How To Drill Into Stucco

It is a nice touch for the front of your house if you install and hang a wind chime. And I am sure that there are a lot of things that you can do with your wall stucco such as train vines to grow up to along lattice panels attached to the stucco. At first, it seems easy to do these tasks. All you need to do is to drill a hole, insert the anchor and then hang the wind chime from it. However, there are a lot of things that you need to learn in order to drill into stucco- including the right tools, right steps and also helpful hints and tips for an easier job.

Take a look at this article below and I will guide you through all of the steps of how to drill into stucco and what other tips that you need to know for the project.


First, let’s check this video below to see how easy it is to drill into stucco:

Soure: Drill into Stucco

So what is stucco? It is a wall covering. It is made from a mixture of sand, Portland cement, lime and water. Additional additives are added into the stucco including fibers to make it stronger and more flexible.


There are two types of stucco – the cement based stucco, which is the traditional type. The second type of stucco is the synthetic one that has the full name of Exterior Insulation Finishing System.

  • The synthetic stucco is acrylic based product which is used for covering a layer of foam insulation. If you tap on a wall covered by this material, it would feel kind of hollow. This kind of stucco is also known as modern stucco.
  • On the other hand, the traditional cement based stucco is tougher. Instead of covering a layer of foam insulation, cement based stucco is used for covering a regular wall sheathing. When you tap on a wall covered by this material, it would not feel hollow at all.

Here are some of important facts that you should know before deciding drilling into stucco:

  • Cement stucco is super tough. It is not an easy task to do for any DIY beginners. Do consult experts if you aren’t sure whether you are able to do this project on your own.
  • If you are going to drill a hole into modern stucco aka synthetic stucco, you need to check about the condition of its warranty. The warranty would possibly be voided if the wall covering is drilled unauthorized or not in the ways which are specified by the manufacturer.
  • Since cement based stucco is durable, it can handle a huge amount of weight. The nail also has a good grip and you will be able to hang a lot of heavy things. However, the acrylic based is weaker. If you hang a heavy object, overtime, the hole you drill into the stucco become larger and water will be able to get into the wall. As a result, mold will develop.
  • Always wear safety goggles and hearing protection equipment before you start drilling into stucco.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and make sure you follow all of the safety precautions to prevent yourself and other people from getting hurt.
  • Make sure you don’t drill into any electric wire or water line. Check the building plans if you have them in hand.


You need to have the right tool for this tough job. And nothing can do it better than a hammer drill. You don’t need a very powerful drill to do the job well.

  • You can either choose to buy a hammer drill or rent it from a rental store. However, if you intend to have other future project, it is a great idea to invest in a hammer drill along with various drill bits.
  • Invest in a cordless hammer drill for the ability to drill into stucco at various heights.
  • Choose the appropriate masonry bit for the hammer drill. The size of the bit should match the size of the screws you are going to use. If the masonry bit is smaller, you might have to force to get the screw into the stucco, further damaging it. On the other hand, if the masonry bit is larger, the screw will not be able to stay onto the stucco wall. You can use a caliper to help you determine the right size of the masonry bit.
  • Consider buying a kit that has different types of anchors. Go for stainless steel screws as they are more durable and will not rust over time.

Here are the steps on drilling into cement based stucco:

Step 1: Use a measuring tape and a pencil to measure and mark where you want to drill the hole on the stucco.

Step 2: Put the chosen masonry bit into the hammer drill and tighten it.

Step 3: Hold the power drill tightly by both hand place the tip of the masonry bit against the marked point. Turn on the hammer drill trigger and push the machine firmly forward. Don’t push the drill too hard. Instead, only keep moving forward when you feel there is no resistance at all. Stop occasionally to check the hole and to check if you are going to come across any electric wire or water line.

Step 3: Drill only as deep as necessary. In most of the cases, only drill 1/8 inch deeper than the screw or the anchor. Don’t drill too deep into the stucco or you might damage the electric wire or water lines.

Step 4: Blow out any dirt from the drilling with a turkey baster. You can also use a can of compressed air to blow the dirt. Don’t use your mouth to blow out dirt. If you do so, the dirt might get into your eyes.

Step 5: As I mention above, you should use stainless stain instead of the screws which come from the anchor bolts. Hence, you should take the screws inside the anchor bolts out and use the stainless steel screws instead.

Step 6: Apply a small amount of acrylic caulk into the hole before you insert a plastic anchor bolt in it. Make sure the anchor bolt fits snugly into the hole by tapping lightly on it with a hammer. Don’t tap the hammer too hard or you might break the caulk.

Your job now is done. All you need to do next is to hang the decorative items onto the nail. Remember to clean the mess- including dirt and debris.

As soon as you gather all of the tools and pieces of hardware needed, along with the sufficient information from this article, you can start on this project immediately. There are a lot to learn but I am sure that you will soon be able to drill into stucco without any difficulty. After just a project, you will see that it is very easy to drill into stucco. Keep in mind all of the safety tips and you will safely handle this task.

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