Repairing Stucco

A close-up of stucco.
  • 1-40 hours
  • Beginner
  • 25-2,000
What You'll Need
Screwdriver/cold chisel
Shallow bucket
Polyvinyl acetate (PVA) bonding agent
Bitumen-coated fiberglass
Stucco primer

When in good shape, stucco is one of the most attractive of all materials, but it can quickly lose its appeal if not maintained and repaired properly. Fortunately, making simple repairs on a stucco wall or other stuccoed surface is not a difficult job, but is well within the skill set of any determined do-it-yourself-er with a willingness to learn.

Take a look around your home and identify any areas where the stucco could use some TLC, and follow these easy steps to restore it.

Step 1 - Determine the Direction of the Crack

Look at the direction of the crack in the stucco. If it's vertical, such as one that runs from the base to the window or from the roof to the door, there could be a major problem with the foundation of the home and it should be inspected. When dealing with vertical cracks, you might want to call a foundation specialist — you may have a much more serious problem than cracked stucco.

Step 2 - Fill Small Cracks

If the crack is horizontal, you can move on to needed repairs. Small cracks can be filled by using a high-quality caulk. The best caulk to use is one that can be easily and invisibly painted over. The caulk can be pressed into the crack with your fingers. After the caulk is in place, use a damp cloth to smooth and clean the area. Once the caulk has dried it can be painted to match the color of the wall.

Step 3 - Clean Cracks

Wider cracks can be cleaned out using a screwdriver or a cold chisel. The area to be filled should be soaked thoroughly to prevent the stucco from leaching the water from the new mortar. If the new mortar becomes dry it could crumble.

Step 4 - Mix Mortar

Next, mix the mortar using a shallow bucket. Mix one part Portland cement, four parts builder's sand and a small amount of water. The mortar should be thin enough to work easily but not too runny.

Step 5 - Patch the Area

Cover the area to be patched with polyvinyl acetate (PVA) bonding agent designed specifically for masonry.

Step 6 - Fill Crack

When the bond is still slightly sticky, fill the crack with the mortar mix.

Step 7 - Cover Patched Area

Then cover the patched area with a piece of bitumen-coated fiberglass. The bitumen-coated fiberglass can then be pressed into place using a paint roller. The coat of bitumen should be applied directly over the patch.

Allow the bitumen to dry, and after it has dried, apply a second coat. The second coat should be carefully stippled with a soft bristle brush so that it matches the rest of the wall.

You're all set! The area can now be painted over, using a primer made specifically for stucco. Allow the primer to dry, and then repaint the area to match the rest of the wall.