When To Use Elastomeric Paint For Stucco

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Stucco exterior is on the rise and is typically it’s found in homes in the South Western states due to the hot and dry temperatures. A common debate amongst stuccoo & painting contractors in these regions is, “when to use elastomeric paint for stucco.”

Stucco is known for being fit for all kinds of weather along with staying affordable.

However, the main issue with stucco is that cracks are common and downright a guarentee. In fact, 2-3 weeks after the brown coat has been applied you’ll start to notice some hairline cracks. That’s when elastomeric paint comes in handy.

Or so you may think…

Just like anything when there are advantages and some disadvantages. If you came to this article already sold on using elastomeric paint, then you better prepare yourself for the curveball we’re about to throw you.

So let’s step into the batters box!

Advantages Of Elastomeric Paint

Using elastomeric paint on stucco comes with a few benefits that cannot be discounted

For starters, it doesn’t take that much paint to achieve the results you’re looking for. This means you can save money by not buying multiple cans of paint.

Next, elastomeric paints are fantastic waterproofers because they’re non permeable meaning they can seal water away from your home basically 100% of the time keeping your interior structure dry. With stucco one of the main concerns is how common cracking because when it cracks, there’s commonly water damage but with this paint, you can heavily limit the unforgiving elements.

Thirdly, they have a very high elasticity making them very stretchy. Maybe you already deduced that from their name, but regardless this allows them to expand and contract with the temperature swings that many stucco heavy regions deal with. Did you know that the lowest temperature ever recorded in Phoenix, AZ was 17 degrees! That’s a big difference, especially since we routinely see temperatures above 100 degrees throughout the year.

Finally, this paint bridges any hairline cracks. This is huge to extend the life of the stucco and even your home.

Elastomeric paint has many advantages that can extend the life of your home and even put money in your pocket.

But.. there are also some disadvantages.

Disadvantages Of Elastomeric Paint

Even with all the advantages with elastomeric paint its honestly rarely the right paint for the job. Instead of going out and putting time, money, and effort, consider these disadvantages:

Elastomeric paint is not UV stable meaning they can fade and chalk up a little bit faster. Paint manufacturors have been working on this and are constantly spinning up better products, however. 

Probably the biggest disadvantage againsts elastomeric coating is the fact that it is 100% non-permeable meaning if you get moisture inside of the coating, the paint won’t stop it and it can damage the substrate underneath. In other words, it won’t allow the stucco exterior to breathe.

Related: How To Fix Stucco Cracks

If your home has already been recently painted and the coat is in prime condition, it’s likely that elastomeric paint isn’t necessary. So instead save that money for a rainy day!

Maybe where you live doesn’t get that much rain. If this is your case, then just using a masonry primer and 2 coats of quality paint will produce much higher quality at a lower cost.

Finally, if your home already has multiple coats of paint, applying this paint could be a terrible idea…

Because of the weight of elastomeric paint, it could actually peel off the previous paint job and exposing your home to the elements. It’s better to just let your multiple coats of paint do their job and protect your home.

Acrylic Paint: A Much Better Option

We (and most painting contractors) try to steer our clients towards acrylic paint because it doesn’t allow water to flood the stucco, it’s got better permeability & they have a much higher UV stability making them a clear choice in places like the Phoenix area. 

Because acrylic paint isn’t as flexible (or elastic), your stucco may crack a little bit more, but stucco cracks an be fixed

Related: Stucco Cracks, What To Do


The most important thing to keep in mind is that although this paint has many more advantages, it isn’t always necessary. So instead of buying multiple cans, save that money for a fun trip, another project, or a rainy day.

Another tip to keep in mind is that this paint is heavier than the typical paint. This means it could pull off the previous paint which causes more damage.

Stucco gets hairline cracks commonly, so it’s important to not stress over the situation ad it can easily be fixed with filler and paint. 

You can also prevent this from happeniong ahead of time with… You guessed it, elastomeric paint.

Final Thoughts

Using elastomeric paint on stucco has a few advantages that quiet frankly don’t outweight the disadvantages. It’s best to take a step back and decide whether or not its really worth it because in a lot of cases it’s not necessary.

With elastomeric paint, you can remove the stress of cracks, but you’re much better of just going with acrylic paint in almost all situations.

If you have any doubts or questions be sure to contact a professional to find any answers!