Author Topic: Consensus: paint stucco or no?  (Read 965 times)

jeromedawg

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Consensus: paint stucco or no?
« on: January 09, 2022, 10:18:26 PM »
Just curious to know everyone's thoughts on the matter. A general contractor I had out the other day told me that painting stucco is a mistake - you want for it to be permeable so the walls can "breathe" and the weep screed can do it's job. Painting stucco will impede and interfere with this happening.

I asked the stucco/patching contractor who repaired our weep screed (and who does this as a full time job for commercial buildings) about this and he was saying weep screeds and weep holes are most important as far as allowing any excess moisture to get out of the walls. He also stated that you want to prevent water from getting in in the first place, implying that there's nothing wrong with painting stucco.

The previous owners had the house painted and I think a majority of homeowners in our tract probably have too. Other contractors I've spoken with have never said anything about not painting stucco. I see some sites recommending painting (but you have to keep repainting every 5 or so years) and others recommending against it (https://airestoration.com/why-you-shouldnt-paint-stucco and https://www.chicago-painters.com/chicago-painting/stucco). Our neighbor had an issue with water leaking through his stucco walls even after repairs so he ended up buying elastomeric paint and painting the entire wall to prevent water intrusion (though, my guess is that whoever he hired to fix the wall didn't wrap or flash it properly or at all and probably didn't bother installing a weep screed)

What do you guys think?
« Last Edit: January 09, 2022, 10:20:59 PM by jeromedawg »

Dicey

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Re: Consensus: paint stucco or no?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2022, 05:58:39 AM »
I'm guessing you have a HOA, complete with rules and CC&Rs that you received prior to closing. You are most likely expected to maintain your house, which includes painting it. You paint stucco so it doesn't deteriorate.. And seriously, who wants to live in a house that's not watertight?

Fishindude

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Re: Consensus: paint stucco or no?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2022, 07:06:04 AM »
Keeping stucco painted and sealed up, and repairing any cracks soon as they appear is important to keep moisture from getting behind it.

affordablehousing

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Re: Consensus: paint stucco or no?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2022, 10:24:33 AM »
Once stucco's painted, your in for redoing it every 5 years. You're stucco is painted, so you have to paint it on that schedule. That decision's made for you. The question only applies if you are building new or replacing siding. Remember, having stucco is having a sponge on the side of your house. The good is it's cheap and easy to put on, the bad is your house will always be battling with moisture issues.

BudgetSlasher

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Re: Consensus: paint stucco or no?
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2022, 10:49:07 AM »
It's been painted, so you aren't going to make anything worse as long as you use the same or better paint. And I have never heard of a way to remove all paint from stucco (maybe google will tell you if there is)

here is what building science has to say, including which type of paint, from a 2004 paper

Quote
Ideally, in cold climates, stucco claddings/renderings should not be topcoated with paints. Color pigments should be integrated into the topcoat/finish layer of the stucco itself. Unfortunately, this practice is no longer common, and stucco now is typically painted.

When painting stucco, water repellant vapor permeable coating paint systems are recommended. Recall that water vapor flow occurs from both a higher concentration to a lower concentration and from the warm side of an assembly to the cold side of an assembly. A rain wetted stucco cladding that is heated by solar radiation will be warmer and wetter than both the interior and the exterior air. Drying will be to the outside and to the inside. A heavy coat of impermeable paint over exterior stucco will blister under such conditions. The more vapor permeable the exterior paint coating, the better under such circumstances. Acrylic latex paints formulated for exterior use are recommended for almost all stucco applications.

Acrylic latex paints generally outperform "elastomeric" paints over stucco renderings due to the lower permeability of the elastomeric paints. Elastomeric paints have excellent crack spanning characteristics, but give up a degree of permeability to achieve the crack spanning ability. If water enters the stucco rendering at a joint or reveal or flashing or flaw, elastomeric paints have been known to blister. Elastomeric paints should be reserved for special conditions where substrates are severely cracked and crack spanning coatings are necessary and no other coating approaches are practical.

It is important that the stucco has cured sufficiently to reduce its pH2 prior to painting neutral pH (not acidic, not basic, just right the "Goldilocks" pH is 7) is ideal for paint application. To determine the pH of stucco prior to painting, use "litmus paper" or just wait 28 days is often recommended.

