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How To Drill Into Stucco

Whether you have moved into a new house and are wanting to decorate or are looking to make some home improvements, Stucco can be a difficult material to drill into. However, it is easy to repair so making mistakes, while should be avoided, is not the end of the world.

Still unsure how to go about drilling into stucco? We have created a simple step-by-step guide to help you ensure you are properly prepared to drill into stucco and that you can do it without causing too much damage.

Before making any large changes to stucco it is recommended to consult a professional. However, for hanging a frame or some home decor, these steps make it simple and less daunting.

What is stucco?

Construction materials include stucco. It is created using water as a binder and frequently includes an aggregate like sand. It is generally used as a decorative coating and is applied to walls and ceilings while still wet.

It can be used to apply an artistic finish in architectural construction in addition to being utilized indoors and as siding for exterior walls.

Once stucco has dried it will provide a texture similar to concrete. This is often what makes it so intimidating to drill into. However, it is a lot easier than drilling into concrete with a lot less clean up after.

How to drill into stucco

How To Drill Into Stucco

Below are the steps to successfully and safely drill into stucco along with any equipment you will need.

Required Equipment:

  • Power Drill With Masonry Bit
  • Anchor
  • Screws
  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil
  • Caulk (Optional)

Step 1- Assemble equipment

Before you begin, ensure you have all of the equipment listed above. You will want to have each piece of equipment within arms reach before you make any move to start drilling.

Step 2- Make a guide hole

Using the tape measure and pencil to mark exactly where you want to drill. The use of a pencil means that you can easily erase any marks after the project is complete.

If you are hanging decor such as a picture, have someone hold the picture in the place you want to hang it as you create the guide holes. This may take some practice and moving around as you determine the best spot for the decoration.

Do not make any holes with the drill until you are sure the picture is in the right place.

Step 3- Connect the bit to the drill

You should use a masonry bit that is the appropriate size. The screw won’t hold if you use a large enough bit. If it’s too small, you’ll wind up trying to hammer the screw in, which almost certainly will result in damage.

If you’re screwing directly into Stucco, measure the bit you choose against the screw or the anchor you’ll be using to fasten the screw.

Step 4- Drill slowly

Whether you are new to drilling or have lots of experience, always drill slowly and steadily into a surface. Drill horizontally into the wall while keeping the tool steady. Moving around too much can cause the hole to be too big and uneven.

If the hole is too large your anchor will not fit.

Step 5- Hang the decoration

Apply a small amount of caulk into the hole and insert the anchor before you begin to screw the screw into place.

You want the screw to be tight but avoid applying too much pressure as this can break the screw and ruin the drilled hole.

When not to drill into stucco?

With the exception of damaged areas, stucco can be drilled at any time. Before drilling into the stucco, make sure it is completely fixed if any of it has started to deteriorate or if there is already a hole there.

Although stucco can be drilled, if it already has problems, drilling will probably make the holes bigger and the damage worse.

In the event that the stucco is damaged or is starting to deteriorate, you will need to contact the company which installed the stucco. They will make the decision to patch the area or to replace the entire surface area of the stucco.

You should never attempt to drill into stucco when it is not completely dry. This can cause irreparable damage to the material.

Repairing mistakes on stucco

Repairing Mistakes On Stucco

There are numerous methods to harm stucco. A decaying exterior needs to be replaced with a variety of materials in order to be sealed once more.

However, water damage to stucco might be more difficult to repair. Actually, the repair procedure is comparable.

Before you can begin to repair stucco you need to identify the cause of the issue. If it is water damage you may require professional help.

However, for smaller areas, you can determine the infected areas by gently tapping on the surface. Then, using a chisel or a series of drill holes, begin to cut out the area that is then to be repaired with an angle grinder. Never pull out stucco by hand.

Only dig down as far as the stucco’s thickness allows. Pry the loose piece free. To avoid leaving the region exposed, only remove as much stucco as you can fix in a single day.

For smaller mistakes such as a mistaken drill hole for hanging a photograph, simply repair by filling in the area with a small amount of caulk, smoothing the surface and allowing it to dry.


Due to the concrete-like effect, drilling to stucco can seem daunting. Fear of the entire wall crumbling is something we all experience.

However, it is a lot simpler than you would believe. Ensure to always make a guide using a tape measure and pencil.

Then slowly drill into the stucco while remaining steady. Once your hole is drilled correctly you are free to hang your mirror, picture, or shelf.

Make sure to call a professional at the sight of any extreme damage or deterioration. You never want to remove an entire wall of stucco without a replacement!