House Painting in Pleasant Hill – How to Paint Stucco

House Painting in Pleasant Hill – How to Paint StuccoFor homeowners who are considering house painting Pleasant Hill, painting a stucco surface can be a burdensome task because it has a very textured surface. Stucco is a favorite among California residents, and why not? Stucco is a great, economical way to have a stylish home that is already well-insulated. Aside from that, having a stucco surface requires less cleaning and maintenance than most other types of surfaces. If you only want to help your stucco look fresh and updated, a new coat of paint will do.

Similar to what you do with other surfaces, stucco walls also need to be prepped properly to successfully arrive at the results you’ve desired. This will help you be satisfied with the finished product and the stucco beneath it will remain the same low maintenance exterior you want.

Before painting, your stucco exterior must be cleaned and repaired – exactly in that order. Your repair efforts would be useless if you don’t clean the surface first. Not cleaning the surface leaves dirt and former paint which may obscure successful future repair or restoration.

Perhaps a better way to remove dirt, grime and peeling paint is to use a pressure washer. Here is a word of caution for using this tool – with too much high pressure it can cause damage to your stucco walls because stucco is a relatively soft masonry. To avoid this, choose a wide spray tip and adjust your pressure washer’s settings on low. You do not want to use more than 1200 to 1500 pounds per square inch (PSI).

Simply wash your stucco surface with plain water. However if you find the surface has rust or an efflorescence (salt or calcium-like deposits), you can clean them off using mild soap, masonry cleaners or wire brushes. Wire brushes in particular (along with putty knives) can remove and peel off more of the old paint that pressure washers cannot.

Notice carefully the spots when you see rust, peeling paint, or efflorescence because these may hint that there is a problem with water that needs more extensive repair work rather than just adding a coat of paint. For instance, efflorescence tends to bring alkaline salts to the paint’s surface meaning water is passing through to the stucco.

Once your stucco surface is cleaned and perfectly dried (or if new stucco has cured for several days), then repair any large cracks and any noticeable flaws. Use patching compound or brush-grade elastomeric sealants. For smaller cracks, caulking should used. Let the repairs dry completely before priming the surface. Use an acrylic primer to achieve the best results.

After priming the surface, you may move on to paint it. Choosing paint depends on your climate. You may choose higher quality, exterior masonry paint. The best pick is an elastomeric paint particularly for stucco surfaces. While elastomeric paints cost more than regular paints, they have high-solid acrylic coating that can cover up stucco flaws that regular paints cannot do. The use of a primer can be minimized or skipped altogether before using top quality elastomeric paint. Elastomeric paints, beside their ability to bridge small flaws, have flexibility that helps prevent peeling, chipping, and chalking. These paints also enable the surface to “breathe,” which allows moisture to escape while retaining the surface’s resistant qualities against mold and mildew.

It’s also important how you paint your stucco. Paint spraying is the most common methods of applying paint on an exterior surface. However, this is not the best way to apply paint on stucco surfaces. This method misses the tiny holes in stucco as well as cracks and texture “shadows.” If you must use spray-paint, then back-roll the surface afterwards (this method follows the spray by using a roller). Back rolling consists of rolling on the paint; a fluffy, lamb’s wool roller cover is the most suitable material. Achieve smoother texture by using a nap that is 1 or 1-1/4 inch, and then increase the nap to a 1-1/2 inch for rougher textures. You may think the first coat looks adequate; however, you will want to apply two more coats of paint to the surface. Stucco, in particular, needs a good thick coating to fill in pores, pinholes, and other surface flaws.

Stucco is one of the more challenging surfaces when house painting in Pleasant Hill. But as long as you follow these guidelines and have the proper materials and preparation, then you can achieve a fresh look for your stucco surfaces that will last for many years to come.