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Stucco system?

Germain Wong
5 years ago

I was wondering if you can help us -- what stucco system did you use to get that "concrete" mottled look on this house? I really love the texture, sheen and color.

We are trying to get the same effect but so far, I've been disappointed with the sample boards my stucco guy has given us. He claims he can't get the BASF Synergy to produce this result as they are all acrylic based.... He wants to switch to Master Wall instead.

Any tips you can give us would be much appreciated! Thank you!
Sleepy Hollow Residence · More Info

Comments (5)

  • PRO
    House + House Architects
    4 years ago

    Thank you for your interest in our project. The material that was used on the home is integral colored stucco.

    Germain Wong thanked House + House Architects
  • Germain Wong
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    I can't seem to find the link to this product, would you mind sharing? Also, is this an acrylic based system?

  • PRO
    House + House Architects
    4 years ago

    This is not an acrylic material - it is a cement based stucco, integral color, steel troweled finish. This is a 3 step system, scratch coat, brown coat and the final color/texture coat. We do not like the acrylic based materials. Here is a link to the Portland cement Association website and I have attached our general specification for stucco (I apologize for the erratic formatting by this site):


    1. The
    Work includes, but is not necessarily limited to, furnishing and installing
    Portland-cement plaster, including but not limited to the following:

    paper weather resistive barrier over all surfaces to be plastered.

    lath over all surfaces to be plastered.

    weep screeds.

    joints and reveals where indicated and specified.

    beads at all exposed termination points of plaster and where plaster surfaces
    abut surfaces not to be plastered.

    cement plaster - scratch, brown and custom color finish coats where 'stucco' or
    'plaster' is indicated on exterior or interior walls, soffits, window
    surrounds, cornices and related construction.

    and pointing of plastered surfaces after all work of other trades which abuts
    or penetrates plaster membrane has been installed.

    and cleaning of plaster work.

    1. QUALITY


    of this section shall be performed by a qualified experienced applicator, of
    established reputation which is regularly engaged in the type of work covered
    by this Section and which maintains a regular force of workers skilled in
    installation of the type of work specified in this section.

    bidding this project shall submit to the Architect a list of several comparable
    projects of similar work that the applicator has completed within the last five
    years, giving addresses, owner's names, telephone numbers, and dates on which
    each project was started and completed.

    specified in this section shall conform to the Uniform Building Code and all
    amendments and regulations of local, state and federal agencies having
    jurisdiction, including safety, health and anti-pollution requirements in
    effect at the time of execution of this contract.

    deviation from true plane of 1/8 inch as measured from the line of a 10-foot
    straightedge placed at any location on surface.

    shall submit Manufacturer's product literature identifying materials to be used
    & instructions for mixing & application of plaster.

    shall be prepared to provide (5) preliminary 1'x1', (2) intermediate 3'x3' ,and
    (1) final 3'x3' samples of finish coat for review of color and texture by the

    manufactured materials in original unopened packages or containers with
    manufacturer's label intact and legible.

    cement and lime dry, stored off ground, under cover, and away from damp

    wet and deteriorated materials from Project site.

    metallic materials and accessories from dampness or wetting.

    1. PROJECT


    Requirements: Do not apply cement
    plaster unless minimum ambient temperature of 50 Degrees F. (10 degrees C.) has been and continues
    to be maintained for a minimum of 48 hours prior to application and until
    plaster is cured.

    • Hot-Weather
    Requirements: Provide special
    protective measures as may be necessary to avoid uneven and excessive
    evaporation during hot, dry weather.

    finished surfaces installed prior to plastering as required to prevent damage
    to the finished surface.

    protection in place until completion of the plastering.


    Paper: Grade D building paper
    complying with requirements of Federal Specification UU-B-790a, 'Vegetable
    Fiber Building Paper".

    Lath: 3.4# diamond mesh metal
    lath, self furring, corrosion resistant, painted or galvanized, over all
    surfaces to be plastered.

    Reinforcement: Expanded metal
    corner bead for use with exterior cement plaster as manufactured by U.S. Gypsum
    or approved equal.

    • Foundation
    Weep Screeds: as manufactured by
    U.S. Gypsum, Fry Reglet or approved equal.

    spray on Teflon coating or equal bond breaker shall be applied in field on the
    ground portion of the foundation weep screed to prevent adhesion of plaster.

    Beads: as manufactured by U.S.
    Gypsum, Fry, or approved equal.

    Used as Grounds: Size and
    dimension to provide for required plaster thicknesses.

    to permit complete embedment of accessory in plaster.

    for alignment and attachment to underlying surface.

    •Fasteners: All screws and nails required for
    installation of lath and Portland cement plaster shall be of approved sizes and
    types, corrosion resistant, and appropriate for installation specified or as
    shown on the Drawings.

