What are the differences between acrylic stucco and traditional stucco?

Have you heard of acrylic stucco? Does it really compare with traditional stucco? Welcome to this new article about the differences and similarities between traditional stuccos and acrylic coatings (stuccos).

Small shed finished in stucco.

Basically, stucco , the technique of which dates back to antiquity, is a plaster tinted in the mass, based on lime . Plasterers use it to cover ceilings and walls, both indoors and outdoors. It is a mixture of slaked air lime and “fillers”, which can be sand, marble powder or even brick powder. It is possible to incorporate binders therein such as animal or vegetable glues, and possibly, for decorations in relief such as masks , “armors” of hair, hair or mesh .

Let’s review the main characteristics of traditional and modern products and discover the commonalities and advantages of current products.

Texnov manufactures acrylic coatings, to prepare, repair, embellish and protect any new or renovated surface. In the category of finishing coats, Texnov offers textures imitating stucco. This sand-like texture looks like stucco, but adds the air and water barrier protection of its acrylic polymers.

Comparing acrylic stucco and traditional stucco is a good topic to discuss, as there is a lot of confusion, due to a number of different properties, such as the lifespan for each product, the different ingredients used , the price of each product and the labor hours required for their applications. The differences and similarities between traditional stuccos and acrylic plasters are varied; let’s review some of them.

Repair of traditional stucco with acrylic stucco.

There are a few key differences between each material and comparing them side by side will make it much easier to see the differences.

Key Differences Between Acrylic coatings and Stucco

Let’s go over some of the basics and by the end of the article you will have a much better understanding of what each type of material is capable of and what you would like to put on your own home.

Before moving forward, it must be said that, at first sight, differentiating between the two types of materials is difficult. See pictures of finished exterior stucco coatings below, could you tell if it is traditional stucco or acrylic coatings?

Texnov inc . presents this article to you as part of its communication strategy. Manufacturers only make products, but Texnov decides to do a little more. This blog is proof of Texnov’s commitment to its customers; inform you how to use quality products and compare them with other existing solutions; this is our contribution to keep consumers and construction professionals informed.


TexNov acrylic coating
Realization with acrylic coatings of the Texnov brand.


Names of the different types of stucco

Acrylic coating:

  • Other names: Acrylic plaster may also be called acrylic stucco, synthetic stucco, elastomeric finishing stucco and a number of different terms; foreign manufacturers use several denominations, but traditionally, here they are called acrylic coatings.

Traditional stucco:

  • Other denominations: Classic stucco, hard-coated stucco, cement finish stucco, hard-coated finish and some others.

    Like synthetic stucco, manufacturers have special products that will also have more names, but are the same thing.

Damaged stucco facade showing trellis.

Ingredients of Modern and Traditional Stuccos

Acrylic coatings

Made of :

Acrylics are made from…you guessed it: acrylic resins and/or polymers that essentially look like a thin, textured layer.
It looks like paint, in a way, but of very high quality, which contains sand, which gives a little more definition to the finish.


Normally you are going to find acrylics in 2 or 5 gallon pails and usually weigh between 50 and 70 pounds.


Acrylic fillers come in wet mixes with white undertones when unmixed; also note that can be premixed by a retailer with a wide selection of colors. Traditional stucco comes, normally powdered.


A bucket (seal) will cover approximately 100 to 250 square feet, depending on the texture you choose.


Some manufacturers offer specialty textures that use different sized aggregates (sand) to achieve custom finishes. However, this will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Colors :

The colors are one of the strong points of acrylic, as they are very rich and vibrant and very consistent, meaning there is virtually no color variation from batch to batch. There are so many colors to choose from and they differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. The colors are liquid and usually come in a small bottle or container. At Texnov , the color chart is extensive, adding almost a hundred colors. For custom projects, the company can develop special orders; then, the colors are almost infinite.

Cost :

The cost of synthetic stucco is higher than that of traditional stucco. The price varies according to the manufacturer, the format and its lifespan. In acrylic stucco, the durability of the product is much longer than that of the traditional product.

How to apply:

The application process begins, quite simply, with a coat of primer; this is comparable to paint, which is applied to walls to seal the wall first, helping to extend the working time of the material at the same time.
Then the material is either troweled or sprayed on and then troweled evenly and evenly. Additional techniques are used to achieve certain textures and finishes.

Other Features:
  • This material repels water and is described as a water and air barrier.
  • Suitable for one or two coat and SIFE stucco applications on any type of substrate.

Classic coatings

Made of :

Traditional stucco is made from Portland-type cement and lime that looks and smells like it.
Its main ingredients are cement, sand (usually white), lime and water. Thus, the two only share sand as the common material used for both.


You can find cement-based stucco in bags, just like you would with concrete at Réno-Dépôt, for example. They are usually around 80 to 90 pounds and come in a dry, powdery form, when unmixed.


A 90 lb bag can cover approximately 100-180 square feet, depending on base coat, type of finish and application techniques.

Textures :

There really is no limit to the number of textures you can achieve with traditional stucco.
Textures range from smooth finishes to rough finishes and everything in between. To obtain the desired texture, it suffices to use sands of different sizes; the result will be textures from the smoothest to the very rough.

Colors :

Since it is a cementitious product, the color tends not to be as glossy as acrylic, nor as uniform.

Each batch of mixed stucco will be slightly different, making it much more difficult to maintain a consistent color on large projects. Lighter colors are recommended for this application. The color is a powder and comes in a small bag or carton.

