We’ll try to explain the differences between traditional stucco and synthetic stucco, so you can select the best exterior siding for your home. Comparing synthetic stucco and traditional 3-coat stucco is a good thing to talk about because there is a lot of confusion about the topic, due to a number of different things like multiple names for both types of stucco, the different composition of materials that are used in the stucco, the price of the material and the labor involved… It can be confusing, so we’ll explain it in simple terms. Nurse Stucco will help!

Synthetic Stucco

Synthetic stucco can also be referred to as acrylic stucco, elastomeric stucco finish and a number of other terms with different names, when you include manufacturers of their particular synthetic stucco products but are all basically the same.

Synthetic stuccos are made from acrylic resins and polymers that are pretty much like a thin Elmers glue and resemble paint (a very high-quality paint) that has sand in it to give the finish more texture and definition.

Traditional Stucco

Other names for traditional stucco include classic stucco, hard coat stucco, cement stucco finish, hard coat finish and a few others.  Like the synthetic stucco, manufacturers have special products that will have more names as well but are the same thing.

Traditional stucco is made from Portland Cement and Lime and looks and feels like it.  The main ingredients are cement, sand, lime, and water.  Both synthetic and traditional stucco share sand as the common material used in both.


Both synthetic and traditional stucco offers a variety of textures.  Textures range from smooth finishes to rough ones, and some manufacturers have specialty textures that they make available that use different-sized aggregates (sand) to achieve custom finishes.


The colors available is one of synthetic stucco’s strong points, because it is very rich and vibrant and is very consistent.  What that means is there is virtually no color variation from one bucket to another.  There are so many colors to choose from and the colors will differ from manufacturer to manufacturer.  Colors are liquid and usually come in a small bottle or container and are added to the stucco prior to application.

Nurse Stucco has been serving the restucco and stucco repair needs of all San Diego from the first day we opened our doors for business.  We are experts in all phases of residential stucco construction and stucco repair, with over 40+ years of experience. We pride ourselves in taking the time to provide you with all the information needed in order to make the best decisions about your stucco choices and your home.  It is important to us here at Nurse Stucco to provide 100% satisfaction for our customers.

We have a tested and proven track record of sustained superior performance, and Nurse Stucco is consistently rated A+ by the BBB. If you’re considering restuccoing the exterior of your home, please do not hesitate to call us at (619) 561-7429 with your questions, and be sure to ask us for a free and no obligation quote for your stucco project.

We believe you’ll choose Nurse Stucco for all of your residential stucco services.