Stucco: Tips and Tricks

Ever wondered how to stucco a wall? A professional stucco mason makes it look easy. It is a difficult job and might not be a good idea for beginners to try on their own. In this article, I’ll give you some great tips and advice so you can try it yourself. If you have a knack for finishing drywall, then you can stucco. Stucco is a cement product that is applied to concrete block walls to cover them with an appealing layer of mortar and usually finished with a pattern. (Although a simple, smooth layer can also be done.) Stucco can also be placed over wood or plywood. You first need to cover the area with metal lathe.

Stucco is done in several layers. The first layer is called the scratch coat. It is applied in Ã?¼ inch to Ã?½-inch layers using a hand trowel and a “hawk”board. The hawk board is a long metal screed that flattens the stucco in long even strokes. Some stucco masons will use a hawk to apply the first coat in long straight areas. After the coat is applied and is beginning to dry, the mason will “scratch” lines into the wall using a tool that places small grooves into the stucco. This coat of stucco is aloud to dry overnight before the next coat is applied.

Once you have completed the initial “scratch” coat and it has thoroughly dried, you can move onto the next phase of the stucco process. The next phase is called the flat coat or smooth coat. This phase requires that you smooth over the scratch coat with a Ã?¼-inch layer of stucco mix with as flat a layer as possible. This phase requires a definite skill that can be hard to master. It will need to be as smooth and flat as possible and may require several passes with a hawk and trowel to create a finish with little or no humps or dips. If you see any holes or humps from the side of the wall, you must fill these in or you will notice them when the stucco is painted.

If you want a flat coat, then you’re done and you can begin to paint. Most stucco has a pattern over the flat coat. Try creating several patterns on a test board or block of wood if you are unsure what types of patterns you may be able to create. The easiest of these patterns is a simple drag pattern. First, you mix some stucco mix with a slight slump. This is done by mixing a batch of stucco mix with more water than usual. It should almost slide of the trowel. Starting at the bottom of the wall and going straight up, pull the trowel up and slightly off of the wall as you move the trowel upwards. This will create a mottled pattern as the stucco leaves your trowel. It takes some practice, but with a little skill and luck, you should be able to stucco small areas by yourself or with a friend.

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