Installing Synthetic Stucco

Lead Image for Installing Synthetic Stucco
  • 8-24 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 40-200
What You'll Need
Paddle mixer
Plasterer's hock
EIFS Components

While most people are familiar with the regular cement-based stucco, synthetic stucco has been around since the 1950s. It is a system that was created to help make the installation and benefits of stucco more appealing to the general public.

What Is Synthetic Stucco?

Synthetic stucco is a system called Exterior Insulation and Finish System. It is made of a foam board that is applied to the surface while some wire mesh is applied over it. Coats of a polymer mixture are added until the finished product has a finished look of stucco.

Problems with Synthetic Stucco

Early versions of synthetic stucco faced problems with rot damage to the underlying surface of the home.

Today, this problem has been fixed with different insulation and application techniques. In fact, one of the many benefits of synthetic stucco is the way that it is impervious to moisture, as water can not penetrate the siding when correctly applied.

Prepping Area

As with any type of siding installation, you should clean the area and make sure there are no obstructions or items to work around or trip over.

Base Coat Application

Apply a pre-made base coat to the entire surface. If you will be covering a large area, it may be more cost-efficient to mix it yourself.

Install Foam Board

Install the foam insulation board over the base coat of mixture. This is a 1-inch board that is used to insulate and give the finished stucco some depth. There are several different kinds of this board, so choose the one that will give the best overall protection.

Install the foam insulation board with ceramic-coated screws used with plastic washers screwed into the sheathing or frame. You can also use an adhesive to secure the board, but the screws work better and ensure a secure installation.

Wrap the Foam Board

After the board is secure, wrap it with some plastic mesh. This protects the insulation and provides the final coat of synthetic stucco with a surface it can to adhere to.

Add some base coating mixture to the foam board and apply the plastic mesh wrap. Work the mesh into the base coat and let it sit overnight.

Apply Base Coat

Again, apply the base coat to the entire surface of the area you are siding. Trowel it on to a thickness of at least ½ inch over the entire surface. Let this dry for a day, and then add the final finish coat with a trowel in a thin coating.

Finishing Steps

After the final coating has had some time to set, you can do some finish texturing. The process of setting this up will depend greatly on the temperature. The colder it is, the longer it will take.