An age old question that we get asked a lot is what is the difference between plaster and stucco? Technically, they are basically made out of the same materials, but there is still a difference.

Here is a simple explanation: stucco is for the exterior and plaster is for the interior. You might be thinking “they are pretty much the same materials, I and are applied the same way, don’t you?” And yes, we do apply them using the same methods and techniques and that’s because that is what works the best.

The differences:

Stucco: a Portland and lime based product. To add in more strength and support it is common to mix in bits of fiberglass strands in with the mud. The fiberglass then acts as another structural support to make sure cracks stay away and no chunks will fall off. To add some fun texture, different types of sand are used in specific quantities. Before it is applied, a layer of metal lath helps hold the stucco to the wall by giving it something to cling to. This is used mostly when we are applying stucco to a smooth surface. Once dry, it is rock solid. When you visit historical buildings that are hundreds of years old and look what they’re made of, it is stucco. Stucco is able to withstand the test of time and Mother Nature. Although there is no such thing as a maintenance free building, it is low maintenance and will last as long as you want it to you if it is properly taken care of it.

Plaster: is a gypsum based product that looks wonderful in your home or office. Although it is slightly softer than stucco, it will still hold up for several years. Instead of using a metal lath, if we were doing patch work then we’d use a finer mesh to act as a backbone for the plaster. Similar to stucco, sometimes the mud just needs something to cling to. Of course you can buy plaster pre-made from various stores and brands but it’s like Grandma’s cookies: store bought cookies ain’t got nothing on Grandma’s homemade pieces of heaven! A good fresh mixed mud will last much longer and is easier to work with than the canned stuff that will dry out and crack in a year or two.

The similarities:

If you live in a busy neighborhood or want some peace and quiet at your office, the best building material to cancel out sound is plaster and stucco. This works because once the walls dry, they create a very tight seal that doesn’t allow sound waves to intrude. The downfall to this is that cell phone signals can experience a weaker signal. However it is typically not enough to make a difference. You can still call, text, and surf the web on your smartphone.

Both of these materials can be applied to be smoother than glass or textured to your wildest dreams. Just let us know your preferences! We do have samples available if you need ideas. As far as colors go, both can be painted to match an existing color or a brand new color. The mud can also be colored too.

At the end of the day, mixing stucco and plaster is like cooking the perfect meal, you have to mix the ingredients just right. Too much and the mud will get too runny and fall right off your home. Too much and you are guaranteed cracks.

Cracked Brick and Stucco Repair from CDP Stucco

CDP Stucco has repaired cracked stucco for homeowners throughout Florida. If you are unsure if the cracks indicate foundation failure, a representative from CDP Stucco can provide an inspection to give you back peace of mind.

Contact us today for an inspection of your cracked stucco repair! If you are interested in Stucco Installation or Stucco Repair, call the experts at CDP Stucco now at 850-259-2283