How to repair a wall with stucco

Written by wendy adams
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How to repair a wall with stucco
Fix or patch loose or chipped stucco yourself this weekend. (stucco texture image by MAXFX from

Stucco is a cement-based wall covering that is durable as well as decorative. Stucco can be added over brick, block walls, cement or wood framing. Colour can be added directly to the stucco mixture or the stucco surface can be painted after curing. Over time stucco exposed to sprinklers or the elements can begin to crack or chip off the wall. When this happens, the old stucco is removed from the area, the surface is prepared and a new stucco patch is applied. The stucco patch will be invisible when the pattern or texture is matched to the existing wall.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Putty knife
  • Wire brush
  • Stucco product
  • Hawk
  • Trowel
  • Float
  • Bucket

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  1. 1

    Use a putty knife to scrape off loose and damaged stucco from the patch area until the stucco feels firm and secure. Use a wire brush to clean the patch edges and remove debris.

  2. 2

    Spritz the patch area with a hose to dampen it, which will prevent the wall from absorbing water from the stucco mixture and drying it out.

  3. 3

    Use a trowel to fill a hawk with stucco mix. A hawk is a small flat tray with a handle attached underneath. Place the hawk next to the patch area, and scoop stucco onto the patch using a trowel. Fill in the entire patch area with stucco using a fluid motion with the trowel. Use enough pressure on the trowel to create a good bond between the stucco and the wall behind.

  4. 4

    Fill a bucket with water, and use a wet float to blend the patch area with the old stucco. Dip the float in the bucket to rinse it, and drag it across the edge of the bucket to clean it off. Use the float to level the patch and smooth low and high parts on the stucco patch.

  5. 5

    Use a float, trowel, or broom to create and match the same pattern that is on the rest of the wall. Swirls are made with a trowel or float in a semicircular motion. Stipple is made with a wet float placed on wet stucco and pulled away from the wall to make small peaks in the design. Let the stucco dry 2 to 3 days. Spritz the wall several times a day during curing. Follow the directions for curing on the label of the stucco you are using.

Tips and warnings

  • Stucco must be kept damp during curing to keep it from drying out too quickly which causes shrinking and cracks. Stucco is very sensitive to climate. The best day to stucco is a day with mild temperatures and a slight cloud cover. Select a stucco product that is best suited for your climate zone.
  • Wear safety glasses and a mask if you are mixing your own stucco, Use safety glasses while chipping away old stucco and when applying new stucco.

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