Do It Yourself Exterior Stucco Repair? (Pro Tips)

Exterior stucco repair is a common occurrence for homeowners. As a result, there are many DIY guides on how to perform these repairs yourself. 

But before you start tearing into your wall, you should know that this isn’t the most straightforward project. 

There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to repairing stucco, so here are some things to consider before attempting this type of home improvement yourself:

How to Repair Cracks and Holes in Stucco

Sure, here’s a single-column takeaway table based on the title:

Stucco Repair Takeaways
Identify the damage
Clean and prepare the area
Mix and apply stucco
Finish the repair
Allow time to dry and cure
Consider hiring a professional if extensive damage

Inspect The Surface

You’ll want to look for the following things:

Cracks, holes, or missing pieces in the stucco. These can be caused by shifting soil or settling.

Water damage. Look at the surface of the stucco carefully; if it has been painted white and is starting to show some discoloration at its edges (think of how water stains a window pane), then you probably have a problem with moisture getting under your siding and causing mold or mildew growth inside your walls.

Signs of termite damage (you can see this on any part of a wooden structure) or loose mortar joints (wherever there is wood attached to concrete). If you see either one of these issues, call an experienced contractor who knows how handle them properly before trying anything yourself!

Loose coping stones—these are basically “bricks” that are used around windowsills, entryways, etc., but they usually have gaps between them where water can collect dirt around them creating breeding grounds for algae growth which will eventually destroy your stucco coating over time! You don’t want that! 

So make sure everything’s good here before proceeding with any work on restoring old paint jobs or finding new ways to make repairs yourself

If you’re having trouble with your dryer, don’t fret! You might be able to fix it yourself. Our guide on DIY dryer repair explains everything you need to know, from troubleshooting common issues to replacing faulty parts. Save money and learn something new by trying it out!

Clean And Prep The Area

Before you can start stuccoing the exterior of your home, you’ll need to clean and prep the area. You can use a hand-held power washer or rent a machine from your local hardware store to do this job. 

Using the nozzle in stream mode, spray water all over the surface of your stucco until it’s saturated. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes before starting any cleanup work.

Using a wire brush, scrub away any loose pieces of stucco that flake off easily—these will generally be blackened bits or pieces that aren’t adhered well to the wall itself (if they’re still white, they’re likely still stuck). 

If there are larger sections that aren’t coming off with just brushing alone, use a hammer and chisel to remove them; these tools will help get underneath any stubborn pieces that may not have come loose during initial cleanup efforts.

Clean and Prep the Area

Steps to Clean and Prep the Area
Remove loose debris from the area with a wire brush
Chisel away any crumbling stucco with a chisel
Wet the area with a garden hose or spray bottle
Let the area dry completely
Cover any nearby surfaces with plastic or drop cloths
Mask off any edges with tape or plastic
Apply a bonding agent if necessary
Make sure the surface is smooth and even before applying stucco

Protect Surrounding Surfaces

Now that you’ve got the job done, it’s time to clean up. To protect surrounding surfaces from damage, cover plants and items around your home with plastic. Cover windows and doors with plastic as well. 

If you have a patio or balcony that has been damaged by water, cover these areas with plastic as well. 

Finally, lay down a tarp on top of your driveway or garage floor where this project was done so that nothing gets tracked into the house or out of its way while things dry completely before being taken off completely

Is your roof siding looking a little worse for wear? Our guide on roof siding repair can help. From preparing the area to applying the new siding, we break down the steps you need to follow to get your roof looking like new again.

Cut Out And Remove Damaged Stucco

Once you’ve identified the damaged area, use your hammer and chisel to cut out the damaged stucco. 

You can use a putty knife to help remove it if needed, but be careful not to gouge or scratch the wood underneath, which could cause further problems. If there are any nails still embedded in these boards, remove them with a screwdriver before removing any old stucco.

