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How do I Apply Stucco over Wood?

Applying stucco over wood requires a meticulous process to ensure proper adhesion and durability. Start by installing a moisture barrier and metal lath, followed by a scratch coat to create a strong base. Finish with multiple stucco layers, expertly blended for a seamless finish. Wondering about the detailed steps and tips for a flawless application? Join us as we explore the technique further.
T. L. Childree
T. L. Childree

Before applying stucco over wood, you will need to attach a layer of roofing felt to the surface followed by a sheet of wire mesh. Then apply a thin layer of stucco to the wire mesh surface as a base for the final coat. Allow this base material to harden for one hour and scratch lightly with a plaster rake. Wait for the base coat to completely dry and apply a final coat of stucco using a trowel. To prevent cracking, mist the stucco lightly with water as it dries and allow at least six weeks for the material to cure completely.

When applying stucco over wood, a mesh base must be used to give the material something to adhere to. Use roofing felt to create a moisture barrier between the wood and stucco. Then attach a sheet of medium gauge wire mesh to the surface using galvanized roofing nails. The mesh material must be securely attached to the wood to adequately support the weight of the stucco. Overlap each piece of material to make certain there are no gaps left.

Stucco is applied with a trowel.
Stucco is applied with a trowel.

It is important to work on only one wall at a time when applying stucco over wood. Mix the dry stucco material with water according to the manufacturer’s directions. Use only the amount needed for each layer to prevent the excess material from hardening. Apply a thin coat of stucco to the wire mesh with a flat finishing trowel. Use enough pressure to push the material through the mesh and lock it into place.

Older stucco homes typically have wooden laths.
Older stucco homes typically have wooden laths.

The next step in applying stucco over wood is to scratch the surface of the material with a plaster rake. Allow the material to harden approximately one hour before using the rake. Scratching the surface permits better adhesion of the final layer of stucco. Allow this layer of stucco to dry completely before proceeding with the final coat. Mist the surface frequently with water to prevent it from cracking.

Once these steps are completed, apply a final thin coat of stucco to the wood using a finishing trowel. If you are using a colored pigment, add it to the mixture before applying it. Use varying pressures and angles for the best finished texture, and mist the surface with water periodically until the stucco has completely dried. Each layer of stucco may take several days to dry depending on the temperature, humidity, and thickness. Allow at least six weeks for the material to completely cure before applying a sealer or paint.


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Discussion Comments


Putting stucco over wood walls and wood siding is a great way to add insulation to a house and eliminate the cold drafts. This can also save a good amount of money on heating and cooling bills.


@Feryll - Unless the wood fireplace looks hideous, you should consider keeping it and maybe adding a coat of paint. I had a beige brick fireplace that I had resurfaced with stucco. When the fireplace was finished it looked great.

The problem with stucco however is that it can chip if you hit it at the right angle and with the right force. My husband found the perfect combination of angle and force when he was putting a log on the fire. The chip was relatively small, but I still notice it immediately when I look at the fireplace. Stucco can also crack, but this usually takes a long time.


@Feryll - Stucco over wood is relatively easy and can be done as a do-it-yourself project for most amateurs. However, when you start dealing with wood that has different levels and groves then the job is more complicated. The toughest part I think will be getting all of the carved areas filled in and then somehow creating a level finish.

I'm sure this can be done, but unless you have experience you should hire a professional. Otherwise, I think you are going to spend a lot of time on a job that will turn into a long process of trial and error.


I have a wood fireplace that I am considering changing up a bit. The facing of the fireplace is wood and I am wondering whether this could be updated a bit by putting stucco over the wood. The fireplace wood has some carved designs so I'm not sure the stucco will work as well as it would if it were being applied to a flat surface.

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    • Stucco is applied with a trowel.
      Stucco is applied with a trowel.
    • Older stucco homes typically have wooden laths.
      By: lenatru
      Older stucco homes typically have wooden laths.