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The main issue with painting stucco is that when moisture leaves, or is pulled from the stucco by heat, a chalky surface is left behind. For painting, the problem with chalk on your stucco, cement or other masonry surface is that the paint sticks to the chalk and then the paint weight creates peeling. The chalk simply isn’t adhering to the substrate.
Power washing can help, but the reality is you cannot get rid of the chalk and not addressing it is a recipe for failure. This is why most people feel that you can’t paint stucco, they see peeling and assume it can’t be painted.
There are masonry product that adhere to masonry to seal the chalk to the surface, but can also absorb a small amount of chalk.
A simple swipe of the hand will clearly show if you have a chalk problem. If the chalkiung is really bad, a conditioner that “locks down” the chalk can be applied. This is a milky, watery liquid product that is applied prior to painting.
For TruNorth, the key to painting stucco comes with choice of paint and technique. Regardless of the method of application -- spray, brush or roll -- selecting the right paint for the right stucco surface is critical.
The paint for stucco that has proven most effective for TruNorth is Sherwin Williams Loxon XP®, made specifically for masonry/stucco. It requires only one coat of paint to both seal a small amount of chalk and change to a new color.
Loxon XP® is a very thick paint, but is also breathable which is important for a northern climate. There are elastomeric paints used by many paint companies, but in our opinion, these products don’t breathe and can be the cause of paint failure due to the huge swing in temperatures in a Minnesota year.