    Cement: As manufactured by U.S.
    Gypsum conforming to requirements of ASTM C 150 for Type I or II, standard.

    •Sand: white, clean, sharp, free of loam,
    salts and other impurities, thoroughly screened and washed, and conforming to
    gradation requirements of ASTM C 897.

    •Water: Clean, potable, from a domestic source
    suitable for human consumption.

    •Admixture: PRF as manufactured by Gibco
    Industries, Tulsa, OK.

    •Finish: Propriety integrally-custom colored
    factory prepared stucco finish containing
    all materials required except water, from an approved stucco
    manufacturer. Finish shall be

    •Sealants: Sikaflex, Tremco Dymeric, or approved

    Fiber Mesh: Perma-Glas Mesh, type
    207A as manufactured by PermaGlas Mesh Co., Dover, Ohio, or approved equal.

    •Fiberglass: 1/2-inch-long chopped strands, alkaline

    coloring shall be custom.
    Contractor shall prepare samples as required to achieve the desired
    colors. Assume 3 colors.


    all surfaces for any defects that can affect installation and performance of
    lath and plaster. Report such
    defects to proper authority for correction before proceeding with work of this
    Section. Work shall not proceed
    until all required corrections have been made to the satisfaction of the

    two layers of building paper over all surfaces to receive metal lath and
    plaster. Paper may be
    tack-fastened in place for nailing off with metal lath application. Install according to the manufacturer's
    instructions. Flash windows and
    doors with metal, bituthene and paper flashing as indicated in the Drawings and
    as required to provide a waterproof seal between window and/or door flashing
    paper and building paper.

    designated control joints and/or reveals to lath before application of plaster.

    sealant at all splices, intersections and termination points of control joints,
    or wherever plaster terminates at adjacent dissimilar construction.

    expanded metal lath securely to framing members. Lap lath at all joints at least 3", tying sheets
    together at not less that 4-1/2" intervals. Do not apply lath over concrete or masonry surfaces. Such surfaces shall receive acrylic
    modified Portland cement plaster directly to surfaces.

    not cut lath behind control joints.
    Wire tie control joints to lath.

    weep screeds - screw-apply to framing and seal with bituthane before
    installation of building paper.
    Bring building paper down over flange of weep screeds.

    joints, casing beads, and soffit vents shall be wire-tied to lath.

    all plaster accessories in a straight line, level, plumb, true and in such a
    manner as to permit plaster application to the required thickness.

    plastering work and all materials and labor related thereto shall conform to
    requirements of ASTM C 926 (plastering) and ASTM C 1063 (lathing) and to Codes
    and regulations herein referenced.
    Provisions of referenced publications do not supersede requirements of
    these specifications and/or Drawings.

    mix plaster materials at the site for not more than six minutes nor less than
    four minutes before use. Do not
    hand mix except where small quantities are required using less than one sack or
    Portland cement.

    mixing, add water and PRF to the mixer, run mixer for a short time, then add
    cement and sand.

    brown coat with a feather edge, and float to provide a true, level even
    surface, without variations exceeding 1/8" under a 10 foot straight edge.

    cement plaster shall be a three coat application applied to a minimum thickness
    of 7/8", texture, finish and color as approved by the Architect.

    coat to consist of one part Portland cement, 3-1/2 - 4 parts
    sand and
    three ounces of PRF per sack of cement.
    Mix for not more than six minutes,
    dump and apply to metal or wire lath. Do not use lime.

    application, score scratch coat lightly in a horizontal direction only. Moist cure with fine fog spray mist of
    water applied to plaster when
    it has taken up, and as frequently as necessary to compensate for evaporation
    of moisture from applied plaster when it has taken up, and as frequently
    as necessary to compensate for evaporation of moisture from applied
    plaster when weather conditions are conducive to rapid drying.

    not add any materials to the mix other than specified.

    scratch coat to a minimum of 3/8" thickness to key into and to cover and
    conceal not less than 70% of metal lath.

    coat shall consist of one part Portland cement, 4 to 4-1/2 parts
    sand, and
    three ounces of PRF per sack of cement.

    brown coat to bring thickness of scratch and brown coats to
    minimum 3/4". After brown coat has been applied, rod
    with a feather-edge and float, and
    leave in a straight, level, true plane, without
    blemishes or defects.

    coat may be applied as soon as the scratch coat has attained sufficient
    rigidity to prevent damage from application of the
    brown coat.

    cure brown coat, using fine fog spray of water as often as required by weather
    conditions. Do not apply water
    with a direct stream from the hose.

    glass fiber mesh around all penetration points of service lines, pipes, etc.,
    through the stucco membrane.

