apply paint in systematic sections and from multiple angles to fully coat highly textured surfaces.
  • Divide the wall into smaller 3’x3′ or 4’x4′ sections and complete one section at a time.
  • Apply the first coat vertically, then go over the same section horizontally for the second coat.
  • For maximum durability and uniform appearance, apply a third coat if needed. For third coats, spray at an angle or in a crisscross pattern across each section.
  • Backroll after each spray pass while paint is still wet to work paint into crevices.
  • Inspect from all angles to catch thin or missed spots. Touch up with brush.
  • Taking this multi-directional, section-by-section approach ensures paint fully penetrates the uneven stucco texture for complete, uniform coverage.

Inspect and Touch-Up

  • Look for thin or missed areas. Use brush to touch up paint. Blend touch ups into existing coat.

Remove Tape and Reinstall Removed Items

  • Once paint has fully cured, remove tape from trim. Rehang fixtures, replace outdoor items.

Clean Up

  • Clean sprayer and tools properly. Dispose of empty cans/waste correctly.

Key Takeaways

Follow this comprehensive guide to ensure your stucco house painting project delivers spectacular results that will have your home looking brand new.

Proper preparation, high-quality Sherwin-Williams paints made for stucco, and attention to detail in the application will provide long-lasting beauty and protection.

At HBP we have the hands-on experience to flawlessly paint any stucco surface. Contact us today to schedule your free estimate! Our team is ready to make your exterior stucco painting project stress-free and exceed your expectations.

Contact us today for a free estimate!