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Most people who live in or who have visited Los Angeles will note the wealth of Spanish Style structures across the city and the surrounding area. The same is true for Southern California, in general. This is a logical extension of LA's proximity to Mexico and the Spanish architectural influence; but also the result of the Panama-California Exposition of 1915 in San Diego. With this style comes a lot of historic buildings. 

A painting contractor should carefully and expertly revitalize a Spanish Style structure. Here are a few things to know when looking for the right paint company for your Spanish Colonial Style building restoration project.

Does the Contractor Have Experience With Spanish Style Buildings?

This would seems obv

ious, but not everyone asks this question when looking for a painting contractor. Be sure to ask the contractor if they have experience. Ask for photographs and testimonials. Do your research.

Painting Spanish Style Buildings

The Spanish Colonial Revival style features a lot of stucco. So when it comes to interiors and exteriors, the stucco should be inspected for hairline cracks and other problem areas. Hopefully the damage will be minimal; otherwise a complete re-application of stucco might be necessary.

Once the stucco's integrity is taking care of, a painting contractor can turn to the paint and pigments.


Stucco, which is typically Portland Cement plaster, is a mixture of sand, lime and water. Stucco exteriors require three coats of plaster. The scratch coat is the first, and it is the thickest of the three at 1/2”. The brown coat flattens the plaster surface and builds it up to about 3/4” thickness. The third and final coat, the Color Coat, is the decorative surface where texture and color is applied.

Typically, a Spanish Style stucco exterior will be white, but can also painted in a pastel color. A light pastel red is a popular and attractive option. Painting stucco exteriors is not something I advise facility managers and building owners to do themselves. It requires a skilled professional to mix water and pigment and then apply it properly. If this isn't done correctly, you're asking for trouble—lots of it. 


Again, white, or variations thereof, is pretty much the default color for Spanish Style interiors in Los Angeles and California. But if you want a little color—and no one would fault you for that choice—pastels stucco coating will look great in an interior. It's best to look to history and current trends to see how others are handling their Spanish Style exteriors and interior color decisions. 

Caring for Historic Spanish Style Buildings

Before painting a historic or landmark Spanish Colonial Revival style building, whether it be a church, hotel, apartment complex or municipal building, proper care should be taken to investigate the structure's history and, if possible, the materials used in its original build. This will help the painting contractor arrive at the best possible products and techniques for restoration. 

If you have any other questions on painting Historic Spanish Style buildings in the Los Angeles area, give Moorhouse Coating a call at 310.961.0323 or email us at

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