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  • Writer's picturePetru Luchita

The Difference Between Stucco and Plaster


  • Exterior Use: Primarily used for the exteriors of buildings, stucco is favored for its robustness and ability to withstand harsh weather conditions.

  • Texture: Stucco generally has a rougher texture, which adds a distinctive rugged appearance to building facades.

  • Installation: It involves a three-layer process over metal lath, which includes a scratch coat, a brown coat, and a finish coat. This makes it quite labor-intensive.


  • Interior and Exterior Use: Unlike stucco, plaster can be used both indoors and outdoors, offering greater versatility.

  • Finer Texture: Plaster provides a smoother finish compared to stucco, which makes it ideal for interior walls and ceilings where a fine, polished look is desired.

  • Moldability: Plaster can be cast into molds to create decorative elements or detailed architectural features, offering creative flexibility. Composition

What is Stucco Made From? Stucco is primarily composed of:

  • Portland Cement: Provides the base for modern stucco, offering strength and durability.

  • Sand: Adds bulk and texture to the mixture, helping to form the hard coat that stucco is known for.

  • Lime: Improves the workability and adhesiveness of the stucco mix.

  • Water: Acts as the activating agent for the cement and lime, allowing them to chemically bond and harden.

What is Plaster Made From? Plaster, on the other hand, includes:

  • Gypsum: The primary component of most interior plasters, gypsum helps to create a smooth finish and quick setting times.

  • Cement: Sometimes added for enhanced durability, especially in exterior plasters.

  • Sand: Used in some plaster mixes to provide body and strength, particularly for base coat applications.

  • Lime: Added to some plasters to improve workability and flexibility.

  • Water: Necessary to mix the components and enable them to set properly.

Each material serves a distinct purpose and choosing between them often depends on the specific requirements of the project, such as the desired finish, the location (interior vs. exterior), and environmental conditions. Both stucco and plaster require professional installation to ensure the best results and longevity of the application.

Stucco vs Plaster
Stucco Finish


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