Prepare Opening For Repair

Preparing the surface is the first step in exterior stucco repair. You’ll need to remove any loose or cracked stucco, scrape out any loose or damaged mortar and clean the surface with water and a wire brush. 

Then apply a primer coat over the entire area that you’ll be repairing. This will help ensure good adhesion of your new mix of cement, lime and sand when you patch it into place.

Next up: mixing up some concrete patching compound by combining one cup of Portland cement with two cups of hydrated lime (or mason’s lime), three quarts of sand and enough water to make it creamy but not runny.

Not all home repairs require a professional touch. Check out our guide on minor home repairs to learn about the small yet important repairs you can handle yourself. This guide covers everything from leaky faucets to squeaky doors, so you can save time and money by tackling these simple repairs at home.

Finish Edges Of Repair Area

  • Use a mason’s trowel to smooth out the first coat of joint compound.
  • Use a straightedge to make sure it’s perfectly even and flat.
  • Use a rubber mallet to tap the putty knife into place if it needs more pressure than the trowel can provide.
  • Use a wet sponge to wipe away excess moisture from the surface of your repair area. Make sure you don’t get any inside of your walls—water can cause mold issues!

Use a drywall knife or other tool to remove excess compound from corners, edges, and other hard-to-reach spots in your home’s exterior walls. 

You may have done this already when you sanded down old stucco before repairing it; just make sure you’re getting all around everything so there aren’t any bumps left behind that could show through when everything dries out again later on down the road after all is said and done here today (or whenever).

Clean and Prep the Area

Steps to Clean and Prep the Area
Remove loose debris from the area with a wire brush
Chisel away any crumbling stucco with a chisel
Wet the area with a garden hose or spray bottle
Let the area dry completely
Cover any nearby surfaces with plastic or drop cloths
Mask off any edges with tape or plastic
Apply a bonding agent if necessary
Make sure the surface is smooth and even before applying stucco

Mix And Apply Stucco/Mortar

Now it’s time to apply the stucco. Use a hoe or trowel to spread the mixture over the area you want to cover. As you spread, use a 4-foot level to make sure the stucco is even and smooth. Make sure the edges are straight, too! 

If you’re covering an entire wall, it’s best to do this in sections so that each section will be properly finished before moving on (this means taping off any areas that aren’t being covered).

Smooth With A Damp Sponge

You will now want to smooth the surface of the stucco with a damp sponge. For this step, it’s important that you use a damp sponge and not something like sandpaper or steel wool. 

You want to use a gentle back and forth motion as you rub your way across each section of stucco until it is smooth. If there are any areas where excess mortar remains after spreading it with your trowel, use this opportunity to wipe them down using your damp sponge as well.

Scratch Texture Pattern Into Wet Mix

To give your stucco a unique texture, use a trowel with rough edges and scratch into the wet mix. A sponge can be used to smooth out the texture or, if you’re using a bucket of water as your mixing tool, use it to smooth the finish of your scratch marks. 

If you have access to a hose or garden hose attachment for your faucet, simply run some water over your stucco surface in order to smooth out any rough edges from using an abrasive trowel. 

You can also use damp rags for smoothing purposes; simply wipe off excess moisture from them before applying them against wet stucco (on top of any existing coatings). 

If none of these options are available at any given moment (or if they aren’t working well enough), try using your own thumb instead; it should provide adequate pressure when needed!

Need some home repairs but can’t afford them? Don’t fret! Our guide on free home repairs details several resources that may be able to help, from government programs to non-profit organizations. Don’t wait until it’s too late – check out this guide and see if you qualify for some financial assistance.

Add Color If Needed

Add color if needed. If you want to tint your stucco, use a paintbrush and paint. To create a colored wash, mix paint with water until you reach the desired consistency and apply it with a roller or paintbrush. 

If you want to add color to the scratch coat after the first round of stucco has been applied (which is sometimes done for aesthetic reasons), use clean water and apply it using painter’s tape to block off any areas that don’t need coloring.

