Home  >   Blog - Stucco  >   WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STUCCO AND PLASTER?


WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STUCCO AND PLASTER?

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STUCCO AND PLASTER?

Similar But Not The Same

In home renovation, so much can be lost in translation. Whether you are talking to a window contractor, an interior designer or Pasadena stucco companies, clarify up front what different terminology means to you and them. Don’t assume anything. Plaster and stucco are made from very similar materials and are applied using the same methods and techniques, but they are not the same and contractors’ definitions will differ. Here is one explanation of the differences.

STUCCO

Stucco is a Portland cement and lime based product to which water is added. Texture can be created in the product by introducing different types of sand in specific quantities to achieve a particular effect. Stucco contractors can produce a very smooth or highly textured finish. Some stucco companies add fiberglass strands to the mixture to provide increased structural supports and withstand cracks.

STUCCO APPLICATION

Stucco can be applied over many different types of surfaces such as wood, metal siding, brick and concrete primer. If stucco is being applied on top of a smooth surface, it needs something to grip onto. A metal lath, something like thick chicken wire, is used to help hold it in place. Three coats are usually applied and the final layer dries to a rock hard finish. Once dry, stucco is extremely resilient to even extreme weather conditions. Colors can be added to the mud. Light colored stucco is popular in southern California and in Pasadena to reflect the sun and it is well suited to our many Spanish style buildings.

PLASTER

Plaster is a gypsum based product that also contains sand, Portland cement and is mixed with water. It is more frequently used on interiors by stucco companies to achieve a smooth, attractive surface. Plaster can be bought pre-made, but stucco contractors prefer to mix the mud themselves to ensure a long lasting finish that will not dry out or crack. Plaster is softer than stucco and not as weatherproof.

PLASTER APPLICATION

Plaster is applied with the same technique as stucco. A fine mesh is frequently used to act as a backbone for the plaster. Plaster can be applied to be super smooth or highly textured depending on your preference. Color can be added to the mud or it can be painted.