How to apply:

The walls are soaked with water in depth, in order to increase the working time and to ensure that the finish adheres correctly to the support.

Like acrylics, it is applied with a trowel or can be sprayed on and then troweled on tighter, for an even coat. Additional techniques are used to achieve specific textures later.

Other features :
    • Does not repel water, but actually absorbs it, then eventually drains away and dries out; although in some cases the water remains inside the wall, which accelerates the appearance of mold and rot.
    • Suitable for one and three coat stucco applications.
Building finished with stucco

Texnov acrylic coatings are available at renovation centers, hardware stores and at our counters in Sherbrooke and Laval. Please use the interactive map to purchase one:


      7 signs your stucco is damaged

      When looking for these signs of deterioration, you are looking for the obvious clues of water leaking through the stucco walls of your home. These are essentially the same methods that inspection teams use. Find out more about the differences and similarities between traditional stucco and acrylic coatings.

      Dig – here’s what you’re looking for:

      1. Cracks in stucco

      Look for large, obvious cracks or small hairline cracks. Stucco cracks don’t always mean damage, but it is a common sign of stucco moisture problems.

      2. Missing chips and pieces of stucco

      Damage to the surface of your stucco siding is a sign of water damage underneath. If you find your stucco tearing or breaking, it’s worth calling in an expert to inspect thoroughly.

      3. Opening or cracking of window caulking

      Windows and the caulking around them are common places for water intrusion into stucco. You need to watch your windows for signs of damage. If you see damage here, you will need to have your windows replaced in the worst case.

      4. Wet looking stucco

      Wet stucco after rain is actually normal. However, if the stucco is still wet a week after a storm, this is a sign of water intrusion into the stucco. Also, pay close attention to spots on the wall that ALWAYS look wet or faded and be on the lookout for dark streaks that never go away. Here is a big difference between traditional stuccos and acrylic coatings.

      5. Cracks and bubbles along the bottom edge of the wall

      As a result of poor drainage, water leaking through the stucco walls appears along the bottom edge. If you see cracks or strange bubbles, you are looking at the signs of stucco damage.

      6. The inside of the drywall under the window is soft

      Now you will conduct your interior stucco leak inspection. Run your hands over your drywall. If it is soft to the touch, it is a sign that the humidity is weakening your walls from the outside in!

      7. Damp on basement walls

      Since there are lots of reasons why water can seep into your basement, it’s not necessarily caused by a stucco leak, but it’s bad either way. We consider this more of a secondary sign compared to the other warnings.

      Worst case scenario, when your stucco walls absorb water without showing any external signs; no doubt, all the humidity is absorbed and kept in the wall covering of the building. Truly, the only way to guarantee the safety of your stucco is to schedule professional stucco leak detection from a trusted contractor.


      Differences and similarities between traditional stuccos and acrylic plasters. Every product, whether modern or classic, has its place in the market, but which one to choose? Modern products, such as acrylic plasters, have been designed for their durability, insulating abilities and texture, mimicking traditional stucco. In addition, new technologies make it possible to always have homogeneous colors.

      Applying plasters manufactured here guarantees excellent results capable of withstanding the most rigorous climatic conditions.

      Texnov inc. manufactures a complete line of acrylic coatings, including repair coatings, base coatings and finishing coatings for all architectural styles. Learn more by visiting www.texnov.com.

      Advantages of acrylic coatings:

      • This type of material is resistant to hairline cracks mainly due to its elasticity and ability to stretch.
      • Acrylic coatings adhere unsurpassed to a variety of surfaces, even during repeated freeze-thaw periods.
      • The colours are bright and vibrant and there is virtually no colour variation from seal to seal.
      • Mix acrylic plasters (stuccos) using a drill with a mixing attachment. Normally no mixer needed on site.
      • You can change the color at any time (30 days after installation), just as you would on your interior walls.

      Advantages of traditional stuccoes:

      • The price of the material itself is somewhat lower than that of synthetics. All in exchange for having less performance; this could save you money for larger projects.
      • Plasterers find this material very versatile; the number of textures made really has no limit; it’s up to you to play with the amount of sand and its caliber.
      • You’re going to find the material almost anywhere, even at large distribution center chains.
      • You can paint the stucco coated surfaces later or from 30 days after its application.
      • Traditional stucco is repairable with acrylic stucco, which adds the characteristics of the modern product, while keeping the aesthetic properties of the classic product.

      Cons of stuccoes:

      • Water absorbing product. Water can remain in the envelope of the house, producing mold. Molds pollute the air inside the house or building.
      • Difficult to have large homogeneous quantities. When mixing this material, rarely can you mix bags for an entire wall; this means that there may be a color variation between each mixture.
      • Color may change due to too much water, too little, different application methods, etc.
      • To hold the material to the walls, it is necessary to install supports and mud boards, which is not necessary for acrylics.

      Do you have any questions? Please visit the Frequently Asked Questions here https://texnov.com/foire-aux-questions/

      Please contact us for details using this link

      Thank you for reading this article!

      Disclaimer: We have written this article in order to inform and maintain our connection with our customer community. The title of this article being: “Differences and similarities between traditional stuccos and acrylic plasters”. The company takes no responsibility for any work done without professional supervision. Your best ally is your general contractor.

      Sources :

      We consulted several sources of information; all in the end to give you relevant information, based on reliable sources of information. Please click on each link to access the original article.





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