Stucco News

Question and answers on Stucco and Plastering-- September, 2011

Finestone aggregated stucco

"Finestone" was the name of an aggregated stucco finish that was popular in the 1960's and 1970's.
The generic name is just aggregated stucco finish,  but usually was referred to as Finestone, a system
made by Finestone Corporation.
Finestone was an expensive method of stucco, requiring more skill and more materials than more
conventional stucco.
Aggregated finishes were  far less expensive than exposed aggregate concrete, that finestone was
made to duplicate.

    We did this Finestone in 1992, with finish coat materials from Finestone
Corporation.  Finestone supplied the cement, the rocks screened to size,
the acrylic additive that made this all work, and the sealer.

At one time,a contractor needed a franchise to apply Finestone. Included in the franchise was national advertising support, an intense 2 week training
class for foremen, and the right to buy Finestone materials.

I had an original Finestone training manual from the 1970's that someone
gave me, but unfortunately I threw it away. I at least read most of it.

Color finestone aggregated stucco
We also did this color Finestone in 1992. The rocks were checked by Finestone to make sure they didn't contain iron oxide, which could stain the finished wall. Here we used a reddish mortar and a reddish river stone.

Sorry for the teeny pictures. These have been on my site since 1999, when page loading time was more critical. I plan to replace these pictures when I can find the originals and scan them in.

At least you can see that this is a beautiful material, and looks like precast concrete from a distance.


The biggest mystic secret of Finestone was to seal the
basecoat with acrylic before applying the finish.

This kills the suction of the basecoat. In other words, if you
don't do this, the mortar will set up too fast, and the rocks won't
stick when you throw them in.

The finish coat had an incredibly strong bond. Take this
from someone who has patched this before, and had to chip
off some of the finish with a chisel.

Here's a view of the finish we are trying to duplicate.

Finestone was an innovator in color stucco finishes, and the
use of acrylics in stucco finish.

Not only is Finestone beautiful, but is extremely hard, and
well bonded.

Color aggregates such as broken glass and colored rocks
can be added fo different decorative effects.

One usually has to look close to tell that this is stucco, and not
exposed aggregate concrete.

rodding off the wall
The brown coat must be dead straight for this to look right.
      Any hollows, and the rocks will embed too far causing a
"bald" appearance.
      Likewise, any humps in the wall will prevent the rocks from
being embedded deep enough, creating a "hairy" appearance.
     These areas are visible from a distance, more so than close up, due to the shadowing of the rocks.
We used string lines and  plumb bobs years ago when we did this to make sure the wall was straight.

seeding in finestone
Throwing on the rocks. This is called "seeding". Finestone
called this "hand injecting". There are also guns made for this
than are used with an air compressor.
    Plenty of acrylic is used in the mortar. We used Flex-con half
and half with water, like we usually use in our finish coat anyway. Without acrylic, the rocks won't stick.
    Sadly, I don't think Finestone corporation still makes their
aggregated stucco finish. I think all they do now is make synthetic garbage.
They were an innovator in beautiful and durable stucco finishes.