How to Apply Stucco

There are many ways to give your home a creative make over and adding a stucco finish to your walls is one of the many. Not only is it easy to do and inexpensive, it is also relatively stress free. If done correctly a stucco finished wall will produce eye catching results that will beautifully complement any room.


  • Stucco
  • Trowel
  • Plasterer’s rake
  • Concrete bond
  • Nails
  • Metal netting
  • Plastic bottle with spray nozzle attached
  • Water
  • Roofing felt
  • Tin snips

Applying stucco to concrete or masonry

  1. Brush wall with a concrete bonding agent.
  2. Allow it to dry completely.
  3. Apply stucco with a scratch coat. This requires a ¼-½ inch layer of mortar applied directly to the wall.
  4. Allow the scratch coat to harden slightly.
  5. Scratch mortar to a depth of 1/8 inch.
  6. Allow it to harden for 36-48 hours.
  7. Periodically mist the surface with water to keep it moist.
  8. After the curing period has elapsed, apply a finish coat to your desired texture 1/8”-¼” thick.
  9. Allow to cure for a further 36-48 hours.
  10. Mist periodically to keep surface moist.

Applying stucco to wood walls

  1. Nail 15 pound roofing felt over wood wall.
  2. Cover roofing felt with 17-gauge metal netting by attaching it to the wall with galvanised roofing nails.
  3. Trim excess with tin snips.
  4. Apply a scratch coat by using a trowel to spread a ¼-½ inch layer of mortar.
  5. Force the mortar carefully into the netting.
  6. Allow the scratch coat to harden slightly before continuing.
  7. Use plasterer’s rake to scratch the entire mortar coat to a depth of at least 1/8 inch.
  8. Allow scratch coat to cure for at least 36-48 hours.
  9. Mist wall periodically to keep the area damp. If weather is hot and dry more frequent misting may be required.
  10. Apply the finish coat after scratch coat is completely dry.
  11. Use a flat finish trowel to apply a finish coat between 1/8” and ¼” thick to the scratch coat.
  12. Finish stucco to desired texture and allow it to cure for several more days.

Tips and warnings

  • The scratch coat is essential (without a scratch coat the finish coat will not bond properly).
  • Before starting, decide on the colour you want for your stucco walls. If you want to colour your stucco, add the relevant dye and mix it with the stucco until you’re satisfied. Start with a little dye and add more as you progress to create the colour you want.
  • If powdered pigment dye is being used, add water to it first and mix it completely before adding it to stucco.
  • Misting should not be neglected as it will create the best possible appearance when your project is completed.
  • Stucco finishes do not have to be textured; the finish coat may be applied to look.
  • Be sure that the texture you choose for your stucco works with the rest of the room. Try to decide on what texture you will apply before you start working.
  • When working with stucco mortar a slow and careful curing will work best and provide the greatest strength.
  • Wait at least six weeks before painting stucco walls. Only use paints specifically formulated to cover stucco walls.