The Tool Geeks

How to Drill Into Stucco (7 Steps)

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Stucco drilling is often seen as one of the most arduous tasks. Unfortunately, it is because the majority of people go into it without knowing the nitty-gritty. Stucco is a building material made from water and a binder. It is a decorating material used on walls, ceilings, and other surfaces. Stucco is applied in its wet form but later hardens into a thick, solid, and hard material.

This hard form of stucco is what makes people think that drilling into stucco is hard. Drilling into stucco is not as hard as to how most people describe it; it is a relatively simple thing to do.

However, you might find it a bit difficult to drill if you do not use the required drill bit, or if you fail to follow the right steps. Also, you must be equipped with all the necessary tools that will make the drilling easy otherwise, you will find drilling stucco uninteresting.

In addition to this, you must know the best time to drill, how to do it, and the step-by-step guides that are involved. If you are interested in knowing how to drill into stucco, then continue reading this article. It will surely guide you to drilling a stucco successfully.

What Tools Do You Need To Drill Into Stucco?

There a couple of instruments that you will need before you set out to drill any type of stucco. These tools are important, and you should ensure you use the tool for the right process.

In this section, we shall discuss some of these tools and their uses in the process of drilling stucco. These tools range from simple hand tools to advanced, engine-drivers. Some of the tools include:

1. Tape Measure

A tape measure or measuring tape is used to create a perimeter around the area you wish to drill. Without the measuring tape, you could easily lose sight of the drill area making your work a bit stressful, tedious, and hard.

A tape measure is also used to measure your hole. Suppose you are planning to drill two or more holes in one stucco and looking towards perfection- in terms of the same size measurement of all the holes, then the tape measure is there to perform magic.

2. Pencil or Marker

A pencil is used to make a sign or mark on the exact point you wish to drill. And like the tape measure, it aids you in not losing sight of your target drill area.

A marker can be used as an alternative to a pencil. Also, a pencil or marker would assist you to know the exact drill bit that would be required.

3. Drill

The drill is the tool that is used for drilling. Since you are drilling through a stucco, you would be using a hammer drill. Press the hammer drill and hold it firmly over the surface of the marked point.

4. Baster (Optional)

This tool is optional because it is used after drilling on the stucco to remove dust particles or dirt that have been formed in the drilling process.

How to Drill Into Stucco

To achieve your desired result, you must follow the proper steps that are involved in the process of drilling stucco. But before that, you need to get some materials ready. Below are the steps you need to follow while drilling stucco.

Gather the Supplies

Supplies here is just another term for equipment. It is important to make the equipment available at hand before you start drilling so that the whole process will be easy, fast, and less stressful. Not only that, but you also need to ensure that the selected and available equipment are in good form.

Of what use would a faulty or damaged item be? Absolutely none!

Therefore, after getting your supplies ready, check each carefully, one by one, and ensure they are in good shape. Metal blades or ends and pencils should be sharpened, screws should be free of friction, and so on.

Some of the equipment that would be needed include; tape measure, pencil, bits, screws, anchor, hammer drill, and some others.

Locate the Position to Drill

When your equipment has been checked and verified to be in good working condition, the next step is to locate the position you have to drill. This entails looking for a weak point on the stucco and marking it as the drilling position.

To make this easy, you need to have carefully studied the stucco, check how it was built, the surface it is covering, and a host of other things.

Knowing how to drill holes on stucco without damaging it is important because you can easily damage the stucco if you add too much pressure. To drill a stucco you need a hammer drill, but if you don't have one then you can use a power drill, just be careful to not apply too much pressure and use the right drill bits.

Then you use the tape measure to set a boundary around the drilling area. Using a tape measure to set a boundary is important because should you take a break before actual drilling starts, it will help you locate the area easily whenever you are ready to resume work.

After that is done, use a pencil to make a mark on the exact point you wish to make the hole to be drilled into.

If you fail to use a pencil to make a mark right on the drilling point, you might forget the point you have chosen to drill. Another importance of using the pencil to mark your hole is that it will show you the type of drill bit to use.

Select the Appropriate Drill Bit

You should understand that not all holes to be drilled on stuccos are the same. They do not have the same shape or similar structure. Therefore, you need to select the exact bit that will fit in perfectly the hole that you have used the pencil to mark.

Here you need to ensure that the masonry bit you intend to use will easily accommodate screws. Do not use a big one that will make screws fall into the hole.

