Painting Versus Mixed-in Color for Stucco

Answered by Brendan ~ February 16, 2011 ~ Comments

I'm replacing my old siding with stucco on a house I bought for my retirement. Assuming I live here 15 years or more, is it cost-effective to have the color mixed into the stucco versus painting every five years? Does the integrated color prevent cracks?

Emily ~ San Bernadino, California

Brendan Fowler

Let me start by saying that stucco should not be painted. Stucco requires a penetrating sealer or stain that will allow the stucco to breathe. Painted stucco will trap water vapor in and against your house, which can lead to all sorts of problems inside and out. With that said, the only way to accurately determine the cost effectiveness of your stucco options is to get bids from local contractors for what you want. I can only speculate on what will be the best choice for you, but if budget is the primary concern, colored stucco is often cheaper than staining. To answer the question about cracking, the pigments added to stucco that provide color are not designed to prevent the formation of cracks in the stucco. There are multiple stucco technologies available, each one having pros and cons associated with them. I will not go into detail about the different stucco technologies, but I will recommend that you contact multiple stucco contractors and ask them to provide you with advice and specific recommendations for your project. If you consult with these specialists, I am confident that you will be able to make a very educated and informed decision.

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