I have a stucco house that has been painted. I would like to somehow figure out what kind of paint it is. The reason being that I would like to re-color the house with a high-quality mineral paint, and the application will be greatly complicated and increased in cost if I first have to sandblast off the existing paint.

Here's a close-up of the existing painted stucco:

enter image description here

If it's regular latex paint, I'll need to have it sandblasted, because the new mineral paint won't adhere to it. But if it's cement or mineral paint, then I think I'll be able to paint right over it, because the new mineral paint will be able to bond with those types of paints.

Does anybody know of a good way to figure out what kind of paint is currently on there?

  • If I were going to spend serious money on painting stucco, I'd be strongly inclined toward an elastomeric sealant to reduce water intrusion through any cracks.
    – user23752
    Aug 24, 2014 at 4:45
  • The people who had it painted did everything in the cheapest and worst way possible, so I sort of doubt they sprung for elastomeric paint. :(
    – iLikeDirt
    Aug 24, 2014 at 15:03
  • I wasn't suggesting that the existing paint is an elastomeric coating. I was suggesting that I would consider an elastomeric coating as the finish. However, before spending that kind of money or sandblasting, I'd consider repairing the cracked stucco or replacing the surface with a synthetic stucco. Otherwise, I'd just paint it with an intermediate grade of paint due to: 1> condition of the stucco 2> All paint, including the most utterly premium being an ongoing maintenance item. 3> Premium paint does not mitigate the effects of a non-premium painter.
    – user23752
    Aug 24, 2014 at 15:12
  • You mean over-clad it with EIFS? My impression of the mineral paints is that they remove or at least drastically lengthen the maintenance cycle since they are basically like adding another thin coat of stucco.
    – iLikeDirt
    Aug 24, 2014 at 15:19
  • 2
    No. EIFS is a system. DEFS is another system. Both use a synthetic stucco as a finish coat. No finish is going to fix problems with the base and scratch coats, however. If the photo depicts the typical level of cracking, then painting solely for aesthetic effect may be preferable to opening a can of worms. Because expediencies accumulate, old buildings are often a Russian doll of worm cans.
    – user23752
    Aug 24, 2014 at 15:25

2 Answers 2


DO NOT ever use elastomeric paint on stucco.....Stucco needs to breathe.... in truth stucco should never be "painted" at all. It needs to be lime washed or mineral coated. This actually bonds chemically to the stone and will breathe, not mold/mildew because of the alkalinity, and fill in small cracks. Minerals can last 50+ years, Lime wash less. Also you need to know what the stucco is made from, Lime, Portland cement, ??? that will determine what will bond to it. The lime wash is super inexpensive but doesn't last as long as the mineral silicate.

The new mineral paint will adhere to previously painted stucco. check out ROMA BIO or KEIM.

Power wash it hard then mineral coat it, they now can match color, it will be beautiful. Also the mineral coatings slightly reflect light so the color has life like the sun is on it.

I learn all this when I bought a untouched 1920 stucco house.

BTW elastomeric paint is forbidden to be used on listed historic buildings as they found that it causes them to mold. It traps water. check out the GSA guidelines and united masons websites they go into detail what should be done.

  • Yep, your experience closely matches mine and I learned the same things.
    – iLikeDirt
    May 24, 2016 at 21:51

It was latex paint. The layer of cementitious stucco that somebody applied over it didn't stick.

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