Attach the Masonry Bit

The next step is to attach the drill to the masonry bit. The masonry bit should be well-tightened to the drill. The hammer drill is needed here, and it is onto it the masonry bit will be fastened.

In case you do not have access to a hammer drill and it is important you have the stucco drilled, a standard drill can serve as a good alternative. Adequate care just needs to be taken in terms of the amount of pressure exerted.

Related Read — Cordless vs Corded Drills

Link Up the Bit to the Marked Point

Linking the bit to the marked point will be easy because you have used a pencil to make a mark on the exact position you wish to drill beforehand. Now imagine you did not use a pencil to make a mark then, it would not be easy linking it to the bit.

To do this, use your two hands to guide the masonry bit to the part of the stucco where you have made a pencil mark.

Start Drilling

At this stage, the actual drilling is about to start and you need to turn the drill on. Switch on the wall socket, pull the trigger; and you will observe as the drill starts moving forward towards the pointed mark on the stucco.

Though it is necessary to ensure that the drill hits the marked position, you should however be careful so as not to push it too hard else it disfigures your work.

After a while into rolling and advancing of the drill, start drilling and this should be done with precision, maintain a balance and keep it going steady until you are satisfied that you have reached your preferred depth.

You should be careful from pushing the drill too hard. In fact, most experts suggest that drillers should not extend 1/8-inch than the screw to ensure a strong and firm hold. Pushing the drill hard and drilling wide might cause the screw to loose easily.

Since drilling has been done, the next thing is to switch off the drill before placing it on the floor to prevent it from causing injury to workers.

Related Read — How to Drill Into a Stud?

Clear the Drilled Area

While drilling some dirt and pieces of drilled stucco might have accumulated. The next step is to get this debris and other dirt removed from the hole that has been drilled. To get this done efficiently make use of compressed air.

If you have access to a baster, make use of it, as it will prevent the dirt from blowing back to your face.

With that done, your work is completed. Your stucco has been drilled and not only that, the drilled pieces and other debris have been cleared off.

You can now screw or use an anchor to seal it. Having followed the steps above, you are sure to have a perfectly drilled stucco right in front of you.

Precautions to Take While Drilling Stucco

Drilling stucco the right way does not guarantee a smooth drilling process, there are some precautions you need to take before, during, and after the drilling process. Some of the precautions are highlighted below:

Use the Right Tools

Using the right tools would not only ensure a smooth drilling process, but it would also make the hole well-drilled such that no matter how much it is screwed, but it also will not yield to expansion.

Don’t Apply Too Much Pressure

Another important precaution to note is that you should not apply too much pressure into drilling the stucco. Truly, stucco has a hard surface but applying too much pressure could make the drilling too deep and wide, which could spoil your job.

Check For Electrical Wirings

Stucco structures could at times have electrical wirings located in them, hence, adequate care must be taken while drilling. Be patient, do not puncture through the stucco rapidly, take it gently, easy and slow.

Seal The Hole You Drilled

After drilling, a hole or holes would be left open, that is why you should endeavor to seal the perimeter of the hole that has been drilled. Sealing the perimeter would prevent dirt or pieces of the drilled stucco from falling back into the hole.

Related Read — Drills vs Impact Drivers

Frequently Asked Questions About Drilling Into Stucco

Can I Drill Stucco Anytime?

NO! Either you are an expert or a beginner, there is a certain period you can and cannot drill a stucco. Stucco cannot and should not be drilled when it is damaged.

When Is the Best Time to Drill Stucco?

The best time to drill through a stucco is when it has undergone repair after damage, or a few days after it has been newly plastered. Before drilling any type of stucco, ensure it is dried and has been certified fit to drill by a professional.

Does Synthetic and Traditional Stucco Have the Same Method of Drilling?

No, they are not drilled the same way. This is because both types of stucco are not built the same way. To know the exact drilling method to apply, take a little time to study and observe what type of stucco you would be drilling through.

Related Read — How to Drill Into Bricks?


Drilling stucco is not as hard as most people think. So easy it is that it can be done regardless of whether you are an expert or not. You just have to ensure you have the necessary tools handy.

This article contains easy steps on how to drill holes on stucco without damaging it. There are two types of stucco and both can be drilled in the same way. Everything you need to know about this topic has been discussed and fully explained.

Did you know that there are certain times you should not venture into drilling holes on stucco? Did you know that there are precautions to take before, during, and after the drilling process? All these have been answered in this article.

Lastly, in a bid to make this article helpful for you, some frequently asked questions relating to drilling stucco have been answered and we hope this guide serves you well.

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