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Whitewashing Stucco

Don't put up with dingy stucco exterior walls

FH98FEB_WTESTU_01-2Family Handyman

Do your stucco walls look dingy because they're stained and discolored, especially around gutter downspouts? Here's how to freshen things up by applying a coat of whitewash.

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How to mix and apply whitewash to stucco

Mix the stucco

Mix white Portland cement and water in a pail to the consistency of pancake batter. A giant potato masher works well for this job.

Apply the whitewash to the stucco

After using a garden hose to get the stucco wet, apply the whitewash with a masonry brush or a whisk broom.

Whitewash is a mixture of white Portland cement and water. Don’t use ordinary house paint. It can form a non-breathable film on your stucco, which will cause the paint to pop off when moisture migrates through the wall in the winter. Also, painted stucco needs costly sandblasting before redashing.

To make whitewash, mix white Portland cement (available at most lumberyards) and water in a pail to the consistency of pancake batter. Wet the stucco with a garden hose and apply the whitewash with a masonry brush or whisk broom. You can color the whitewash by adding masonry dye, which is available from brick suppliers. An exact color match is almost impossible, so plan to whitewash an entire wall for the best results.

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Bucket
  • Garden hose
  • Giant potato masher
  • Masonry brush or whisk broom
  • Rubber gloves

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • White Portland cement