    Coat texture to be determined in the field with the Architect and the sub-contractor,
    for approval by the Owner.

    finish coat should not be applied before the building has dried sufficiently to
    transmit any shrinkage cracks through the scratch and brown coats and these
    cracks have been properly repaired, ideally at least 2 months after application
    of the brown coat.

    application, drying and repair of the brown coat, and immediately before application
    of the finish coat, place glass mesh sheets in a cement bond coat compatible
    with the materials used over all flat planes and wall surfaces and additional
    butterfly patterns at corners of all doors and windows to minimize restraint
    cracking. Self adhesive backing
    permits placements before application
    of the finish coat. Butterflies may
    be strips of glass mesh four inches
    wide and six inches long.

    the finish coat of integrally colored cement plaster after moistening, but not
    saturating the brown coat.

    a first coating approximately 1/10 inch thick. Apply final second finish coating
    over the first. Supply adequate manpower
    as may be required to work
    uniformly over an entire area to a natural break such as a corner, angle, screed,
    etc. Joining shall not occur
    except at natural breaks. Float uniformly
    using an absolute minimum of water
    and taking care not to lap finish
    coat. After colored coat finish is
    dry, it shall be examined for color variations
    differing from those designated in the approved color samples. Where
    significant color variations differing from those designated in the approved
    color samples. Where significant
    color variations have occurred, as
    determined by the Architect and Owner, a fog coat shall be applied using a
    pressure tank sprayer.

    finish coat to bring all three coats to a minimum of 7/8 inch.

    not moist cure finish coat unless required by weather conditions. In warm weather,
    finish coat may be moistened with a fine fog spray of water within the
    first few hours after application. In moderate or cooler weather, moist curing
    is not required.

    allowable tolerance of any vertical or horizontal surface is 1/8" under a
    10 foot straight edge placed at any point on the plaster.

    shall be no visible juncture marks in the finish coat, either horizontally or
    vertically. When work for one day
    must be stopped before completion, work shall only be stopped at a natural break. Where one day's work joins another
    day's work, there shall be no visible break.

    pointing up and patching of plaster shall be performed after work of other
    sections is in place. Point up
    around items abutting or extending through the plaster to achieve a clean,
    sharp appearance at all such locations.

    plaster is machine applied, requirements for industry standards for
    slump-testing shall be followed.
    Maximum slump of plaster, taken at nozzle, shall not exceed 2-1/2"
    when measured in a 2"x4"x6" cone. Contractor shall maintain a supply of 2"x4"x6'
    cones at the job site for use by Owner, Architect, Inspectors, and others to
    determine that slump of plaster is
    within specified range.

    completion of work of this section, remove all unused materials from the
    site. During the course of
    installation, promptly clean each completed area of debris and plaster
    droppings. Clean and repair all
    adjacent surfaces that are marred, stained or damaged in any way by work of
    this section. Leave all areas in a
    broom clean condition.

    all plaster work from damage due to subsequent construction operations.

  • Germain Wong
    Original Author
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    OMG. I wish you were my architect!!! You know what is in MY contract?

    Senerlastic Plus Coating over Sentry Stucco Ultra System as
    manufactured by BASF (800-221-9255) Follow manufactures specifications and
    installation instruction. Installer shall be factory approved and
    approved by Owner prior to commencement of work.
    Construct sample panels 2’-0” square for approval of color and finish two weeks before proceeding with construction. Finish shall be smooth with mottled appearance.

    That's IT!! And the contractor misread the above as "Sentry Stucco" (not the Ultra) and put JumboTex all over (not an approved water barrier for the Ultra system).

    I'm curious, why do you say you don't like acrylic based materials? I thought they are less prone to cracks?

  • PRO
    House + House Architects
    4 years ago

    Hi Germain,

    We don't like acrylic because it feels plastic, it looks plastic and there is no way to get the beautiful mottled finish you saw in our project or the textures we prefer. It is also hard to get the rich, deep, earthy tones we prefer for our work. We generally try not to use anything that forms a thin film, like the final coat of acrylic plaster, or paint, or varnish, or anything that is not integral to the material or deeply penetrating - to avoid the maintenance that comes over time with films that fail - ie. peeling paint, crackled, sealants, and polymer finishes. If cement stucco is properly applied, per our spec that I sent you earlier, there is minimal, if any cracking. It comes in a rich variety of standard colors as well as can be custom colored to anything we want, and you can get that beautiful mottled coloring that you commented on that allows a building to age more gracefully than when it is acrylic or painted and just starts to look dirty rather than develop a nice patina.

    Here is a simple comparison you might find interesting.

    Good luck with your project,

    Cathi House