DIY or Hire a Pro: Can You Paint Stucco Yourself?

DIY or Hire a Pro: Can You Paint Stucco Yourself?


Can you paint stucco? The answer is yes, but it’s not as simple as grabbing a brush and a can of paint. Painting stucco requires careful preparation, safety equipment, and the right painting tools. This endeavor demands patience, skill, and understanding of the material.

The decision to paint stucco siding yourself or hire a professional is not one to be taken lightly. While doing it yourself can save on labor costs, hiring a professional ensures a high-quality exterior finish and alleviates the burden of time and effort.

This article aims to explore this very topic – painting stucco walls, both interior and exterior. It’s an area that often sparks debate: DIY or hire a pro? There are strong arguments on both sides. On the one hand, painting stucco yourself can bring about a sense of accomplishment and considerable cost savings. On the other hand, entrusting this task to a professional can result in superior quality and save you precious time.

Before You Start Painting – You Should Know What’s Ahead

We delve into the key factors you must consider before embarking on this journey. Whether you’re leaning towards a DIY approach or thinking about hiring a professional, we invite you to explore the benefits and drawbacks of painting stucco. To enrich your understanding, we’ve also included expert opinions on this subject.

As you navigate through this article, remember that painting stucco isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s also about preserving your home’s exterior finish in the face of weather elements such as UV rays. Stucco has excellent moisture resistance qualities which make it more than just a decorative layer; it serves as your home’s protective shield against water damage.

Choosing the right paint is crucial too – brands like Sherwin-Williams offer specially formulated masonry paint for exterior walls while Behr and Dunn-Edwards Evershield paint are suitable choices for interior stucco paint.

Are you ready to dive into the world of stucco painting? With knowledge comes empowerment, so let’s explore together if taking on this project yourself is the right choice for you!

A vibrant and colorful scene of diverse people, both indoors and outdoors, painting stucco on a building. The scene includes a mix of men and women in various colorful outfits, actively using paintbrushes and rollers to apply bright paint to the walls. They are surrounded by open paint cans in various vivid colors, with splashes of paint adding to the lively atmosphere. The setting transitions from indoors to outdoors, showing parts of the building bathed in sunlight, and other parts illuminated by indoor lighting, creating a dynamic and engaging composition. The style is semi-realistic with a focus on bright colors and joyful expressions on the painters' faces, emphasizing the creativity and teamwork involved in the task.
A close-up of a paintbrush with bristles subtly coated in vibrant medium, hovering above a stucco wall.

Understanding Stucco and Its Properties

Stucco is a common material for both exterior and interior walls due to its textured look and sturdiness. This versatile siding option possesses distinctive qualities:

1. Moisture Resistance: Stucco is renowned for its breathability, a property that allows moisture to evaporate from the underlying structure. This characteristic helps in averting water damage by permitting moisture to dissipate rather than being trapped, making it more than just an attractive layer; it serves as your home’s protective shield against water damage.

2. Composition: Traditional stucco is primarily composed of lime and sand, forming a robust and enduring exterior finish. Contemporary iterations might also incorporate polymers to amplify its strength and flexibility, thus enhancing resistance against external elements like UV rays.

3. Porous Cement Surface: The porous nature of stucco’s cement surface, characterized by small openings or pores, not only provides an excellent surface for paint adhesion but also necessitates careful preparation and priming prior to painting.

Understanding these properties of stucco is crucial when you want to venture into painting stucco surfaces. Whether you’re considering painting your interior stucco walls with Behr or Dunn-Edwards Evershield paint, or giving your home’s exterior a fresh coat with Sherwin-Williams masonry paint, it pays off to know what you’re working with.

With the right painting tools and safety equipment at hand, you can ensure that your DIY stucco painting project will be a success, whether you’re enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your interior stucco walls or preserving the exterior finish of your home against the weather elements.

Can You Paint Stucco? The Key Considerations

Painting stucco is indeed possible, but a few crucial steps need to be followed to ensure a successful outcome. Here are the key considerations:

Surface Cleaning

Before you start painting, make sure to clean the stucco surface thoroughly. Dirt, debris, or mildew can significantly affect how well the paint sticks. You can use a pressure washer for this task, but remember to allow 1-2 weeks for the stucco to dry completely. This process ensures that any moisture trapped within the stucco has had enough time to evaporate.

Crack Filling

Stucco can develop small cracks or larger gaps over time. It’s important to fill these before painting. Use an appropriate filler and make sure it’s fully set and dry before moving on. Skipping this step can result in an uneven paint job and reduce how long it lasts.


Using an acrylic primer made specifically for stucco surfaces can make a big difference in your painting project. This product improves how well the paint sticks and creates a good base for it. It also helps make the paint more durable.

