Synthetic Stucco Overview

Unlike traditional stucco, which is typically comprised of Portland Cement, sand, and water, synthetic stucco is really not stucco at all. Synthetic stucco generally refers to a type of Exterior Insulation Finishing System (EIFS) which is an insulating wall coating that may consist of more than one synthetic layer and foam insulation. It is often used on a building’s exterior walls in place of cement stucco because it may be more quickly and easily applied. One example is known as one-coat stucco, a synthetic stucco applied as one coat or layer, where traditional stucco is usually applied in three layers.

Synthetic stucco siding usually consists of an insulating styrofoam panel affixed to wall sheathing, then covered with reinforcing mesh, followed by a base coat and finally, a finish coat.  The base and finish coats are usually about 3/8 inch thick and contain an acrylic resin which is water soluble in it’s liquid form when applied, but once dried, they become waterproof.  The layers are usually secured to plywood, OSB board, gypsum board, or other substrate using an adhesive.

With the use of adhesives, the synthetic stucco is then applied to what is known as the substrate. Common substrates may include new or existing concrete, cinder block, brick, plywood, and other common building materials. Synthetic stucco may also be applied to metal lath attached to wood or other material for use on various exterior projects.


A Barrier EIFS, probably the most common and basic EIFS, is comprised of three layers. The “foam” layer, usually foam plastic insulation in the shape of 2 foot x 4 foot sheets, is first applied using an adhesive. The base coat, a reinforced layer usually comprised of fiberglass mesh embedded in adhesive, is then applied to the insulating layer. The finish, or topcoat, may then be applied, with a trowel or by spraying, to create an array of stucco-like textures and colors. The EIFS finish may also be made to resemble granite or brick-like textures.

Exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS) should be installed by a professional stucco contractor who is experienced and familiar with the product. If you’re considering EIFS you should research your options carefully, and choose an experienced stucco contractor like Nurse Stucco, who will provide expert technical advise and competent professional installation.

We also provide professional synthetic stucco repair services to fix cracks and damaged stucco.   At Nurse Stucco, we’re always thinking of how we can improve the process of making our customers happy, giving them options no one else even thought of. We are EIFS and synthetic stucco experts at recoating and restuccoing residential and commercial properties. Our goal is to not only improve the look of your home or business, but to do the job better than any other company, and we consistently meet and exceed our goal!

If you are thinking of traditional or synthetic stucco recoating or restuccoing, call us at (619) 561-7429 for a free estimate or for additional information.