Repairing Stucco

This story shows you how make repairs to stucco.

Intro

On a wood-sheathed stucco wall, the sheathing is covered with roofing felt, then wire lath is nailed over the felt. Two or three layers of stucco are applied over the lath. On a masonry wall, stucco is typically applied directly with no lath.

Before patching a small area, press hard with your palm against the surrounding wall. Wherever you find sponginess, the stucco has disengaged from the wall and should be removed and replaced.

Getting a stucco patch to blend with its surroundings is more difficult than it may first appear. However, by experimenting with various tools, you can likely discover how to apply a texture that comes close.

Prestart Checklist

Time
An hour or less for a small patch (not including drying time); several days for a large patch

Tools
Caulking gun, hammer, cold chisel, wire brush, lineman's pliers, tin snips, putty knife, old can opener, detail scraper, masonry brush, magnesium float or flat trowel, scarifying tool, paint roller, wheelbarrow or trough, masonry hoe, ladder or scaffolding

Skills
Measuring, laying out a job, driving nails, cutting with a knife

Prep
Protect plants and the lawn with a drop cloth or plastic sheeting.

Materials
Stucco caulk or exterior caulk, stucco patch, stucco mix (basecoat and finish), roofing felt, stucco lath, roofing nails

Small Holes: Step 1

Tap with a hammer and chisel to remove any loose stucco. Use a wire brush, then a wet bristle brush, to clean out dust and debris.

Small Holes: Step 2

If needed, nail in place a new piece of mesh. Dampen the area with a wet rag shortly before applying the patch.

Small Holes: Step 3

Use a putty knife or trowel to apply a ready-mix stucco patch. It may take two or three layers to fill the hole. Allow each layer to dry before applying the next.

Small Holes: Step 4

When you reach the last layer, match the texture. Here, a brush is used in a sweeping, semicircular motion.

Cracks: Step 1

Use an old puncture can opener or a detail paint scraper to dig out and widen the crack. Work to make the innermost part of the crack wider than the surface crack.

Cracks: Step 2

Apply stucco or mortar caulk, both of which have a grainy texture that blends with a stucco wall. Or to seal but not texture the crack, use regular exterior caulk.


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