Right Paint Selection

Choosing the right type of paint is another important thing to think about when painting stucco. Acrylic latex paints are often recommended because they’re flexible and breathable, which works well with stucco’s properties. Elastomeric paints are another option as they offer durability and protection, but they can trap moisture if not applied correctly.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • Thoroughly clean the stucco surface, removing all dirt, debris, or mildew before painting.
  • Inspect for cracks or damages in the stucco and fill them with an appropriate product.
  • Apply an acrylic primer to enhance adhesion and durability.
  • Choose the right paint type for stucco, considering factors such as durability and breathability.

By considering these points, you can decide whether you are up for the task of painting stucco yourself. It’s about understanding the unique properties of stucco and tailoring your approach to suit this material. Once you have mastered these steps, painting stucco can be a rewarding DIY project. However, if it seems too daunting or time-consuming, professional services are always an option.

Remember, painting stucco is not just about adding a dash of color to your walls. It’s about protecting and preserving your stucco surfaces while ensuring they look their best for years to come.

Pros and Cons of DIY Stucco Painting

When deciding whether to paint stucco yourself, it’s important to think about the advantages and disadvantages involved. Here’s a closer look at what you might come across in a DIY stucco painting project.

Benefits of DIY Stucco Painting

1. Savings on Labor Costs and Personal Accomplishment

  • Cost-Effective: By choosing to do it yourself, you can save a lot on labor costs. Hiring professional painters can be expensive, and if you’re on a tight budget, every penny counts.
  • Sense of Achievement: Completing a stucco painting project on your own can give you a great sense of satisfaction. There’s something rewarding about looking at a freshly painted home and knowing that you did it all by yourself.

2. Elastomeric Paint: Longevity and Protection

  • Benefits of Elastomeric Paint: This type of paint is known for its ability to stretch, making it a great choice for covering up small cracks and preventing new ones from forming. Its durability also makes elastomeric paint ideal for stucco surfaces.
  • Weather Resistance: With elastomeric paint, your stucco walls get an extra layer of defense against harsh weather conditions. Whether it’s scorching hot or freezing cold outside, this paint can handle it all.

3. Durability Benefits of DIY

  • Extended Lifespan: If done properly using high-quality materials, a DIY stucco painting job can significantly prolong the life of your stucco. Making sure that the paint is applied correctly is key to ensuring that your hard work lasts.
  • Protection from the Elements: Another advantage is the shield you create against moisture, sun damage, and everyday wear and tear when you apply paint the right way.

Drawbacks of DIY Stucco Painting

1. Concerns about Breathability

  • Risks of Moisture Trapping: Stucco needs to be able to breathe; using paints that don’t allow for this or using improper techniques can trap in moisture. Over time, this trapped moisture can lead to the growth of mold and even structural damage.
  • Importance of Choosing the Right Paint: Selecting the appropriate type of paint is crucial. While elastomeric paints have their benefits, not all of them are breathable. It’s essential to pick one that allows enough moisture vapor to pass through.

2. Potential Challenges of Self-Application

  • Possibility of Uneven Application: Without professional knowledge, there’s always a chance that you may not apply the paint as evenly or effectively as required, which could affect both how it looks and how well it performs.
  • Learning Curve: Painting stucco isn’t as simple as painting other surfaces. It requires specific techniques to deal with its unique texture and composition—skills that professional painters typically have.

3. Flexibility and Durability Factors

  • Characteristics of Elastomeric Paint: While offering flexibility is one thing, being able to provide a long-lasting durable finish is another significant advantage of elastomeric paints for stucco surfaces.
  • Popularity Amongst Homeowners: For those looking to take on a DIY project, elastomeric paints are popular because of these characteristics, making them attractive for their combination of usefulness and performance.

Considering these points carefully will help ensure that you make an informed decision about taking on a DIY stucco painting project. With thoughtful preparation and attention to detail, it’s possible to achieve professional-looking results while enjoying the process along the way.

However, acknowledging the potential challenges upfront will help set realistic expectations for what lies ahead.

Expert Advice: What Professionals Say About Painting Stucco

Professionals Advise Against Painting Stucco

Most professionals agree that painting stucco can cause problems in the future. They discourage painting stucco mainly because it can trap moisture and harm the stucco surface.

Quote: “Painting stucco seals off its natural breathability, leading to potential moisture retention which can cause damage over time” – Professional Stucco Contractor.

Stucco is designed to let water vapor pass through, preventing water from getting stuck and causing damage. When you paint stucco, you essentially block this feature, which can result in moisture issues.

Sandblasting and Re-Stuccoing as Alternatives

Instead of painting, some experts recommend sandblasting and re-stuccoing as a better alternative. This process involves removing the old stucco using a high-pressure blast of sand and then applying a fresh layer of stucco. It gives you a clean surface without the risk of trapping moisture.

Re-stuccoing also allows you to update your home’s appearance with a new texture or color embedded directly into the stucco itself. These colors are often more fade-resistant than paint and require less maintenance over time.

