Modern Stucco Design


JC Construction

What is modern stucco? It is a plaster-like material used as an exterior cement plaster wall covering. It is a mix of sand, cement, lime, and water and may have other additives like fibers and synthetic acrylics to add strength and flexibility. I

What is modern stucco? It is a plaster-like material used as an exterior cement plaster wall covering. It is a mix of sand, cement, lime, and water and may have other additives like fibers and synthetic acrylics to add strength and flexibility. It is a significant and valuable exterior building material for durability and aesthetic look.

There are two main types of stucco, traditional and synthetic. As for conventional stucco, it comprises sand, limed, and water. Added and mixed with cement, that makes it more durable, while lime, on the other hand, makes it easier to mold. Sometimes glass fibers and acrylics are added to traditional stucco to reinforce and strengthen it. Pure cement stucco is hard and stiff, making it easier to crack, so a mesh base is used, called lath, to prevent that. Traditional stucco is excellent for versatility as it can be rough or smooth when applied, and it will last for ages. It doesn’t use cement or lime for synthetic stucco but uses synthetic material like acrylic resin. Acrylic resin is resistant to water damage; it dries evenly and quickly, also can be applied to foam board rather than over a mesh. In addition, acrylic resin is less prone to cracking and breaking because it adds movement to the stucco.

Different Type of Stucco Finishes

Finishes can add more to the cladding that has advantages and disadvantages.

Float or Sand

Commonly used for commercial buildings is a versatile finish that can be used for both traditional and synthetic stucco and applied with a single coat. If you want to get the job quickly, this technique is ideal because you only need that one coat for complete coverage. It also can be sprayed on or applied with a towel.



Depending on your need, sprayed technique applications into homes with light, medium, or heavy volume. It gives a unique look, and it can change with 1-3 coats; this finish is available for both traditional and synthetic. It’s a great option if you are concerned about cracking.

Lace and Skip

This finish is rough, used in commercial and residential buildings, as can be easily hidden imperfections due to the variations of textures. It is applied either by hand or sprayed or unflattened with a trowel. After putting on the base coat, you can choose fine, medium, or coarse patterns.


A sophisticated look for the finish is seen mainly on older buildings. If you want, It can only be applied using traditional stucco.

Santa Barbara

It uses fine sand to develop an adobe look. You can also use colored sand to create different variations. If you don’t want variations, you can undoubtedly paint this finish. It has a smooth finish, which can have a very visible cracking.


Cat Face

This finish features large areas of smoothed surfaces and evenly placed rough patches. They called the rough sections inclusions that vary in shapes and sizes. You can use this finish for both traditional and synthetic. Cat face finish can be completely different from any home, especially your next-door neighbor, and your home will be unique.


Smooth Texture

It is one of the most challenging finishes to achieve, but it is increasingly popular as smooth-textured can be colored, mottled, and customized to fit any aesthetic. A smooth finish works best with synthetic stucco and can also be a finish on traditional stucco.


It has the swirl finish achieved when large aggregate pieces in stucco require the trowel to spread across the surface, so the aggregate leaves indents in the surface, making it unique in every home. However, it is challenging to patch up the worm when it cracks.

There are different methods of applying stucco.

  • Coat Stucco is a single coat stucco known as a two coat system since it consists of a cement base, and apply foam next.
  • Coat Stucco consists of a water-resistant barrier, layers of wire ( a scratch brown layer), and finish coat or primer.
  • EIFD stucco, or Exterior Insulation And Finish System, does not require a hard coat and uses thinner layers to keep water outside the building. One kind is an added water management layer or referred to as moisture or air barrier.

Stucco certainly has tons of benefits besides aesthetic use. It can help with noise reduction, is energy-efficient, and provides excellent versatility. When selecting a stucco finish, consider the overall design style of your home. Each stucco finish will work with most styles, but some will work better than others when it comes to complimenting the look and feel of your home.

Start Your Modern Stucco Design Project Today!