Exterior Stucco Textures and Finishes Guide

Photo of Costume home

One of exterior stucco’s best qualities, and one of the many reasons it has recently become a popular choice for Greater Toronto Area homeowners is its incredible versatility. Because it is easy to mould, stucco is easily customizable to fit your unique vision for your home’s appearance. The exquisite detailing and topographical textures available with exterior stucco mean it lends itself to an incredible range of styles that will each give your home a different feel, or can be made to complement your home’s current theme or match its decor. Explore just a few of your options below.

What Are Your Exterior Stucco Design Options?

Most stucco contractors offer at least these four standard exterior stucco finishes: float, dash, lace, and scraped. Multiple coat stucco systems can be applied for custom decorative finishes, ensuring that your home further stands out from the rest of the houses on your block.

Common Finishes

• Float – Also known as sand finishes, float textures are grainy and, as you would imagine, can resemble the minuscule eroded rocks of a sandy beach. Depending on your preference, this texture can be fine, medium, or coarse. It is one of the most popular exterior stucco finishes to apply and can be done using traditional or synthetic stucco.

• Dash – Dash finishes are rougher and more easily identified than sand finishes. After two or three coats, little pieces of stucco will protrude from the wall, lending its distinctive character to home exteriors.

• Lace – The ever-popular lace texture has a classically Mediterranean look. Its antique style is not only aesthetically pleasing but also has the bonus of hiding minor damage and irregularities. Especially in its coarser iterations, this finish has depth and the all-natural look of an imperfect, yet visually appealing pattern.

• Scraped – Although scraped textures are the most difficult to achieve, they are also the easiest to clean and customize by colour. Exterior stucco is scraped with a steel tool to smooth it as much as possible. Colours can easily be added directly to the wall to enhance the beautiful contrasting or complementary tones of an Italian villa, Spanish mission, or other elegant antique looks.

Decorative Finishes

Cat Face – The cat face texture is scraped smooth with random rough areas in between known as inclusions. These inclusions can vary in frequency, size, and shape depending on your home’s desired aesthetic.

Worm – Although not as immediately noticeable as other finishes, worm textures are interesting to look at because of their seemingly random but cohesive groove-like indentations in the exterior stucco’s surface.

Trowel Sweep – The decorative trowel sweep pattern is made by imprinting a thick topcoat with a heavy, repeating fan-shaped pattern.

• Comb – This stucco gets its unique appearance by combing through a thick topcoat to produce a series of raised lines.

• Briar – To achieve this elegant look, the stucco is first scraped smooth before intricate, random lines and ridges are drawn into its surface.

• Mimics – Stucco can be applied to replicate the appearance and texture of brick face or the grooved, shiny visual of tiled walls. Sometimes, homeowners choose to vary exterior stucco styles with brick- or tile-textured stucco or stone veneer to add unique elements to their home’s customized exterior.

Named the number one local stucco contractor, Stucco By Design has been installing intricate and high-quality stucco and stone veneering for Mississauga, Etobicoke, Oakville, and Toronto homeowners for over a decade. Contact us today to talk about your exterior stucco design options with our dedicated and passionate home experts.