New Skill Unlocked: Stucco

I am not sure if I have mentioned this previously, and it is probably worth discussing at some point, but we had a really old electrical panel on the house when we moved in. I mean, I’m talking original to the 1955 house old. 

Definitely not safe or adequate for our needs. This panel (and a sub-panel in the kitchen) totaled 100 amps. Our new panel is 200.

This was something we knew would have to be upgraded when we moved in to support the needs of a modern home (i.e. the electric car charger) so it wasn’t a surprise or a big hardship to upgrade the panel. What was slightly unexpected was the hole in our house’s stucco that was left behind when the old panel was removed. In order to support the larger panel, it was placed right next to the old location, leaving behind a missing patch of stucco when it was all finished up.

Nothing like a big hole in your wall to bring your backyard together. You can see the metal lath that I installed in the photo.

As I am about to install several outdoor receptacles to support the workshop electrical, I figured it would be a good time to fix the patch. Now I had never installed stucco before, so I went into this project with reasonable expectations. I did not expect the finished product to be perfectly invisible; I was only hoping to improve the current look, which seemed pretty realistic. The first step was to install some metal lath to give the stucco a surface to adhere too and to help prevent cracking as it dried. You can see that in the picture above.

After getting the metal lath installed, I used Rapid Set Stucco Patch to mix up a small batch of stucco. I ended up mixing up way too large of a batch for my needs, but that is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. My intent here was to fill in the hole almost all of the way, just leaving it about 1/16” to ⅛” short of level with the surrounding wall. 

Stucco patch just after install. In the 90+ degree day it dried rapidly and had to be installed quickly.

The reason that I left the first stucco patch slightly short of level was to leave room for the finishing stucco. Luckily, the flipper of our house left behind a bucket of the Senergy Senerflex finish stucco in the color that they used on the rest of the house. This definitely helped make the final patch blend better than it would have if I need to try and match a new paint to the rest of the house color. After the first layer of stucco dried I put on the final thin layer of finishing stucco and used a soft rubber float to try and make the finish blend with the surrounding wall. In the end, I must admit that I am more than thrilled with the finished product.

Finishing layer just after installation.
Finishing layer after a night of drying. Still visible, but wayyyy better than a brick wall.

It’s not perfect, but it definitely left me smiling and satisfied.

via giphy: https://giphy.com/gifs/hero0fwar-the-office-michael-scott-thats-what-she-said-5xtDarIX9MTLD1pMoXC

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