The Potential Issues with Painting Stucco

There are several potential problems that can arise from painting stucco:

  1. Adhesion: Paint doesn’t stick well to stucco, causing it to peel and flake.
  2. Durability: Painted stucco surfaces may need frequent maintenance and touch-ups due to weathering and deterioration.
  3. Discoloration: As paint wears out, it can discolor or stain the underlying stucco.
  4. Breathability: As mentioned earlier, paint can block the stucco’s natural breathability, leading to moisture problems.

The Benefits of Consulting a Professional

Before deciding whether to paint or re-stucco, it’s important to seek advice from a professional stucco contractor. They can assess the condition of your current stucco and make recommendations based on its specific condition, age, and type.

A professional contractor can also suggest the best approach, whether it’s painting, re-stuccoing, or another type of surface treatment.

Quote: “Each stucco surface is unique and requires its own set of considerations when deciding how to maintain or update its appearance” – Stucco Repair Specialist.

In summary, while DIY options may be tempting, the potential risks make it worth considering professional advice. After all, your home is a significant investment, and properly maintaining its exterior is crucial for preserving its value and attractiveness.

What are the benefits of hiring a professional to paint stucco?

Enlisting the help of a professional to apply interior stucco paint or stucco siding comes with numerous benefits. To begin with, professionals bring a wealth of expertise and experience in assessing the state of your stucco, be it on interior stucco walls or an exterior finish.

This allows them to identify and address any underlying issues before painting, preventing further damage and deterioration.

Professionals are already stacked with tools

Furthermore, professionals have access to top-tier materials and painting tools specifically designed for stucco surfaces.

They know when to use masonry paint or when something more specific, like Sherwin-Williams paint or Dunn-Edwards Evershield paint, would be best suited to the task at hand. This knowledge ensures a more durable and long-lasting finish compared to DIY methods.

Professionals also excel in surface preparation.

They ensure proper adhesion of the paint and a smooth, even application.

Their use of safety equipment guarantees the job is done without risk. This leads to a more professional-looking outcome that’s aesthetically pleasing.

Importantly, professional painters are familiar with paints that offer UV rays protection and moisture resistance qualities such as those from Behr or Sherwin-Williams. These attributes are crucial when painting stucco due to its susceptibility to weather elements.

In conclusion, while hiring a professional painter may seem like an extra expenditure initially, it can save you time, money and potential headaches in the long run. It ensures a beautiful and well-maintained exterior for your home which is a worthy return on investment.

What are the potential drawbacks of painting stucco yourself?

Potential drawbacks of painting stucco yourself include lack of appropriate painting tools and safety equipment, which could compromise both the process and your safety. A novice might struggle with preparing the surface adequately, which is crucial for an exterior finish that lasts.

Without a deep understanding of materials, you might end up selecting paints, such as interior stucco paint or masonry paint, that are not ideally suited for exterior stucco siding. This could lead to a less durable finish and premature paint failure.

Some painting jobs do require their own skillsets

Moreover, it’s also essential to consider the unique properties of stucco, including its need for UV rays protection and moisture resistance qualities.

Professionals often use top-quality products like Sherwin-Williams paint or Behr that offer these attributes. Interior stucco walls may also benefit from specialized products like Dunn-Edwards Evershield paint.

In conclusion, while DIY painting might seem like a cost-saving option initially, the potential drawbacks could result in long-term costs.

It’s important to weigh these against the benefits of professional service – expertise in surface preparation, knowledge of suitable products such as Sherwin-Williams or Behr paints, and proper safety measures.

Remember, an investment in professional services is not just about the immediate aesthetic appeal; it’s also about ensuring the longevity and value of your property.

So when thinking about painting your stucco, consider the long-term benefits that come with professional expertise and craftsmanship.


Deciding on whether you can paint stucco yourself hinges on a variety of factors. Yes, it’s technically feasible, but it demands a deep understanding of the surface properties and meticulous execution of each preparation step.

Key Considerations:

  1. Evaluate your skill sets and time availability. Painting stucco isn’t a simple one-step process. It requires cleaning, repairing, priming, and finally painting the surface. If you’re up to the challenge, DIY could be an option.
  2. Be aware of the potential pitfalls. As mentioned earlier, using the wrong type of paint could lead to moisture retention and damage your stucco.
  3. Choose your paint wisely. Acrylic latex and elastomeric paints have been highlighted as suitable for stucco surfaces due to their flexibility and breathability.

If you’re unsure, seeking alternatives to enhance the appearance of stucco exteriors might be worthwhile. Colored coatings designed specifically for stucco surfaces can offer an appealing alternative without the risks associated with painting.

In the end, consulting with a stucco expert can offer personalized advice tailored to your specific situation and preference. This decision isn’t one to be taken lightly. Weigh these final considerations carefully before diving into this DIY project or opting for a professional approach.