What Kind of Paint Should Be Used on a Stucco House?

calander Jan 12 , 2022 user-icon Nash Painting

Stucco might not be the most common choice of siding for homeowners across Nashville, Brentwood, and Franklin, TN, but this material is nonetheless durable, fire-resistant, and low-maintenance. And like any other type of siding, a fresh coat of paint can make your stucco truly stand out (read our blog, “How to Bring Out the Beauty of Your Stucco Detailing”). The question remains, however: which type of exterior house paint is best suited for stucco siding? Let’s go over which paints to avoid and which paints to consider for your stucco house exterior.

What to Know About Painting a Stucco House

Avoid Oil-Based Paints for Stucco Surfaces

Oil-based paints are used for a variety of interior and exterior painting projects, but they shouldn’t be applied to stucco surfaces. While oil-based paints rank high in durability, they do not breathe the way water-based paints do. As such, oil-based paint can prevent moisture from evaporating through your stucco walls, trapping it between the surfaces and paint. Over time, this trapped moisture can loosen the paint from the inside, resulting in peeling, cracking, and bubbling. Simply put, the paints you select for your exterior stucco walls should offer some give and take – the technical term for this “breathability” is “permeability,” which the following two paint types have.

The Advantages of Acrylic

Most exterior painting services will recommend and deploy acrylic paint for stucco exteriors. As alluded to above, acrylic paints offer a high permeability value, meaning less moisture will get trapped between the paint and underlying surfaces. Stucco needs to breathe, after all. There are more reasons to consider acrylic paint for your stucco home, too. For starters, this highly permeable paint is generally more affordable than its counterparts. Moreover, there are typically few complications when it comes to repainting or touching up acrylic coatings. Despite these benefits, it’s worth noting that acrylic paint might not endure as long as other paint types, nor does it do a great job at hiding imperfections. Considering the rugged texture of stucco, however, some visual imperfections are to be expected.

Elastomeric Paint Provides Another Alternative

Acrylic paint isn’t your only option for stucco exteriors. You might also look into elastomeric paints. Elastomeric paint isn’t nearly as permeable as its acrylic competitors, but it’s also more permeable than oil-based offerings. On top of that, elastomeric coatings offer key benefits that most acrylic paints do not. For example, quality elastomeric paints are superior at bridging minor cracks. These coatings are also flexible, giving them the ability to expand and contract with the stucco over time. If you do decide to go with elastomeric coatings, it’s important to apply additional elastomeric coatings (ideally the same type) on top of the previous ones when repainting to maintain this flexibility. The thickness of these coatings also lets you conceal imperfections more easily. Plus, elastomeric paint is more resistant to water than acrylic paint. Of course, these various advantages come at a cost, and elastomeric coatings are more expensive than acrylic paints. If your budget is tight, then you might stick with acrylic.

The Verdict

While nothing is stopping you from using any type of paint for your stucco exterior, some paint types will yield better-looking and longer-lasting results than others. Acrylic paint is the go-to option for many residential exterior painting companies tasked with coating stucco surfaces for its high permeability and relative low cost. Elastomeric paint is also a viable option for those with bigger budgets. At Nash Painting, our painters have experience coating all types of surfaces, so we can cue you into the best options for your unique situation.

To learn more about us, our services, and our values, call us at 615-829-6858 today!