Table of Contents

Different Kinds of Stucco Finishes

Laurie Brenner
Table of Contents

Stucco materials add a durable finish to your home and can add to its curb appeal when you pick a finish that matches your overall design theme.

Stucco finishes offer a long-lasting coating that protects and enhances your home's visual appeal. With the many different types of finishes available, you can choose one that complements your home's overall decor theme. The types of finishes available include:

Santa Barbara Finish

The Santa Barbara finish is a smooth finish that provides a bit of depth because it involves the application of two coats using a traditional material. Slight variations in the color give this finish its depth. Reminiscent of the Spanish haciendas except for the depth, a Santa Barbara finish requires professional application and is not as easy to repair.

Cat Face Texture

Similar to the cat's eye finish floated on drywall, the cat face texture has these distinguishing characteristics:

  • Works with traditional or synthetic materials.
  • Requires two applications.
  • Includes inclusions and indentations randomly spaced and sized.
  • Generally requires a fine to medium stucco material.

Sand or Float Finish

Because of the extra sand added to this finish, it has an orange peel pockmarked-type appearance. After application of the stucco material by a machine, the finish is hand-floated in a fine, medium or coarse texture. The sand or float finish is a common finish. Some of its noted features are:

  • Easiest to apply, requires one coat.
  • Can be troweled or sprayed on.
  • Fairly easy to patch or repair.

Worm Finishes

These finishes resemble the trails that worms leave in dried mud -- little grooves where their bodies have been. This type of stucco texture requires a special synthetic mix because of the aggregates added to it that leave the wormlike indentations. Other notable features include:

  • Not an easy finish to patch or apply.
  • Distinctive look, but unnoticeable until you are up close to it.
  • Comes in fine, medium or coarse designs and patterns.
  • Applied by hand in circular motions.

Smooth Finishes

Like the Santa Barbara finish, smooth finishes require a bit of work and have a tendency to crack more easily than other finishes. The finish usually requires a synthetic stucco, but it can also be applied with a cementlike product. Homeowners enjoy this finish because of the multiple colors that can give it a dappled appearance. The finish requires professional application with a pool trowel. As a fine material, a synthetic acrylic stucco seems to work the best.

Lace Finishes

As one of the most common finishes used for stucco, the lace finishes include features such as:

  • The ability to hide a imperfections.
  • Can be either a traditional cement, sand, water and lime or synthetic material.
  • Can be sprayed on and then finished by hand.
  • Comes in coarse, fine or medium finishes.

Many homeowners choose this finish because it's easy to repair and hides a world of sins. It is applied in a base coat and a finish coat.

Stucco Ingredients

As a durable and long-lasting material, stucco generally consists of Portland cement, sand, water and lime. The textures are created by use of hand troweling, added ingredients such as aggregates or changing the amount of water, sand or lime. By adding additional sand to the mixture in various diameters, the final appearance of the stucco can change.

Overall Design Scheme

Choosing a finish for the stuccoed areas of your home starts with your home's overall design scheme. Stucco can give your home the look of a Spanish hacienda, an English manor or have the appearance of poured concrete. When choosing a stucco product, do your research, as there have been many complaints associated with synthetic stucco materials.