Stucco siding is durable, long-lasting, and doesn’t require much maintenance if it’s properly cared for. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders to protect the surface from weather and UV rays, plus imagine what it can do for curb appeal?! 

If you think it’s time to paint your stucco siding and want to do the job yourself, follow these key tips so the end result will look as if a professional did the job. Just be aware that if you’re planning to paint brand new stucco, be sure to let it cure for at least 60 days before you start your DIY painting project.

1. Gather the Right Materials and Tools

The job will be easier and go faster if you gather the right materials and tools before you start. Professional painters always make sure they have everything for the job within reach so they can work efficiently. You’ll need:

  • A ladder
  • Tarps
  • A push broom
  • Putty knife 
  • Painters’ tape
  • Masonry and/or exterior acrylic caulk
  • Stucco repair and patch kit (optional)
  • Large nap roller
  • Extendable roller pole
  • 5-gallon bucket fitted with a plastic roller grid to remove excess paint
  • Nylon paint brush
  • High quality masonry primer and paint*

*A note about paint: Do NOT use oil-based paint on stucco siding. Oil-based will seal the stucco and prevent it from breathing. When stucco can’t breathe, moisture will get trapped underneath and eventually the moisture will create mold, mildew, and rot out your home’s wooden framing. Choose an acrylic-latex exterior paint recommended for stucco.

If the stucco has a very rough texture, you may prefer applying the paint with a spray painting rig.

2. Prep the Siding 

Taking the time to prep your stucco siding properly is one of the most important steps that will transform your DIY project into one that looks as if a professional painted your stucco. Schedule enough time to complete each step carefully.

Inspect the siding for any damage.

  • Always complete all repairs before cleaning your stucco siding. Washing, especially power washing, without sealing cracks and holes, can allow water to enter – a perfect scenario for mildew and mold growth.
  • Hairline cracks aren’t usually a worry so you’ll be able to fill the hairline cracks with primer and paint when you get to steps #3 and #4.
  • For anything larger than a hairline crack but not a gaping hole, fill with exterior acrylic caulk. Since you’ll be applying fresh paint, it won’t be necessary to match the caulk color closely.
  • Large, gaping holes will need to be cleaned of any embedded dirt and filled with a stucco repair patch kit. Try to match the stucco texture by adding a bit of gritty material or sand. Press the sand onto the patch while it’s still wet. Read the label directions to find out how long the patch must dry before you can paint.
  • If the damage to your stucco is major, it’s best to call a stucco siding professional to make the repairs before you clean, paint, and prime.

The next prep step is to clean your stucco siding. 

  • If your stucco isn’t stained or especially dirty, you can just use a push broom to clean off the dust and dirt. 
  • When the texture is very rough, very dirty, or especially if you notice mold or mildew, you may need to pressure wash the siding. 
  • Use a 25- or 40-degree nozzle and a pressure level of 1,500 or below.
  • Maintain at least 24″ of space between the nozzle and the stucco siding.
  • Use a cleaner especially formulated to remove algae and mildew stains or use ½ cup borax mixed with 2 gallons hot water and 2 tablespoons of liquid dish soap. Bleach is toxic to you, your pets, and your plants.
  • Allow the cleaning solution to sit about 5 to 10 minutes and then rinse thoroughly. Don’t allow the cleaning solution to dry – it will be very difficult to remove.

Seal everything off.

Seal off all of the edges of doors, windows, and downspouts with painters’ tape. It can be tempting to save time and skip this step but nothing says ‘amateur DIYer’ more than trim slopped with non-matching paint.

Remove hardware.

Remove light fixtures and any hardware then cover the holes with paper and painters’ tape.

Protect the yard.

Lay out tarps to protect your hardscape and landscape.

3. Apply the Primer

Professionals understand the importance of using primer and never skip this step. That’s why you’ll be applying an exterior masonry primer before you paint. The primer will not only provide the right protection to the stucco, but it will allow the paint to adhere properly.

  • Use your nylon brush to apply the primer around the windows, doors, and edges where the wall and fascia meet.
  • Then roll the walls using the thick-napped roller.
  • Read the primer label instructions to know how long the primer must be allowed to dry before applying the first coat of paint.

4. Apply the Paint

Finally! It’s time to paint the stucco with the beautiful color you’ve selected. Stucco siding usually requires two coats of paint.

  • Use the same process as with the primer and use a brush to paint the first coat around the windows, doors, and edges where the wall and facia meet.
  • The first coat should be lightly applied. If it’s applied too thickly, it will tend to chip and peel over time. Plan to paint on several light coats of paint and you’ll end up with a much more professional result than if you painted one heavy coat.
  • Read the label instructions on the paint bucket so you’ll know how long you should allow the first coat to dry before applying the second.

5. Final Steps

  • After the paint has dried completely, carefully remove the blue painters’ tape with a sharp utility knife and a straightedge. 
  • If you try to remove the painters’ tape before the paint is thoroughly dry, you’ll pull away the paint along with the tape and your paint job will be ruined. Read the paint instructions carefully so you’ll know how much time to allow for through drying.
  • Remove the tarps, stand back, and admire your excellent do it yourself home project!


Now that you know how a professional goes about painting stucco siding, do you feel ready to tackle the job yourself? Most DIYers can handle painting their own stucco siding if they have the time, patience, right materials, and a little painting experience. 

But what if you don’t have the skill or desire? A professional stucco painter can step in and efficiently paint your stucco siding in far less time than it would take you to do the job. With experience and know-how, they arrive with all materials and tools in hand. And they clean up their work so that when you wave good-bye to them, your home looks gorgeous and neighbors say, ‘wow’.


At Great Guys Painting, we have a network of reliable painting pros who are licensed and insured. With a free quote, you’ll quickly be connected to the best painting contractors near you. Ask for a free quote now!