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4 Stucco Design Ideas to Consider for Exterior Renovations


Is the exterior of your house looking unappealing? Do you want to replace it with a more modern design? Consider using stucco, which can give your home an upbeat and contemporary look. Before exploring the different design ideas and stucco materials to use on your home’s exterior, you must understand what stucco is, the factors to consider when choosing a stucco material, and its benefits.

What is Stucco?

Though stucco has been used as a building material for over 9000 years, it still offers an appealing and modern aesthetic for contemporary homes. . Stucco siding is made of a mixture of cement, sand, lime, and water. This mixture makes houses rot-resistant and allows for various textures  – from eye-catching California stucco with rough patches to smooth Venetian-style stucco.

Stucco also protects houses against UV rays and extreme weather conditions. The best part is that the materials are affordable and versatile.

What are the Benefits of Using Stucco

Below are the reasons why you should use Stucco in your exterior renovations.

  • Fire Resistant

Stucco finishes can withstand fire as they have several layers. A single coat is about one inch thick, preventing the fire from penetrating the wall quickly, meaning that by the time fire invades your house’s exterior, help would have already arrived.

  • Seamless

Stucco provides for a solid and seamless design using cement, sand, lime, and water. Although it can be applied in one coat, many prefer to use 3 layers as this makes the exterior more durable. Stucco doesn’t crack when appropriately applied. People living in extreme weather conditions, such as in areas that receive heavy rainfall or dry climates, prefer stucco siding, as it expands and contracts as the weather changes. The materials are also resistant to mildew, mold, and rot.

  • Durability

Stucco finishes are highly durable, meaning they will serve you for years if you conduct proper maintenance.

  • An Excellent Insulator

The most significant benefit of stucco siding is that it is an excellent insulator. Its solid material makes it so that it does not allow heat or cold to escape or penetrate the walls, thus eliminating the thermal bridging that occurs with other siding options. Stucco’s insulating properties make your home energy efficient, meaning that whether it’s winter or summer, the temperature in your house remains favorable, irrespective of the outside weather conditions.

  • Doesn’t Consume Lots Of Electricity

Since stucco siding is a great insulator, you will not use as much power to heat or cool your house, resulting in lower energy bills.

  • Beautiful Finishing

Stucco provides an aesthetically pleasing exterior with various styles, colors, textures, and finishes. This means that you can choose from a coarse, raked, smoothed, swirled, or pebbled finish, meaning you are not limited to the type of design you want, as you can customize the final design to suit your taste. Whether you want a rustic, coastal, or farmhouse design, stucco has got you covered.

  • Increases Property Value

If your building has a worn-out exterior, you can renovate it using Stucco, which will significantly increase its value. A pleasing exterior will attract buyers, but this doesn’t mean you ignore the interior, as stucco is suitable for your house’s interior as well.

Cons of Using Stucco

Despite its upsides, stucco has a few cons, including:

●      Absorbency

Although stucco insulates well, it’s highly porous and absorbent. As such, it can cause your home’s exterior to develop unsightly dark spots. Over time, mold may be formed, especially in humid areas, so it’s essential to check your region’s climate before using stucco materials.

●     Crack development

Stucco is prone to developing cracks, especially when it’s incorrectly applied or not maintained.

●     Easy to stain

When Stucco is applied in humid areas, it can develop dark spots due to constant exposure to water. Therefore, if you reside in a region with a lot of rain, it would be best not to use stucco.

Stucco Exterior House Design Ideas

When choosing stucco for your house’s exterior renovation, you can consider implementing the ideas discussed below. They allow you to upgrade your home with rich textures that make it appealing.

1.    Stucco Siding

Stucco siding has been used for decades to enhance the appearance of houses, with many using modern and Mediterranean architectural styles. However, you can still get a traditional look with stucco. The best part is combining stucco and other siding materials to suit one’s taste.

Stucco and wood siding will go exceptionally well if your house is surrounded by vegetation, as it gives a natural look. Furthermore, it will not cost you much as wood requires low maintenance.

Stone and stucco siding gives your home a rustic appearance. This is because you will have multiple textures that combine smooth and rough, giving you a sophisticated building design. However, you must choose Stucco colors that will marry well with the stone without being overwhelming. Many homeowners prefer to clad the bottom one-third of the house in stone and use stucco for the upper part.