If waiting is not practical, apply a masonry primer containing alkali prior to painting.

https://www.buildingscience.com/documents/reports/rr-0409-painting/view

jeromedawg

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Re: Consensus: paint stucco or no?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2022, 11:23:41 AM »
Forgot to mention but the general contractor was saying stucco should have been color coated instead. But the issue there is that it would still be porous. So i guess more important is if there is sufficient paper and flashing under?

But yea sounds like there's no way to turn back. The catch-22 with repainting especially on the roof is that it will involve people walking on the spanish clay tile roof and inevitably breaking tiles. So we'll also have to deal with repairing broken tiles on top of the repainting every 5 years or so
« Last Edit: January 10, 2022, 11:27:06 AM by jeromedawg »

jeromedawg

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Re: Consensus: paint stucco or no?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2022, 12:23:44 PM »
I'm guessing you have a HOA, complete with rules and CC&Rs that you received prior to closing. You are most likely expected to maintain your house, which includes painting it. You paint stucco so it doesn't deteriorate.. And seriously, who wants to live in a house that's not watertight?

There's no HOA

Dicey

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Re: Consensus: paint stucco or no?
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2022, 03:26:34 PM »
I'm guessing you have a HOA, complete with rules and CC&Rs that you received prior to closing. You are most likely expected to maintain your house, which includes painting it. You paint stucco so it doesn't deteriorate.. And seriously, who wants to live in a house that's not watertight?

There's no HOA
I stand corrected. That's the exception to the rule in that neck of the woods.

jeromedawg

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Re: Consensus: paint stucco or no?
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2022, 04:14:04 PM »
I'm guessing you have a HOA, complete with rules and CC&Rs that you received prior to closing. You are most likely expected to maintain your house, which includes painting it. You paint stucco so it doesn't deteriorate.. And seriously, who wants to live in a house that's not watertight?

There's no HOA
I stand corrected. That's the exception to the rule in that neck of the woods.

It really is, especially for these since they're clearly tract homes and zero lot line. Per my understanding there actually may have been an HOA or at least plans for one when they had developed the community but it looks like it either never was formed or dissolved at some point long ago. That said, driving around through the community, most people seem to keep their homes in-line with one another. There are a few one-offs but I don't think people really care much either.

Greystache

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Re: Consensus: paint stucco or no?
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2022, 07:47:06 AM »
I have painted stucco with no issues. i painted a stucco wall over 15 years ago and it has performed flawlessly. I do live in a mild climate, so YMMV.

jeromedawg

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Re: Consensus: paint stucco or no?
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2022, 08:08:42 AM »
I have painted stucco with no issues. i painted a stucco wall over 15 years ago and it has performed flawlessly. I do live in a mild climate, so YMMV.

What kind of paint did you use?

SunnyDays

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Re: Consensus: paint stucco or no?
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2022, 06:00:02 PM »
My dad has stucco on every side of the house and lives in a very cold climate.  In the 50 years hes lived there, the house has been repainted exactly twice and is still in good shape.  It just needs a good hosing every few years and it looks fine.

Greystache

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Re: Consensus: paint stucco or no?
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2022, 07:36:44 AM »
I have painted stucco with no issues. i painted a stucco wall over 15 years ago and it has performed flawlessly. I do live in a mild climate, so YMMV.

What kind of paint did you use?
I used Bear stucco and masonry paint that I bought at Home Depot

Milspecstache

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Re: Consensus: paint stucco or no?
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2022, 05:33:11 AM »
Behr stucco and masonry paint here as well.  Ideally you put the pigments and dye in when applying stucco then wait and see if paint is actually required due to the weather in your area.  I had to paint mine and Behr has done really well but in my application there isn't any rain that hits the areas of stucco.

economista

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Re: Consensus: paint stucco or no?
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2022, 07:25:01 AM »
I had a stucco house and it was painted. It was in Colorado Springs so we got a good amount of snow/moisture in the winter time. After some hail damage we had to fix a few cracks and places where the hail dislodged the stucco and afterward we painted the patched up areas using the same paint the previous owners had left behind. It was a stucco-specific paint.