3 Types of Stucco Finishes

Stucco finishes are a great way to enhance the beauty of your exterior walls. Stucco is a mixture of Portland cement, sand, water and lime with doses of acrylics and additive fibers. When applied as a finishing layer, this works wonders. Stucco finishes render your exteriors fresh, termite resistant and results in enhanced protection against fires. These are easily repairable and you have three different stucco finishes to choose from.

Wet Dashes

The wet dashes are called so, as these have to be applied while the mortar on your walls is still fresh and has not hardened. The pebble dash is the most popular choice in this group. This is commonly referred to as the rough cast. A mixture of stucco, pebbles and grout is thrown against the freshly applied mortar with the aid of a paddle. Another popular variety among wet dashes is the spatter dash that uses thinner cement and sand mixed together instead of pebbles and grout. In this case too, the mixture is thrown on the wall such that it dashes against the surface and sticks on to the wet mortar. Instead of using sand you may also use stone screenings. The sand and thin cement mixture added to the stucco may be applied on the wall while the mortar is still soft and before it sets on the wall. A fiber paint brush or a whisk broom is used to apply the stucco mixture. These finishes are labeled the sand dash and broom dash finish respectively. Wet finishes bring a unique charm to the walls of your house and last very long without the need of frequent repairs.

Dry Dashes

As the name suggests, this finish is the exact opposite of the previous type discussed. The mortar on the wall receives various treatments just before it gets hardened. Therefore, some time is given for the mortar to get partially dry. Stone chips, small pebbles or even sea shells added to the stucco are thrown against the walls for a dry dash look. The mixture must not cluster up in any single part of the wall as this will not hold on the mortar. You must try and distribute it so that there is evenness when it finally sets. The pebbles or chips need to be pushed in on the surface by a float or any other related tool needed for finishing up dry walls. Be careful not to wipe against the wall surface after the pebbles or other objects sit in place. This finish needs a lot of careful application and is more time consuming than the wet dash finish. However, once done, your walls look nothing short of a dream.

Float Finishes

Float finishes brighten up the exterior walls of the house. The finish is applied only after the mortar on the wall has completely hardened up. In this form, a thin coat of the stucco is applied on the wall surface, and it has to be straightened before beginning the floating using a shingle float, that you must follow up with sweeping, using a wet sponge. When the stucco begins to stiffen, water needs to be dashed on to it by a brush. However, this is the least popular among the three options as it needs professional help and not many choose this finish any more.