Ways to Texture a Wall with Plaster or Stucco

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  • 4-48 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 200-10,000

One of the most popular and easiest ways to texture a wall is to stucco or plaster it. Some applications for stucco or plaster are brick walls, concrete block walls, stone walls, and poured concrete walls, to name a few. Stucco is an excellent way of covering up blemishes on a wall. The following are some ways to stucco or plaster a wall, starting with the stucco mix.

The Stucco Mix and its Application

The mix must be applied to a clean and damp surface (the surface should always be damp when applying stucco). Also, fix any leaks at this point. A base coat should be rough enough for the binding of the final coat. This coat should be about 3/8-inch thick. Your base stucco mix consists of one part Portland cement plus one part masonry cement with eight parts of clean, damp medium sand. This same mixture is also excellent for the final finishing off of the stucco that can be applied up to three layers depending on your final desired texture finish.

Some Ways to Stucco or Plaster a Wall

A Rock Effect

A rock effect on a wall can be created by shaping the applied concrete into the imperfect surfaces and the mortar joints artificially. The added color, which consists of mineral oxide pigments, can enhance the realistic look of the rock. Mix a small amount of stucco with the mineral oxide to apply to the finished surface.

An Old World Feel

Get an old-world feel by using a roller to apply the stucco or plaster to the wall. By using a roller you can also achieve a very smooth surface. To get the effect of an old-world look, you may again add your choice of mineral oxide pigments to obtain the desired color effect (for example, a Tuscan look). Once the stucco has settled – that is, when you press it with your finger there is no indentation – you could use a cloth to bring up the sandy texture you would want. This can then be followed by applying a glaze.

Organic Effects

Once you have plastered the wall you can use a trowel with beveled edges to create a pattern that could possibly emulate any organic material. You could also apply plaster on your last coat, by skipping over the wall and leaving parts of the wall untouched. You could also work at the plaster in different directions to create spikes and angles.

Metal Brush or Comb Finishes

Work into the stucco with a metal brush or comb until the desired texture is achieved. You could go circular or cross-hatch over the surface.


Use a sponge to stipple into the stucco or blob with it.

A Few Tips

There are myriad different ways to treat your wall with stucco. Experimentation is key to the success of stucco or plaster textures. You can experiment by using a temporary wall or use an unobtrusive wall space until you get the desired effect.