Differences between Plaster and Stucco

Blog |October 24th, 2016

There are many similarities between plaster and stucco. Both are low maintenance products that also are durable and fire resistant. In fact, a lot of people confuse one with another in old houses. However, it is important that you understand the differences between plaster and stucco for choosing what fulfills your building’s requirements better.


Stucco is best suited for exterior applications, only due to its toughness and ability to withstand weather conditions. Most homeowners prefer stucco in the exteriors for its durability and lower cost. On the other hand, plaster can be used for both interior and exterior parts of a building because it is a more versatile product that is used on rough and smooth surfaces, as needed.

Materials Used

Basically, stucco is usually made of lime, sand, and Portland cement, which is the primary reason for its durability and ideal use on the exterior of buildings. It is applied wet on the desired surface, let to dry, and then it becomes dense and solid. On-the-other-hand, plaster can be made of different materials depending on where it is intended to be used, and it can contain a mixture of water, plaster of Paris gypsum plaster and lime.


While mixing and applying these sounds fairly easy, both require trained experts, especially when being used as cornices, columns, arches, ceiling roses, Adams panels, art deco panels, domes, and vaulted ceilings.

Surface Limitations

Application and surface limitations are some of the most important differences between plaster and stucco use. While plaster can be applied to virtually any type of surface, stucco is limited to a few, such as wire lath. One additional benefit of exterior plaster is that it can be poured in any shape or size – moulded, to create design moulds of your choice. This is vital for matching classical and ornamental aesthetics and design requirements for unique construction projects.

When considering classical and ornamental plaster or stucco products, it is highly advised to seek out a professional plaster studio, such as Hopkins, that specialises in the production of cornices, columns, arches, ceiling roses, Adams panels, art deco panels, domes, vaulted ceilings, and custom designed work that meet stylish indoor or outdoor building aesthetics.


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