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All You Need To Know About Stucco Finishes

All You Need To Know About Stucco Finishes - All Climate Painting

The stucco finish has been used for years and is a timeless way to finish the sides of your home. If you’re considering it for your home, here’s what you need to know about stucco and the different kinds of finishes that you can use. 

What Is Stucco?

Firstly, what exactly is stucco? It’s a mixture of cement, sand, lime, and water that is put together to make the stucco and then applied to your walls. It’s typically applied in multiple layers over a lath sheathing. Typically used as one of the most durable materials, so you can get years and years of use out of it. 

Why Go With Stucco?

There are lots of different benefits of using stucco in your home. Here are some of the reasons why people are still using it today. 

  • Highly durable: When it comes to exterior materials, there are none that are quite as durable as stucco. Of course, you have to ensure that you have it installed correctly by an expert, but if you do, you’ll get years and years out of the work. 
  • Helps to insulate your home: As a stucco mixture is very dense, you’ll get a great barrier out of it and effective exterior siding. That helps insulate your home, as well as being noise resistant. You’ll see that you can make savings on your energy bills once you’ve had stucco applied. 
  • Resistant to moisture: Another great benefit of stucco is that once it’s applied, it’s resistant to moisture. Moisture is the great enemy of your home, and anyway that you can stop it from entering from the outdoors is vital. You can make it even more resistant with the addition of moisture-resistant barriers. 
  • Fire resistance: As well as water, stucco is highly resistant to fire, too. That’s thanks to the cement and sand in the mixture, as they naturally resist fire well. 

Types Of Stucco Finishes

Another great benefit of stucco is that it can be applied in all sorts of finishes. There are many options here, so you can pick something that works for you. Here are some of the most common finishes that you can pick from. 

Cat Face Texture

 This stucco texture is mostly smooth, with smaller rougher areas interspersed on it. These areas are called inclusions and can vary a lot in size, shape, and finish. 

It’s a popular style as it can be done with traditional or acrylic stucco and has a lot of variation. That means no two finishes are ever going to look quite the same. To apply the finish, the stucco is done in two layers: troweling or spraying. However it’s applied, it’s always finished off by hand. 

Lace and Skip Stucco

When you hear of stucco, this is typically the look you’re thinking of. This gives a ‘rough’ texture typically applied by hand but can be applied via spray and then ‘knocked down with a trowel. This is done in two layers, with the first being put on smooth and the second being textured.

This texture is often used to improve the look of less than optimal surfaces. If there are imperfections in the wall, it’s considered to be very forgiving and will help make the wall look smoother overall. You’ll more commonly find lace and skip stucco done in traditional stucco. It can be done with acrylic stucco, but typically it won’t have the depth you’re looking for. 

A Few Dash Finish

This stucco style gives you the rough texture of lace and skip while being more uniform in nature. Again, it can be used to disguise any imperfections in the wall. 

This style has several types of finish, going from a more fine finish to a heavier look. The final look will very much depend on the materials used. You will find it rough once it’s dried, which some may not want for their home. A benefit of this look is that it can be easily patched. It shouldn’t be difficult to do if you have the right color stucco. 

Sand/Float Texture

This stucco texture is most commonly used on commercial buildings but can also be used on residential homes. It’s a very basic style that’s quick to apply as it can be done in one coat. If you want the job done quickly, that can appeal to you. 

Typically, this is troweled on, but it can be sprayed on and troweled down afterward. It also comes in a range of finishes, giving you more choices. Like the few dash finish, it’s easy to patch up, thanks to the rough texture, as long as you use the right color stucco. 

Worm/Swirl or Putz Finish

This style of finish will look smooth at first glance, but the closer you get to the wall, you’ll see small grooves in the texture. This is done by having larger pieces of aggregate in the mixture that leave these grooves in place. It’s not a common look, but it’s one that does look good. It’s typically done with a synthetic stucco designed to get this texture. You can get a fine, medium, or coarse pattern, depending on your needs. However, be aware that it’s hard to patch afterward. 

Smooth Texture

This is one of the hardest textures to get right, but it is becoming increasingly popular. Many like it as it leaves smooth lines and is easier to clean. However, as you’d expect, it’s very hard to patch. It’s typically achieved using a fine stucco base, which helps remove as many lines as possible. 


There are so many different stucco types, and this guide has only scratched the surface. Talk to your contractor about what would be right for your home. They’ll be able to help you find the stucco finishes that are right for you. 

All You Need To Know About Stucco Finishes - All Climate Painting