Adding Color to Stucco

Steps for Adding Color to Stucco
Choose a paint color that complements your home’s exterior
Test the color on a small, inconspicuous area to ensure it looks right before applying it to the entire surface
If you want to tint your stucco, apply paint with a paintbrush
To create a colored wash, mix paint with water until you reach the desired consistency
Apply the wash with a roller or paintbrush, working in small sections
Use a clean, dry roller or brush to blend the color and create a smooth finish
Allow the stucco to dry completely before applying another coat
Apply additional coats as needed to achieve the desired level of color intensity

Allow To Set Up

Allow the first coat to dry for a day, ideally in the shade. This will prevent the second layer from drying too fast and wrinkling (if it does, you can sand it smooth). The longer you wait after applying the first layer, the better.

To determine when the stucco has dried enough to apply additional layers of plaster, lightly touch it with your finger; if it feels slightly tacky but not wet and sticky, then it’s ready for another coat.

If your home’s windows are looking a little shabby and damaged, you might be able to repair them yourself. Our guide on repairing home window frames explains how to identify the damage, remove old paint, make repairs, and restore your window frames to their former glory. Save money and learn something new by trying it yourself!

Paint If Needed

If you want to paint, wait until the stucco has set up.

Prepare the surface by cleaning it with a tack cloth or an old rag and some mineral spirits (paint thinner). You can also use a pressure washer to clean off dirt and grime.

Use a roller handle to apply your paint; this will save your back as well as make application easier. Apply two coats of stain-blocking primer first, followed by three coats of exterior latex paint (acrylic or urethane). 

To keep down on cleanup after painting, apply spackling or texture paste directly onto the wall with a putty knife before applying the first coat of primer; this will help fill in any cracks in your stucco bonds before they’re covered up by layers of other materials like plasterboard sheets


I hope this post has helped you understand what to expect when doing a DIY exterior stucco repair. 

Make sure you inspect the surface carefully before starting work on your project. Also, be sure to protect surrounding areas with drop cloths or tarps and keep kids and pets away from the area until it is dry. 

If you need help getting started with your next DIY home improvement project, contact us today! We have licensed contractors standing by ready to assist you in any way possible from start-up through completion of your project.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources for stucco repair:

How to Repair Stucco: This guide from True Value explains the stucco repair process step-by-step, including what materials you’ll need and how to clean and prepare the area before applying the stucco.

Stucco Repair: Family Handyman’s stucco repair guide offers tips and techniques for repairing cracks and holes in your stucco siding. Learn how to mix and apply stucco and finish it for a seamless repair.

Stucco Repair: A Comprehensive Guide: Homedit’s guide to stucco repair covers all the basics, from identifying the type of stucco on your home to repairing cracks and holes in the material, and finishes off with a guide to painting your newly-repaired stucco.


How do I know if my stucco needs repair?

Small cracks and holes in stucco are common, and some can just be cosmetic. However, if the cracks are getting wider or deeper, or if you notice other signs of damage such as mold or staining, it could be time to repair it.

Can I do stucco repair myself?

Yes, stucco repair is a DIY-friendly home improvement project, as long as you have the right materials and tools and follow the proper steps. However, if you’re unsure of your abilities or if the damage is extensive, it’s best to call in a professional.

What materials do I need for stucco repair?

You’ll need a few basic materials to repair stucco, including a wire brush, a chisel, a trowel, a bucket, water, and a bag of stucco mix. You may also need a bonding agent, depending on the extent of the damage.

How do I prepare the area before repairing stucco?

Before applying stucco to the damaged area, you’ll need to clean it thoroughly with a wire brush to remove loose debris and chisel away any crumbling bits. Then, using a spray bottle or garden hose, dampen the area to prevent the stucco from drying out too quickly.

How long does stucco repair take?

This depends on the extent of the damage and how skilled you are at stucco repair. Small patches can be done in a few hours, while larger repairs may take a day or two to complete. Additionally, the stucco will need to dry and cure for a few days before it can be painted or finished.