Painting Re- Stucco

I am going to paint the exterior of my stucco home early this fall. The stucco is seven years old and has never been painted. Is there a specific paint to use on bare stucco? I know to caulk the small settlement cracks, but what about the stucco that extends below the grade. Should I paint that as well? I have seen other paint low to the ground peel. I want to avoid blisters and peeling paint if at al possible. What finish paint would you use? John B., Columbus, NJ.

You are already on track for a first-class paint job without knowing it. Applying the paint in the early fall is a fantastic idea. The weather is often dry and the daytime temperatures are well within the acceptable high and low temperature limits that are published on the labels of virtually every can of paint. Furthermore, your productivity should be very high since the weather will be so fair.

Unpainted stucco or virtually any masonry material is well suited to paint. The rough texture of stucco, brick, concrete block, even stone provides lots of micro nooks and crannies where the paint can lock itself onto and into the surface. In essence, the paint and the stucco, or other masonry, become one and the same. In my opinion, there is only one finish paint I would use. I prefer exterior paints that have a blend of urethane and acrylic resins. I have used this type on my own home and the paint sticks like epoxy to my wood siding. This same paint will grab tenaciously to your stucco.

Since your stucco is seven years old, you have waited more than enough time to allow it to cure. Brand-new stucco needs to cure for several months before it can be successfully painted. This 90-day wait period allows sufficient time for the original mix water to liberate itself from the stucco. Much of the mixing water is needed to fuel the hydration chemical reaction that happens as the stucco gets hard over time. But any leftover water that remains in the stucco will cause fresh paint to peel and blister if it is not allowed to escape prior to painting