A Tool to Make Seamless Stucco Patches


Fine Homebuilding's Tips & Techniques

Here in California, we remodel plenty of stucco homes and install lots of new windows in their old walls. The tricky part is making a seamless patch between the new window and the old stucco.

Seamless Stucco Patch ToolIt´s important to tie the new stucco wire to the wire that reinforces the old work, and it´s always a challenge to expose the old stucco wire without ruining the felt-paper membrane or damaging the sheathing beneath the stucco.

As shown in the accompanying drawing, I came up with a simple tool to help me deal with the situation. Here's what I did:

  • I started with a 3/16-inch thick steel bar that is 2-1/2 inches wide by 20 inches long.
  • I tapped some threaded holes at one end for 10/24 machine screws and used them to attach a gate handle.
  • To use the tool, I start from the center of the opening. If I´m not enlarging an existing opening, I start the new opening by cutting a hole with a masonry blade.
  • I determine the location of the studs and mark them on the stucco and then slide the bar behind the stucco until it´s over the stud closest to the required layout for whatever I´m installing.
  • I place the bar so that it spans two stud bays and then use a hammer to pound the stucco directly over the bar. The bar acts as an anvil to localize the force of the hammer blows, crushing the little pieces of stucco so that they can be pulled away from the stucco wire.
  • Finally, I weave new wire into the old, creating a web of reinforcement that ensures a patch that won´t crack.

If you make and use a stucco anvil like this, be sure to wear gloves and eye protection. Bits of stucco fly all over the place.

- Keith Wilson, Mountain View, Calif.

To request a reprint of this feature, e-mail Mary Lou von der Lancken at Fine Homebuilding.

Tips & Techniques provided by Fine Homebuilding.
©2005 The Taunton Press


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