What you need to know about stucco painting and repair for commercial buildings

Eivydas “David” Phillips Eivydas “David” Phillips
Founder/President at Painters Inc.

Stucco is a premium surface that adorns commercial buildings of businesses where the proprietors have distinct tastes. This costly surface also takes a fair amount of upkeep if it’s going to retain its aesthetic value. This includes the occasional repair, such as filling in cracks and chips, as well as commercial stucco painting services. With regular maintenance, stucco will look great for a long time.

Stucco repair is not a DIY type of situation, which means when it needs extensive repair, it should be carried out by a professional mason with years of experience. When you bring in the right painting crew, they should have the skills to make minor repairs before they begin painting. For example, when you bring Painters Inc. to the project, we have experience with stucco painting and repair projects, which means we know how to fix those minor damages, ensuring the paint we apply will adhere properly and the finished product will look outstanding.

Why stucco for commercial properties

If you’re not familiar with stucco, it’s basically just a surface made with cement and lime-based plaster, then applied over a backing material. When commercial stucco contractors properly apply it to the exterior of a building, it will retain its durable qualities and last a long time. However, it’s not impervious to the elements, as harsh weather will take its toll on the surface. Most damages will present as fading or peeling/cracked paint. Impact damage, which can occur due to flying debris during a storm, will lead to chunks of stucco missing, or cracks.

While stucco’s durability is definitely a selling point to use this type of surface over other surface types, including vinyl siding, cedar or a fabricated wood siding, stucco also has a distinct look to it that many commercial property owners prefer.

The following are some of the most common reasons stucco is used:

  • Fire resistant
  • Insect resistant
  • Noise-canceling qualities
  • Adds curb appeal
  • Costs less than other premium materials, including stone and brick
  • It’s not expensive to have repainted

While painting stucco is inexpensive and easy, there are some rules that need to be followed. For example, commercial painters know to use masonry paint, elastomeric paint or acrylic paint. Professional painters know not to use oil-based paint, even though it’s a go-to paint type for some exterior jobs. At Painters Inc., we’ve repainted many stucco exteriors and know exactly what type of paint will work on your stucco.

Repairing your commercial stucco exterior

Repairing stucco is not a job for beginners. At Painters Inc., our process for commercial stucco repair begins by making a thorough inspection of all the surface areas. We can assess, very quickly, the extent of the damage and will write up a proposal that will address all the issues, completely prepping the surface for a professional paint job.

stucco wall repair

Stucco is quite durable, but it will begin to show wear after years exposed to the elements. For example, you might notice cracks that are tiny, but over time those cracks will allow moisture in, making the damage even more extensive. This is why regular maintenance is important, as it will prevent small issues from becoming big ones.

Sun and moisture are two of the biggest enemies stucco faces, as the sun will fade the paint and moisture can work its way into the surface, causing a multitude of problems. There are factors other than sun, wind, water, heat and cold to consider. For example, commercial buildings can settle, leading to disturbances in the stucco that will cause cracks. Repairing stucco is an important step in the process of keeping your surfaces in tip-top shape, so call on Painters Inc. to maintain your surfaces, as well as take on your minor exterior stucco repair before painting.

Repainting your commercial stucco exterior

In a perfect world, your stucco painting responsibilities would happen one time and you’d never have to do it again. Unfortunately, there will come a time when repainting your stucco will need to happen, so keep Painters Inc. in mind for when the time comes. We know stucco is a long-lasting surface, but it can’t live up to that reputation if it isn’t cared for. We have all the tools necessary to make sure your commercial stucco exterior lasts a long time while also looking great.

Repainting stucco exteriors requires an eye for small details, particularly since the stucco needs to be in perfect shape before it will properly take new paint. And don’t worry if your stucco looks like it’s in rough shape now, because at Painters Inc., we can take that faded and worn exterior and make it look as new as ever. Simply schedule an inspection and we’ll make a thorough assessment of the situation and present you with a plan to get your exteriors back in shape with quality stucco painting services.

Top reasons you should paint a stucco exterior

Stucco might be a sought-after surface for exteriors, but there are some stucco issues that need to be addressed if it’s going to live up to its highly-touted reputation. Stucco crack repair is one of the more common jobs associated with this surface, as years of wear can produce a fair amount of cracks that will get worse if not attended to.

office building stucco exterior repainting

Most commercial properties will have their stucco repainted every five to 10 years. The span depends on a variety of factors, including what type of paint you used years ago, if the surfaces are completely open to the forces of nature. Painters Inc. has dealt with plenty of clients with all kinds of reasons for having their stucco exterior repainted and we can help you with yours.

