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How To Drill Into Stucco (Step-by-Step DIY Guide)

drilling the wall

Stucco is a paste that is applied to walls and ceilings. Used indoors and outdoors, it is possible to drill into it. However, you do need to prepare properly, ensure that you have the right equipment, and don’t get too carried away with multiple fastenings or attempt to hang too much from this covering. Fortunately, one of the benefits of this decorative layer is that it is easy to repair, so if you do make mistakes or you do end up with an unwanted hole, it is possible to do something about it and go back to having a good-looking wall finish.

What Is Stucco?

Stucco is a construction material. It is made from water, a binding agent, and usually contains an aggregate like sand. It is applied to walls and ceilings when wet and then allowed to dry and is used primarily as a decorative coating. As well as being used indoors, it is also used as a siding for exterior walls and may be used to apply an artistic finish in architectural build.

When it has dried and is used on walls and ceilings, it has a similar texture to that of concrete, and this is likely the reason why people are reluctant to drill into it: for fear that it will crumble and fall to dust like a concrete finish. In reality, however, it is quite possible to drill into Stucco, and there are several reasons for doing so.

stucco wall interior
Image Credit: Pixabay

When You Should Avoid Drilling Stucco

It is possible to drill into Stucco at any time, except where the material is damaged. If the Stucco has started to crumble or there is an existing hole, you should ensure that it is fully repaired before you drill into it. While Stucco can be drilled, if it is already showing signs of damage, drilling will likely cause holes to get bigger and damage to worsen.

Is It Possible To Hang Things From Stucco?

Lightweight items can be hung from Stucco. Where possible, you should look to use adhesive hooks. These will not damage the Stucco itself, and as long as you get good quality hooks, they will bond well to the surface. However, if the Stucco is texture, or it has an artistic finish to it, the adhesive hooks are unlikely to work. If you want to hang heavier objects from the wall, you will need to screw them into the surface. Hammering nails and other fastenings is likely to cause damage, and this will need repairing.

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How To Drill Into Stucco

stucco wall
Image Credit: Pixabay

To drill into Stucco, follow these steps:

  1. Get Your Equipment – You will need a drill with a masonry bit, an anchor, screw, and a tape measure and pencil.
  2. Mark The Hole – Use the tape measure to determine exactly where you want to drill. If you are hanging something like a picture, get somebody to hold the picture in place while you take measurements and ensure that you mark the required holes in the right spot on the wall.
  3. Get The Bit – You will want to use a masonry bit, and it should be the right size bit. If you use a bit that is too large, the screw won’t hold. If it’s too small, you will end up trying to force the screw into place, which will likely cause damage. When choosing a bit, measure it against the screw if you’re screwing directly into the Stucco or the anchor that you will use to fasten the screw.
  4. Drill Steadily – Ensure that you drill horizontally into the wall, or vertically into the ceiling, and make sure that you don’t wobble the bit around too much while drilling. This movement will cause the hole to widen and you will be left with too large a hole for your anchor.
  5. Insert The Anchor – Apply a little caulk in the hole, if you wish, and then insert the anchor before screwing the screw into place. Screw it in tight but don’t apply too much pressure.

What Kind Of Screws Go Into Stucco?

Use a screw that is designed for use in concrete. Stucco shares a lot of properties with concrete, so using a concrete screw will make it easier, help prevent damage, and will ensure a tighter and more secure fit.

Do I Need A Special Drill Bit For Stucco?

Similarly, you will need a suitable drill bit. In this instance, a masonry drill bit will ensure that you get a decent purchase on the Stucco and that you can drill the right size hole without having to force it. The bit will work quickly and shouldn’t cause too large a hole.

masonry drill bits
Image Credit: Pixabay

How To Drill Into Stucco

Drilling into Stucco is a lot like drilling into any surface. Ensure that you have the right tools, that you have measured carefully, and then drill the hole straight and true. If you can do this, even though Stucco is similar to concrete, you should have no problem creating a strong fastening and a decent anchor. Ensure that you use a masonry bit, ideally one that is a bit smaller than the screw you intend to use, and consider using an anchor to ensure the best results.


Featured Image Credit: Olxa, Shutterstock

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