Tips for Painting Exterior Stucco to Safeguard A Commercial Building

Stucco, the leading exterior surface for new buildings in the United States in 2019, is a reliable and durable product ideal for both residential and commercial applications. Stucco is especially favoured by commercial builders because it’s low maintenance, durable, and can be prepared in any number of colours. Plus, compared to other exterior finishing options with similar durability, stucco is very affordable.

Once a building’s exterior has stucco applied and sealed with the proper sealant, property owners can typically keep it looking great with minimal work. The low maintenance aspect of stucco is largely why many commercial building owners select it as an exterior finish. Other than seasonally washing the stucco and checking for cracks, there are minimal maintenance measures to follow. This makes stucco an ideal choice for commercial buildings and structures.

However, to keep stucco in good condition for decades, it needs recoating approximately every 7 – 10 years. Ideally, hiring professional painters to complete the job will yield the best results and be cost-effective. If that important task is taken on by property owners or landlords themselves, be sure to read and follow the following tips.

Painting Stucco Tip #1: Assess the Stucco’s Condition

Before applying any paint or sealant to stucco, inspect all stucco for signs of damage and lingering maintenance needs. Concerns to watch out for include:

  • Are there cracks in the stucco?
  • Have any patches of stucco fallen off?
  • Is there mold or other debris clinging to the walls?
  • Are there signs of water damage?

Once you’ve determined your stucco is in good shape, it’s time to prepare the walls for coating.

Painting Stucco Tip #2: Get Exterior Stucco Ready for Painting

With all painting projects, thorough preparation of the area being painted is critical for great results. This is true for interior, exterior, residential, and commercial projects, regardless of the material being coated. 

When preparing a stucco exterior for re-painting, be sure to do the following:

  1. Prepare the area for your project. For exterior stucco, ensure the area you’ll be working in is clear from debris and safe. Protect landscaping by wrapping shrubs and covering plants with painting cloths. Clear the area of furniture and other objects that could pose a safety risk to workers or could be damaged by the paint.
  2. Clean the stucco. Brush, sweep and scrub the surface to remove dirt and debris. If power-washing is necessary, be careful to not damage the stucco in the process.
  3. Repair any cracks. Caulk and seal cracks.

Painting Stucco Tip #3: Prime the Surface

Exterior stucco should always be properly primed before painting to ensure the paint adheres to the surface. One way top-rated painting professionals identify stucco that may not have been primed prior to repainting is bubbling paint, paint the peels or chips easily, and paint that fails within two years of application.

Priming stucco before painting may feel like an extra and unnecessary step during the project, however, you’ll be glad that you took the time to prime. Priming allows paint to adhere more strongly to stucco and your results will last longer and look better than if you didn’t apply a quality primer.

Stucco is highly absorbent and has greater surface area than other exterior finishes, be prepared to apply two coats of primer and paint.

Painting Stucco Tip #4: Use A Quality Paint

Paint technology has evolved immensely in the last few decades. Advances in coating chemistry has produced high-quality paints infused with various capabilities. For example, some interior paint options can kill mold and others have low VOC content. These products are great to help extend the life of wall paint.

When painting stucco, avoid oil based paints as they will not adhere well to stucco and can be damaging in the long run. The three most common types of paint used for painting exterior stucco are:


  • Masonry paint
  • Acrylic paint
  • Elastomeric coating

In Victoria, BC, quality paint can be sourced at professional paint supply stores such as Cloverdale Paint or Sherwin-Williams.

Moloney Painting – A Trusted Commercial Painting Company in Victoria, BC

Tackling a large painting project, such as painting the stucco of a commercial building or condominium, should be approached with help from professional painters. In Victoria, BC, Moloney Painting provides top-quality commercial painting services that keep exterior stucco looking great. To book a free consultation and quote, contact our team.