Common stucco issues when repainting is necessary:

Moisture and water intrusion on stucco

Moisture is enemy #1 to stucco. Perhaps that’s why you see more stucco exteriors in arid climates. The truth is, stucco can be installed on exterior surfaces anywhere, but climates prone to moisture, such as precipitation and humidity, will require more upkeep.

It’s recommended that Midwesterners with stucco exteriors, whether you’re a homeowner or commercial property owner, invest in repainting their stucco, as well as stay on top of minor repairs that need to be made. For example, a buildup of moisture can lead to wood rot under the stucco, which is why regular inspections are necessary.

Staining and discoloration on stucco exterior walls

When moisture is allowed to sit on or in stucco for too long, staining can occur. The staining will present as a hazy white substance, or a dark blotch. While these are unsightly problems, they can lead to deeper, more extensive issues, including having to repair large areas of the stucco and the underlying materials, should they become damaged. While these stains can pop up anywhere, a popular area includes around doors and windows where water is sometimes improperly redirected, allowing it to gather and pool.

Hairline cracking of stucco

Hairline cracks are sometimes not even visible until you’re practically on top of them, but they are definitely a problem that requires immediate attention. At Painters Inc., we will quickly but efficiently repair your hairline cracks. If you’ve had a problem with your stucco for an extended period of time, structural problems might be present below the surface of the stucco, which means you’ll need to address those before you take on a painting project.

White streaks along your stucco

Painting over damaged stucco is a really bad idea, as it can lead to hiding problems that will only get worse. For example, if you paint over a white streak (sign that you have a moisture problem) on your stucco, it might appear new for a while, but that white streak is a sign of moisture damage, which needs to be addressed before you paint.

Advantages of painting stucco on your commercial building

There are less expensive choices that stucco for exteriors, but many commercial and residential property owners choose this durable and attractive material. And while stucco is fairly low maintenance, you will eventually need to take on a stucco painting project, which means you need to contact quality stucco painters who know all the reasons why repainting projects are so important.

Keeps surface dry

All exterior surfaces, regardless of their material type, last longer when they are allowed to thoroughly dry. It’s normal for stucco with older paint to appear darker after a rain, but the moisture it absorbs should eventually dry and the surface will return to its normal color. A new coat of paint will help protect your stucco, ensuring that it doesn’t get water logged. In essence, paint helps keep the surface dry.

Covers stains

Some stains do not represent underlying moisture problems, which is something a quality painting contractor can determine. A new coat of paint is perfectly acceptable in this situation. As long as your repainting project is completed by professionals, your new paint will appear attractive for years to come.

Fills hairline cracks

Hairline cracks might seem like a big deal, particularly because you have to get really close to them to even notice they are there. The problem is, these little cracks will only get worse as more and more moisture is allowed to creep into them. When you use a quality paint, it will fill the voids, adding a layer of protection that blocks moisture. However, professional painters will go the extra mile to fill those hairline cracks with caulk before painting. In some situations, such as in larger cracks, masonry patching will be required prior to painting.

Resists UV rays

Ultra violet rays, aka UV rays, are more prevalent in some parts of the country than others, but even areas such as Chicagoland will have a fair share of UV rays that can damage masonry, including stucco. Furthermore, the one-two-punch is that UV rays will also damage the protective layer of paint on top of stucco. A fresh coat of paint can add that needed layer of protection that keeps your stucco UV resistant.

Exterior refreshing

Many of our customers at Painters Inc. don’t wait until their exteriors look bad before they call us in to give their walls a refresh. Whether it’s to change the color scheme or to punch up a current color, exterior repainting projects certainly bring curb appeal to any stucco structure – commercial or residential.

Variety of paint colors

From bold colors to the standard tan hue of paint on your stucco, this surface will take any type of color. You can go bold and bright, choose darker tones or go with lighter earth tones – they all work on stucco. At Painters Inc., if you’ve got questions about colors and finishes, we can guide you toward the options that will suit your surfaces.

