Stucco coatings are often confused with stucco.
Stucco is a cement based coating that is troweled on. There are also synthetic stucco coatings available now that are more flexible and these are usually applied with a trowel also. The application with a trowel allows a texture to be created. The cement based stucco will crack over time as the house settles. Usually many hairline cracks develop over most of the surface with larger cracks showing up where the settling is more pronounced. Stucco is also very susceptible to water damage from sprinklers.
The stucco coating that we use is made by the Sherwin-Williams Company and is called Conflex Elastomeric Coating. It is a smooth coating and is available in most colors. Conflex is an elastomeric coating that provides excellent flexibility, durability and weather resistance. Elastomeric coatings are designed to move and flex with the surface, so they will cover the hairline cracks and prevent them from returning.
The system that we use is to power wash the surface to remove dirt and loose stucco. Then we patch the damaged areas and large cracks. Next we apply a primer to the unpainted stucco (painted stucco is already sealed). Finally we apply one or two coats of Conflex Elastomeric Coating by spraying and back-rolling or just rolling. The roller helps work the coating into the grooves and pores of the stucco. This leaves you with a flexible coating that should last 8 to 10 years. Some annual maintenance may be required where moisture is constantly present.