How to Repair Stucco Cracks and Holes
It's tough to match the texture found on a stucco wall. We'll show you the steps it takes to make a repair look seamless.
On a wood-sheathed stucco wall, the sheathing is covered with roofing felt, then wire lath is nailed over the felt. Two or three layers of stucco are applied over the lath. On a masonry wall, stucco is typically applied directly with no lath.
Before patching a small area, press hard with your palm against the surrounding wall. Wherever you find sponginess, the stucco has disengaged from the wall and should be removed and replaced.
Getting a stucco patch to blend with its surroundings is more difficult than it may first appear. However, by experimenting with various tools, you can likely discover how to apply a texture that comes close.
What You Need
- Caulking gun
- Cold chisel
- wire brush
- Lineman's pliers
- Tin snips
- Putty knife
- Old can opener
- Detail scraper
- Masonry brush
- Magnesium float or flat trowel
- Scarifying tool
- Paint roller
- Wheelbarrow or trough
- Masonry hoe,
- Ladder or scaffolding
- Stucco caulk or exterior caulk
- Stucco patch
- Stucco mix (basecoat and finish)
- Roofing felt
- Stucco lath
- Roofing nails
What if you Need to Texture Your Patch?
Start with a basically smooth wall that is at the same thickness as the surrounding surfaces. Use a masonry brush or whisk broom to etch swirls, straight lines, or a pattern of alternating straight lines. You may need to periodically rinse the brush in a bucket of water.
To make a series of scallops, use a triangular trowel, sculpting with a semicircular motion.
To produce a spatter texture, dip a brush in a bucket of fairly wet stucco mix and flick at the wall by tapping the brush against a small scrap of wood.
To create a knockdown texture, start with peaks created by pulling back, and gently smooth the surface with a trowel.
Patching Small Holes
Step 1: Clean Hole
Tap with a hammer and chisel to remove any loose stucco. Use a wire brush, then a wet bristle brush, to clean out dust and debris.
Step 2: Attach Mesh
If needed, nail in place a new piece of mesh. Dampen the area with a wet rag shortly before applying the patch.
Step 4: Apply Stucco
Use a putty knife or trowel to apply a ready-mix stucco patch. It may take two or three layers to fill the hole. Allow each layer to dry before applying the next.
Step 4: Add Texture
When you reach the last layer, match the texture. Here, a brush is used in a sweeping, semicircular motion.
Step 1: Widen Crack
Use an old puncture can opener or a detail paint scraper to dig out and widen the crack. Work to make the innermost part of the crack wider than the surface crack.
Step 2: Fill Crack
Apply stucco or mortar caulk, both of which have a grainy texture that blends with a stucco wall. Or to seal but not texture the crack, use regular exterior caulk.