When you’ve made the decision to start a painting project on your stucco walls, the next step is to decide who will do the work. The outcome of the project hinges on the quality of the painting contractor you choose. Only partner with a contractor that has experience on stucco and has examples of their work.

Why choose a professional painting contractor for your stucco repair and painting projects

Commercial stucco painting contractors aren’t all offering the same level of service. For example, some won’t make the necessary repairs prior to painting. At Painters Inc., we thoroughly assess the surfaces prior to applying paint, making sure cracks are sealed and that there aren’t underlying issues that require extensive work from a masonry contractor. When our clients come to us, they get a competitively priced expert that knows exactly how to handle all types of stucco painting projects.

Stucco repair

Stucco repair is sometimes preceded by a shift in the building, either to settling or some other force. Also impacting the stability of stucco is seasonal weather, which causes an expansion and contraction of construction material. These issues lead to stucco crack repair projects. At Painters Inc., we’re equipped with the skills and tools to make exterior stucco repairs, ensuring that your stucco is stable and ready to be painted.

Stucco replacement

In the event that your stucco is so damaged that it needs replacement, you’ll need to call in a contractor that specializes in masonry work. It’s often the case that untreated water damage will lead to the need for extensive repairs that can only be done by a contractor with experience in stucco.

Stucco priming

Primer is great for evening out surfaces, readying it for a coat or two of paint. Stucco priming can help cover hairline cracks, as well as leave a smooth finish for the paint. Furthermore, in areas where repairs beyond hairline cracks have been performed, primer will also smooth out those areas.

Stucco painting

Painting stucco exterior surfaces should involve stucco painting contractors that are experienced with this type of surface, as when properly applied, the paint will provide an added layer of protection from moisture, mold and pollution that can damage stucco. At Painters Inc., most of our stucco painting involves applying a coat of waterproof paint so our customers’ exteriors look great for years to come.

Don’t wait until your stucco exteriors look haggard and worn. Bring in Painters Inc. before your stucco needs to be repaired. We’ll offer a thorough evaluation of your surfaces and come up with a plan that will bring great improvements to the look of your exteriors and provide protection that lasts a long time.

How to paint exterior stucco

To ensure that your painting project is a success, bring in a contractor who knows how to prepare and paint exterior stucco surfaces. At Painters Inc., we’re stucco painters with experience and skill, ready to offer the best services, but at a competitive price.

Stucco painting process

Stucco’s condition inspection

At Painters Inc., our stucco inspection will consider the condition of your stucco and if it is ready for paint. For example, if we notice areas where there are stains where moisture has not dried or if we see cracks, we’ll make the determination of what preparation needs to be completed prior to painting. We’ll check common stucco problem areas, such as around windows and doors and make the necessary repairs. Should we notice areas of extensive damage in the stucco or supportive material damage, we’ll recommend bringing in a masonry contractor and having those issues repaired before painting can begin.

Stucco preparation work

Paint does not adhere properly to surfaces that have not been prepped. From minor damages, such as hairline cracks to moisture spots, uneven surfaces or dirt and grime on the surface – these issues need to be remedied prior to painting. For cleaning dirt, grime and mold, we utilize our pressure washing equipment, which can tackle stubborn messes, leaving behind a clean surface for our painters.

Cracks on stucco repairs

Cracks are one of the most common damages on stucco that require repairs. It’s also a complex issue to deal with. For example, hairline cracks can be treated with a primer, or if they’re larger hairline cracks, caulk will need to be used. Some areas are damaged enough to require patches. Furthermore, these patches and larger cracks require an expert who can match the texture of the repaired areas to the surrounding surfaces. In most cases, larger repairs require a seven to 10 day drying period. For new construction, it’s recommended to let the stucco cure/dry for 60 days or more.

Quality paint and color selection

The best painting contractors only use quality paint. They won’t purchase anything less because inferior paints do not look good and will not last, even on a surface as durable as stucco. Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore make some of the best paints on the market today, and that includes the paint that goes on stucco (almost always 100 percent acrylic). Sherwin-Williams’ Superpaint and Duration are great matches for stucco and come in a variety of colors – pretty much anything you could desire. At Painters Inc., we assist our customers in choosing the best colors and finishes, matching their aesthetic preferences while also providing the most durability a paint can have.

