Preparation of the Wall
Exterior walls of any building face a lot of wear and tear. Dirt, grime old paint and mold should be removed from its surface. The right method to clean them is power-washing. If walls are left neglected for long, sandblasting should be done to clean them.
Check out for the holes and cracks on them. Once found, take necessary measures to repair the damages. If the wall is made of concrete or cinder block or brick, then a coat of concrete bonding agent should be applied on it. For a wood wall, roofing felt has to be fixed on it and a metal netting is nailed over it.
This will help you to obtain a uniform thickness while leveling the surface. It is always advisable to apply stucco on a moist surface. So, spray some water on the wall, before you start applying the base coat on it.
Apply the first coat with the help of a trowel. Start the application from the bottom of the wall and move upwards. The coat should be evenly spread over the entire area with a consistent thickness of 3/8 inches.
Put adequate pressure with the trowel so that the stucco gets into the uneven surfaces of the wall. However, take care that you do not overly use the trowel as it may cause bonding problems in the future.
Wait for a few minutes, and then start the leveling work, when the stucco is still wet. You can use metal or wood straightedge for this purpose. Put the straightedge on the wood lath and drag it across the wall with up and down motions.
This removes all excess materials stuck on the surface. If you see any dents, fill it up and level it once again. After the leveling job is complete, take out both the wood laths carefully without making any damage to the stucco.
Giving the Finishing Touch
When the stucco has hardened up slightly, it is time to float the surface. Take a mason's float and move it over the wall in circular motions to reduce possibility of any shrinkage or cracking that occurs once the stucco dries up. Let it dry for almost two days. During this time, keep sprinkling some water on it now and then to keep it slightly moist.
After 2 days, apply finish coat of stucco as you applied the first coat. Keep the coat 1/8 inch thin. You can add some texture. A rough, but uniform surface can be obtained by rubbing the finish coat with a brush. It takes 6-7 weeks to cure the stucco thoroughly. Then, paint it, but select a paint suitable for concrete.
Now that you know how to install stucco, you can start the job on your own and change the look of the exterior walls of your house. Keep in mind that you have to follow the instructions given in this story, to get the kind of finish that you expect from the professionals.