A Guide on Applying Stucco

The experts from revealed that applying stucco can be done over three different surfaces:

  • Wood Sheathing
  • Brick
  • Masonry

When stuccoing over wood sheathing, the first thing that you must do is cover the wood with a dual-layer of D-grade waterproof building paper. Next, you should fasten the stucco to the structure using a metal lath. After that, you can apply three coats separately. There are three coats:

  • Scratch coat
  • Brown coat
  • Color coat

When you are applying stucco over masonry or brick that is in good condition, you can just skip on applying the scratch coat. The color coat oftentimes contains 1 of about twenty available color enhancement dyes.


When you are stuccoing over an existing masonry or brick wall, you initially need to fix the cracks using fresh mortar. You should also have the wall washed using a power washer or you can scrub it off using a solution of water and trisodium phosphate. You should wet the wall well before applying the first coat of stucco.

The preparation of OBS, cement board sheathing, or plywood is a bit complicated. You can start by preparing sufficient galvanized fasteners and galvanized stucco lath to cover the area where you are going to apply stucco.

1st Step: Hanging a Dual Layer of Paper

Hang the building paper at the bottom part of the wall. Each layer should be overlapped with at least four inches over each other. If the seams are in a vertical orientation, the sheets should overlap at six inches at least. Extend the building paper at 16 inches at least around the corners, and then fasten using galvanized staples or roof nails.

2nd Step: Install Accessories

Fasten the trim accessories like casing beads using galvanized nails. You should also apply weep screed along the lower part of every wall to enable the draining of moisture from behind the stucco.

3rd Step: Galvanized Lath Installation

Using galvanized staples or nails; you can now fasten the netting to the wall. The staplers should be long enough to pierce the studs at 1 inch at least. Keep 6 inch-spaces apart. Also, you should overlap the seams of the netting at 1 inch. If the seams are vertical, they should be overlapped at 2 inches.

Spreading the Stucco

Mixing your stucco is similar to cement mixing. You pour the contents in a mixing trough and then you add water as the mix is being stirred. The stucco should be moistened enough to rest on your tower without loosely sagging when you redirect the tower in a sideways direction.

Step 1: Spreading the Scratch Coat

First, you apply your scratch coat directly to the netting. Start at the lower part of the wall and apply your way up with enough pressure to introduce the mixing in the gaps of the lath. Straighten the applied mixing with a flat material. Wait to become stiff, and then scratch the surface using a raking tool with uniform horizontal strokes. Wait for one to two days.

Step 2: Applying the Brown Coat

Apply another layer of coat onto the scratched coat, and then flatten it again. Let it become stiff for a short period, and then use sponge masonry to smoothen it. Wait for one to two days.

Step 3: Finishing with Color Coat

Mix the finish-coat stucco to water with the same density as the base coating. Add stucco colorant with your preference. Apply the stucco mix to the wall with long strokes. Flatten the final coating. For a smoother finish, wait for it to stiffen in a short time, and then use a sponge trowel for the final touch. Maintain the surface by damping it for a few days to ensure that the color coat won’t crack in the process of curing.

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