Stucco priming (if needed)

Sometimes a layer of primer is required, usually when hairline cracks need to be covered or if there have been extensive repairs. Painters Inc. will also use primer if the project involves painting a light color over a previous darker color. Primer also helps to prevent paint from bubbling or chipping. While primer adds to the expense of a project, there is plenty of value added, because the paint job will look better and last longer.

Stucco painting

At Painters Inc., our reputation as a go-to painting contractor is partially to do with the fact that we have experience with every type of surface that can be painted. While stucco might be more popular in arid regions of the country, we have plenty of structures with stucco exteriors in our area. Our knowledge in repairing, cleaning and painting stucco, as well as offering extensive inspections that ensure your stucco is prepared for paint, has our customers commenting on how their expectations were exceeded by our level of service.

Paint drying

Dry surfaces are a must when stucco is being painted, so if your stucco has been power washed, we won’t begin applying paint until the stucco is completely dry. Also, once the paint is applied, depending on the conditions, it takes between one and two hours to dry enough to apply an additional coat. So, when you project calls for multiple coats, we’ll make sure the previous coat has cured sufficiently before applying the remaining coat(s).

When you partner with Painters Inc., you bring in an expert that provides all the services you need to take your stucco back to its former glory, or better. Contact us and let’s schedule an inspection of your exteriors.

Best paints for stucco exterior surfaces

Any quality painting contractor with experience with stucco will tell you that 100 percent acrylic paint is by far the most suitable paint for stucco. Not only does acrylic offer durability, but it also brings flexibility to the party – ensuring that your stucco surface is as breathable as it needs to be.

choosing the best paint

Why is breathability important? Well, you don’t want moisture getting stuck between your paint and your stucco. When this happens, moisture can permeate the stucco and end up making contact with wood structures beneath it, which leads to rot and some really expensive repairs.

Acrylic allows for that breathability, which means moisture can escape and evaporate, thereby avoiding moisture areas that will lead to staining and potential structural damages. Another bonus to using acrylic paint, particularly the acrylic-latex paint, is that it is easy to clean up, which means you spend less on labor costs associated with wrapping up a project.

Best exterior paint brands for stucco:

Benjamin Moore stucco paint

At Painters Inc., we have some preferred paint brands we use, which are also popular with other quality painting contractors. One of the best is Benjamin Moore stucco paint. In fact, the best Benjamin Moore exterior paint for stucco offers ultra-violet light protection, which means it will resist fading. Inferior paints will not include the right ingredients to offer this protection. Other benefits include mold and mildew resistance.

Benjamin Moore has a variety of different types of paint, but some of the top ones include Aura Exterior Paint and Regal Select High Build, which are UV resistant, durable and provide a premium aesthetic that lesser quality paints cannot live up to.

Sherwin Williams stucco paint

When you partner with Painters Inc., you get a contractor that doesn’t skimp on the paint we use in our projects. One of the best is Sherwin-Williams exterior stucco paint. The best Sherwin-Williams exterior paint for stucco includes SuperPaint and Duration products. These are such high-quality products that they will look amazing for as long as 10 years, even in areas that get hit with UV rays.

Sherwin-Williams stucco paint is breathable, allowing for moisture to escape from stucco and evaporate, leaving behind no risk of rot or stains. Our customers enjoy the fact that this type of paint lasts so long, but they’re equally excited about the fact that it looks fantastic for such a long time.

Commercial stucco exterior repair and repainting cost

Stucco repair and painting cost estimates can vary greatly from one project to the next, but quality stucco painting contractors offer reasonable estimates so prospective clients have an idea of what their expenses will be. Not all stucco needs to be repaired or require extensive cleaning prior to painting, so these projects will be less expensive than ones where repair is necessary.

A 5,000-square-foot stucco facade will cost between $4,300 and $4,850 to repaint. That estimate is based on a rate between .86 cents per square foot of surface that does not need extensive prep work and .97 cents per square foot of surface for a project that does require prep (cleaning and/or repairs).

For projects that involve repairs to large portions of the stucco, count on the stucco contractor to charge around $60 per hour spent on the repairs. Again, while Painters Inc. can handle small repairs and cleaning, we depend on the expertise of stucco contractors to handle more extensive repairs.

How much does repairing stucco cost?

