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How to Fasten Stucco Chicken Wire to Sheeting

Tanya Lee

The American Plywood Association reports that structural wood panel sheathing on exterior walls creates a strong, rigid structure that contributes to making a buildings wind- and earthquake-resistant. Plywood sheathing also improves the appearance of stucco finishes because it provides a strong, flat surface on which you can more easily apply a uniform thickness of stucco that will reduce the possibility of ending up with a wavy wall surface. The association recommends using all-veneer plywood, oriented strand board (OSB) or composite (COM-PLY(R)). Once the plywood is in place, you must take steps to ensure the stucco sticks, which will not happen if you simply put the stucco directly on the wood. One of those steps is to attach chicken wire to the wood sheathing.

  1. Apply a layer of building paper or tar paper over the sheathing before you put on the chicken wire. The paper will help protect the wood from moisture, a danger because stucco is water-permeable. The wood panels, repeatedly exposed to moisture, would rot. Wet sheathing would also provide a perfect environment for mold, mildew and fungus to flourish.

  2. Roll out a strip of chicken wire four feet long. Use chicken wire 24 inches to 38 inches wide with a one-inch hex. The hex refers to the openings in the chicken wire, which are in the shape of a hexagon. Cut the chicken wire, which is made of flexible galvanized wire, with metal snips. Wear protective gloves.

  3. Hold one end of the chicken wire in place at the top left corner of the project. With a staple gun in the other hand, begin stapling the chicken wire to the paper-covered sheathing. Continue stapling until you reach the end of the strip of chicken wire.

  4. Continue applying chicken wire to the sheathing until the whole surface is covered. As you add new strips, overlap them a couple of inches with the chicken wire already installed.