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Can Mortar Be Used as Stucco? (Explained)

Stucco is usually used to give a clear finish and appearance to the wall. It also lasts for a longer time and works as a finisher on the wall.

Mostly, it is available in only gray and white colors and yet can give a smooth appearance with only these colors. Apart from that, many other colors might be available to create a classier look.

Following the below tips and information regarding the stucco and mortar and if mortar can be used as stucco or not would give you an idea on working with it.

Useing mortar as stucco

You can use mortar as stucco. Yet, this is not advisable. The stucco and mortar have different compositions and are used to serve different purposes. Mortar is used on the wall while spreading the mortar all over. The stucco is used to give a proper appearance on the wall to fill out imperfections.

Mortar and stucco serve different purposes though both of them are applied on the wall or the brick. Mortar is like a binder.

Mortar is applied to the bricks to give a smooth surface. Moreover, it erases all imperfections. As it is a binder, it also creates adhesion to the bricks.

Mortar is also applied in between the bricks. While applying mortar in between the bricks would give proper adhesion to the brick.

As a result, the bricks remain in place. Meanwhile, you can also use it to give a smooth surface for the application of paint.

On the other hand, stucco is different from the mortar. Stucco is preferred to use on the walls to give a smooth appearance on the surface of the wall.

You can also make mandalas and put decorative things on the stucco. Decorating with stucco increases the beauty of the wall to more.

You can decorate the wall with the stucco. Though mortar is not the same as stucco, still you can use it. Well, it is rather not recommended to use instead of the stucco. As both are made with different components, they are not for every work. Both the mortar and stucco become hard after drying.

You can put the mortar instead of the stucco. Yet, decorating would not be an easy task. You should rather use stucco instead of mortar.

Is mortar and stucco the same thing?

No, the mortar and stucco are not the same things. Both have different components.

They are both made with different components and are used for different works. Though you can use mortar instead of stucco, it is better if you use stucco only. Some may prefer mixing stucco with mortar.

Mortar is used to give adhesion. Well, it sticks the bricks to the wall and to even each other. As a result, the bricks are held tough and the surface is smoothened out to prepare the wall as a full.

On the other hand, stucco is more likely to be used on the surface of the wall rather than in between the bricks.

Stucco is smooth on the surface and works as a finish. Mortar is not likely suitable as a finish to the wall. Apart from that, mortar requires full curing before the application of the paint while stucco does not even need paint.

2 reasons why mortar can be used as stucco

Mortar and stucco are different from each other. Perhaps, their uses are different. Many may prefer using mortar instead of stucco. Well, it is not advisable as stucco serves a different purpose than a mortar. Yet, the outcome would not be bad either.

Certain reasons which include what mortar can be used as stucco are given below.


The mortar is relatively cheaper in comparison to stucco. Mortar is usually used for many purposes and is quite popular as well. On the other hand, stucco has relatively less use than mortar. It is also costly and repairing would cost you more.

Mortar is not only cheaper but also the fixing requires less cost. Once there is a problem in stucco, you cannot fix it without scraping all the parts.

You might need to apply new stucco. This would cost more money as you are applying for a new one again.


Applying mortar is basic. You need to apply mortar in between the bricks. Moreover, if you are setting up the bricks mortar is required to attach the bricks.

In the case of applying on the surface of the wall, it would also go smoothly as the mortar would dry after time passes.

You can also apply paint over the mortar to create a beautiful appearance. Well, might not be as smooth as stucco yet not bad either.

What type of mortar do I use to stucco with?

S-type mortar mix can be used with the stucco. Stucco is mainly used as a finish layer on the wall. It is more likely to provide a smooth plaster-like surface. Not exactly plaster, smooth yet a bit of roughness on the surface could be detected.

Stucco goes well with the s-type mortar. Even though other mortars would also do well with the stucco. Yet, s-type mortar provides better safety and resistance to humidity. Apart from that, s-type mortar can withstand high pressure and wind.

As stucco is more likely to be the last finish applied on the wall, it has to withstand every environment. Otherwise, there is a high chance that the stucco would get damaged. Well, you can also apply a finisher over the stucco to protect it.

What is the difference between stucco and mortar mix?

Stucco and mortar are different from many perspectives. Well, from afar it might seem like mortar, cement and stucco are the same. All of them become hard after they are properly dried. They all create a hard surface like a wall.

Yet, they have differences in their usage. Certain common differences between stucco and mortar are included below.


While applying mortar or the stucco, you should always remember how the consistency should be.

A stucco mixture requires water and stucco at a ratio of 3:1. Meanwhile, mortar needs to be thicker in consistency as you need to apply it on the wall surface. Well, stucco also requires thickening as it is going to protect the wall.


Not just consistency but also the formation of stucco and mortar is different. Stucco contains lime mixture meanwhile mortar does not contain anything other than cement and aggregating mixtures. They have differences in their formula.


Mortar and stucco are used for totally different reasons. Stucco provides a smooth appearance on the surface of the wall.

Meanwhile, a mortar works for giving adhesion. Though mortar can be used as stucco, it might not come as satisfying as it would be.


Most importantly, mortar costs less than stucco. You can fix the mortar and use them in other works and save money. If the stucco goes bad or you need to fix the stucco, it would indeed cost more.

How to use mortar as stucco?

You can use mortar as stucco as it is an easy application. You can apply the mortar as you apply it while attaching bricks. Well, there should be no problem while making the mortar mixture.

You can follow below to apply the mortar in a proper way as a replacement for stucco.

Clean the surface:

Well, if the wall is full of dirt, you need to go with pressure cleaning. The water pressure would drive the dirt away and make it appear like a new one. Dirt would work as a barrier for the mortar to attach to the surface if it remains.

Apply mortar:

After cleaning the wall, you should apply the mortar. You can mix 80lb mortar with 100 gallons of water. You can also use a binder with it. Put the binder in a 1:1 ratio with the water. Mix them up.

Now, the mortar mixture is ready and you can apply it to the surface of the wall with a trowel. Move the trowel in the upside-down direction and apply the mortar. After applying mortar, let the mortar cure properly.

Final Thoughts

Overall, stucco and mortar are different. Still, you can use mortar as stucco but the outcome might not be satisfying. That’s why it is advisable to use stucco instead. Stucco gives a smooth surface which can be the final look of the wall. While mortar is for adding bricks and giving adhesion.