Brick and stucco siding makes for a beautiful house exterior. Ensure that the colors of the brick and Stucco balance to create an aesthetically pleasing house exterior. For instance, a gabled gray stucco with red bricks and brown shutters will give your house a luxurious appearance.

2.   Stucco house colors

Stucco allows the use of a  vast array of pigments, which can be customized to suit your taste. Whether you want to use colors that lend traditional, modern, or luxury appeal, stucco has you covered.

Your Stucco colors determine the final finish, you can opt for white Stucco, which gives your home an airy atmosphere, and the best part is that it blends well with lush vegetation.

Modern colors, such as dark blue, give your home an elegant finish with white trim around the doors and windows.

3.   Stucco Wall Finishes

Stucco can be applied in a variety of finishes, from smooth to lumpy. The options for stucco finishes:

Dash: Dash finish is usually applied by spraying on the wall. It is applied in three layers, with the first layer being light, medium on the second, and heavy on the third layer. This makes it gritty and bumpy. The best part is that it is both traditional and synthetic; thus, the best solution for homeowners worried about cracks appearing on the walls.

Lace: This kind of finishing is suitable for commercial and residential buildings. The finish style is rough and can be applied by hand or spray and flattened with a trowel. You will have to apply the first coat, which is smooth, then apply a textured layer and use a skipping trowel to flatten some places.

Sand: This is the most commonly used finish and involves beach sand to give your wall a grainy and fine texture. The purpose of this finish is to hide the flaws in the wall. You will have to spray the sand finish on the wall and use a foam float to give it a smooth surface.

Smooth: This type of wall finish is popular with Mediterranean-style houses as it gives them an elegant appeal. However, you will need to hire skilled professionals as it’s quite laborious. You’ll have to apply a base coat of fine cement mixture and the same for finishing and remember to smooth the surface with a pool trowel.

Worm: This finishing is rarely used; however, you can apply it on your house, and it’s available in three options, fine, medium, and heavy.

Cat face: This is the best wall finish for your house exterior, especially if you want it to have a smooth surface with small rough patches. These uneven surfaces can take on the size and shape you want. And the best part is that any homeowner can use it, and it can be unique from one house to the other.

4.   Stucco roofing style

Stucco lends itself to  various roofing style designs, including:

Terracotta roofing style: If your roof is worn out, you can renovate it using terracotta roof tiles. However, ensure they blend well with the paint colors used to give your house a modern appearance.

Traditional terracotta roofing is best suited for old houses. You must ensure that the windows and doors are designed to portray the traditional look with a modern feel.

Stucco flat roof style: You can also renovate your house with a flat-roofed design. Flat roofs are most common in desert climates.

Stucco application

Stucco application on the walls of your house is a tasking job and requires experts to avoid having issues in a few years. It is applied using a coating system consisting of one-coat and three-coat systems.

One coat of Stucco consists of cement, sand, fibers, and chemicals, such as lime. It would also be wise to mix in the pigment of your choice. You can also apply acrylic paint, as it blends well with Stucco and is resistant to cracks.

Synthetic Stucco is made of acrylic resin, cement, and lime. This mixture makes Stucco resistant to moisture and highly flexible, making it resistant to cracks. And the best part is that it dries pretty fast.

Stucco is applied in layers, and the application method depends on your house structure.

  • First, apply a vapor barrier, either in the form of a cement board, plyboard, or particleboard.
  • Then prepare the wall surface by filling any gaps and clearing the dirt
  • Then attach a metal lath or a sturdy wire mesh
  • Then apply your Stucco layers on the wall
  • Wait for it to dry before applying the second and third layers. This helps ensure no air is trapped within the layers.

Signs That Your Stucco Needs to Be Replaced

  • Appearance of cracks
  • Indentations and soft spots on the wall
  • Rotting spots on the wall
  • Water stains

Maintenance Tips

  • Use a pressure washer at least 3 times a year.
  • Inspection should be done twice a year to check for cracks and holes.
  • Ensure that water doesn’t pool around your walls, as it can cause mold and mildew formation.

Final Thoughts

If the outside walls of your house look old and worn out, give it a new and modern look using Stucco. Stucco has various exterior finishes and colors you can customize to your preference. The best part is that the sidings can be adjusted and used with other siding materials to meet your needs.

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