The cost to repair stucco runs around $60 per hour for labor, which is consistent with most masonry contractors who handle the larger repair portions of the job prior to Painters Inc. taking care of the painting portions. Most of the cost to repair stucco exterior surfaces is in the labor, but there will also be some fees related to the materials used, as well as removing large amounts of material generated when tearing out old stucco.

How much does repainting stucco cost?

At Painters Inc., we’ve always been competitively priced, which means we bring premium services to the jobsite, but without the premium costs. The bulk of the cost to repaint stucco exterior surfaces is tied up in labor. There are also costs associated with paints and supplies. And while our go-to paints, Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore, are more expensive than bargain paints, they last much, much longer and look better.

All that being said, the average repainting price is 92 cents per square foot. So, on a 3,000-square-foot project, you’re looking at $2,760.

Experienced exterior stucco painters in the Chicago area

For the best results on your repairing project, bring in quality stucco painters who have a wealth of experience. For stucco exterior painting in Chicago, the go-to contractor is Painters Inc. With two decades of experience, we are a trusted source for commercial painting services that customers have counted on.

exterior painter

Our clients that have stucco surfaces on their facilities count on us to provide services that lead to long-lasting durability, but this requires skills that some contractors don’t possess. All of our full-time staff members act as a high-functioning team, as they are all chosen on the basis of their experience, which is advanced. Each member is carefully vetted, as we’re a customer-centric company that respects the properties we work on.

If you’re searching for a contractor that knows all the ins and outs of painting stucco, look no further than Painters Inc. Whether you’re taking on a repainting project because your paint is beginning to peel or has faded and looks haggard, or if you’re just going for a different look with a new paint color, we can handle your project. For stucco surfaces that require cleaning or light repair, we’re also prepared with the skills and the right tools do exactly that. Stucco can be a complex surface to manage, so when you need your repainting project to be completed on time, on budget and with outstanding appearances, partner with us at Painters Inc.

Stucco painting and repair FAQ

As you research who will take on your stucco repainting project you’ve probably got many questions that need to be answered. You’ve come to the right place, because Painters Inc. has plenty of experience painting stucco and we have all the answers you need.

What you need to know before painting stucco?

Painting the exterior of a building can be an involved process, but it’s important to paint all the stucco on your exteriores in the same repainting project, as you want the paint tones to match all the way around your structure. The most successful stucco painting jobs begin with prep work to ensure the surfaces are consistent and that there are no damages that shouldn’t be painted over. Most of these jobs require two coats for providing the best possible protection, as well as offer the best aesthetic outcomes.

What type of paint should be used on stucco?

At Painters Inc., we don’t skimp on paint, as the best quality paints last longer than bargain brands and they also look better. In the end, you save money by spending more on good paints like those made by Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore. With these products, you’re getting durability with the perk of curb appeal.

How often should you paint a stucco building?

The standard answer is five to 10 years, but this can vary depending on the quality of paint you use and exposure to the elements. Ultra-violet rays and debris from storms can compromise the quality of the paint after years of exposure, so even if you use the best quality paints, you’re still going to need to repaint your stucco at some point.

Can Painters Inc. repair cracked or damaged stucco?

Painters Inc. has repaired many, many hairline cracks in stucco and some small areas with more extensive damage, but we’re not masons and will recommend you bring in a masonry contractor for stucco that has extensive damage. We can help you find the best contractors for this type of work, too.

What are the most popular exterior paint colors for stucco buildings?

Natural colors are traditionally the most popular choice for stucco. This includes tan, gray, white and beige. Some clients like to use colors that are a bit more bold, such as various hues of blue. In the end, the color is totally up to you, and if you decide to include accents, we can assist you in choosing the best color pairings.

Does stucco need more maintenance?

Paint acts as a protective layer on stucco, so that could be considered one of the most maintenance items on your list. However, stucco is also prone to cracking, so when you partner with Painters Inc., we’ll do an extensive inspection and locate areas where hairline cracks can be fixed before they grow to more extensive problems. Keeping up with maintenance now will prevent having to take on expensive repairs later.

Eivydas “David” Phillips
Eivydas “David” Phillips
Eivydas “David” Phillips is the founder and president of Painters Inc. He and his team have built a solid reputation as the preferred painting contractor in the Chicago area, capable of handling variety of complex commercial jobs, completing them on time and surpassing expectations. With a customer-centric focus, Painters Inc guarantees reliability on every job, large or small.