Removing Stucco Trim


Old 07-31-15, 04:58 PM
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Removing Stucco Trim


I need to prep a door opening for door replacement on a stucco house. Home built about 20 years ago and it has the blue insulation layer under the stucco. I took off an electrical box to check the wall construction and it's grey house wrap, blue foam insulation, metal lath and stucco.

The door opening has a foam trim element around it, about 4" wide on the sides of the door and a much larger key design at the top.

I'm thinking take an angle grinder with diamond cut off blade to score the edge where trim meets wall and the use a mason chisel to remove trim? I will be replacing trim with a new identical piece and I'm thinking if I minimize damage to surrounding wall outside of trim stucco repair will be easier.

For the door replacement I'm pretty sure I can limit the cut width to 4" wide thus all stucco removal should be under the trim element.

Also, I have no problem with hiring a stucco contractor to repair the door area but is it within the capability of DIY'r to stucco the trim piece? I'm concerned a stucco contractor may not even want to bother with a small job like this. My stucco finish is a very rough, non-knock down type finish.

BTW, my stucco is painted.


Last edited by AlexH; 07-31-15 at 06:10 PM.
Old 07-31-15, 06:40 PM
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Usually the trims are applied with an acrylic modified mortar after the base coat has been applied to the house. The trims are then usually finished with a spray applied finish before the finish is applied to the field of the job.

If your field finish is different from the trim finish then, as you stated, you want to be careful about removing the trim and preserving the finish in the field.

I would score the edge with the grinder but I don't think you are going to need a mason's chisel to remove the trim. I might try cutting it into lengths with the diamond grinder and then using a thin blade tool like a stiff putty knife to break the foam free of the adhesive mortar. You will then probably have to grind off the adhesive mortar with a diamond cup wheel in the grinder to get to the original stucco base coat. Of course, any grinding operation should include respiratory protection and closing adjacent windows and doors.

As far as the repairs, you may be able to purchase and set the trim pieces and eliminate a trip for whomever does the finish coat. If you try to do the finish you will need to ,know exactly how the finish material was applied and it would be nice to have the color code for what was used, you can paint the finish coat to better match the original finish if you save a piece of the original and take it to a paint store to analyze the color.

The biggest problem with you setting the trim is that you probably would end up purchasing more material than you need for the job just because of the way it is packaged. A contractor will have the material at hand and use what he has to and be able to take what is left to another job.
Old 07-31-15, 07:55 PM
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I went ahead and removed some of the trim.
There appears to be 2 layers of house wrap, a lower one under the door fin and another over the door fin.

I assume I should make every effort to preserve these and install the new door the same way but with addition of the flashing tape over the fin (Pella actually has very good instructions). I suppose I could try to save the chicken wire - might help prevent a crack?

Also, should I cut the stucco with a circular saw to get as straight a cut as possible thus making it a bit easier to fit the foam or should I even bother to replace the foam? My stucco cut is still under the trim piece.

thanks again

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Last edited by AlexH; 07-31-15 at 08:31 PM.

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