I have zero experience with stucco, but would like to learn what it would take to refinish the stucco on my house with a new texture.

The stucco is peeling off in a lot of areas on my exterior walls. What would the process look like to remove the existing popcorn finish, and replace it with a smooth stucco finish?

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1 Answer 1


Two long for a comment but I think it answers your questions. From how thin that top coat is and colored below that was probably an over coat, my guess that the old surface was not well prepped or the stucco was put on too dry.

The first thing you will need is to get all the loose stuff off. I usually use a industrial pressure washer and target any bubbles or flaking areas; at 5000 psi you can rip off an over-coat that is in ok shape and it will etch even a very solid wall. I like this kind of power because it provides a great base for the new coat to stick to. One advantage to a complete over-coat is you can use tint in the mix for color that lasts decades; for light colors it is best to use white Portland cement instead of gray. Now for a smooth surface once the base is prepped I think it's easier as a heavy texture can be tough to maintain a consistent texture unless sprayed. The next step after prepping the base would be to build up the areas that have failed. After that it is time to fill and build a slightly thicker coating, when I have done this I use a little extra cement and water in the mix (with the sand and lime if hand mixing) the extra water helps the mix to flow and makes it easy to trowel with a larger blade leaving a smoother surface that locks into the base. The one trick when resurfacing I found helpful is with a loaded trowel work it in moving up then smooth it out pulling down this helps to work it into the wall. Note repair those cracks prior to resurfacing or they will show up again. Where I have cracks like this I will strip several inches on either side and really clean it out even surface grinding on occasion and adding mud and mesh this ends up adding strength and it may not crack as bad or at all if the wall is stable. If there is pest damage or rot that should be repaired first or the new surface will crack as the wall moves.

  • This is a lot of good information condensed in a long paragraph (+1). I would add that, when resurfacing/repairing stucco like this, it is important to thoroughly moisten the underlying/surrounding material. Also, there are modern stucco repair materials that are fiber reinforced and stick like glue due to high-tech added bonding agents. They are expensive but outperform any home stucco mix by far, particularly for repair and resurfacing. And nothing beats sandblasting for prep for resurfacing (not even a pressure washer). Sep 30, 2018 at 23:16
  • I do agree that sand blasting is great but in my state the mitigation requirements can be a pain in the butt, that's why I started pressure washing 3500 psi + etches the surface quite well. And a little add mix brings the quality up close to that of commercial mixes at a much cheaper price.
    – Ed Beal
    Oct 1, 2018 at 13:03
  • Thank you for the comprehensive writeup @EdBeal! It really helps. One question: “Build up the areas that have failed” Not quite sure what you mean here, could you clarify? @JimmyFix-it: What's the name of the repair material you're referring to?
    – eclipsis
    Oct 9, 2018 at 16:33
  • Build up of the failed area, the areas that the 2nd coat flaked off need to be built up to have a uniform thickness, if not uniform it it won't look right.
    – Ed Beal
    Oct 9, 2018 at 16:41
  • Look for a "one coat" fibreglass reinforced stucco mix, usually comes in 80# sacks. Crack resistant formula, superior workability, extended board life, may be applied over concrete and masonry in one coat, can be used as the scratch/brown/finish coat all in one. Oct 14, 2018 at 17:26

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