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Attach stucco strips - the instructions

Attach stucco strips made of styrofoam or plaster of paris

Lovers of real old apartments know them as stucco decorations. But even those who have not been able to get hold of an old apartment or want to upgrade the advantages of a new building with the charm of old times can easily attach stucco moldings themselves. You don't even have to be a highly talented craftsman. In our instructions we show how this works most easily and what you have to pay attention to - regardless of the material - with Styrofoam (polystyrene) and plaster of paris. Both types of stucco molding differ significantly in the way they are attached and prepared. But we also show the advantages and disadvantages of the materials.

Types of stucco moldings

Not all stucco moldings are created equal. In addition to the different patterns and decorative elements, a distinction is mainly made in the type of use. The following types of decorative elements are available here:

  • Bases
  • Ceiling moldings
  • Baseboards
  • Half columns
  • Capitals
  • Consoles
  • Light strips
  • pilaster
  • Rosettes
  • columns

The performance shows that there is plenty of choice.

With Wall moldings for example, you can optically separate two different rooms from each other. This creates an optical order and structure that can be enhanced through the targeted use of colors and wallpapers.

You can achieve the typical old building look with Ceiling moldings. The installation creates a historical effect, but if you want more, you can also put the highlights of the room in scene with individual lighting. There are also special LED lights that can be used to illuminate the elements indirectly.

With Baseboards you can not only make the cables disappear beautifully in the room, but also create a perfect wall finish.

Attach stucco strips - the material list

In addition to the matching stucco moldings, you need a lot of accessories. Since the different materials (styrofoam and plaster of paris) are attached differently, you also need different materials.

Tools and materials that you always need

Material for plaster moldings

Material list especially for styrofoam strips

So now we have everything we need together.

Attach stucco strips angles

In order to be able to attach the stucco strips neatly in the corners, it is necessary to cut them. Unfortunately, the angle cannot be determined across the board from a distance, especially in old buildings the walls are not always straight. Therefore, an individual cut that adapts exactly to the size of the situation is absolutely necessary. In the best case, a corner of the room should have a 90 ° angle. But as I said, that doesn't always have to be the case.

So that you can carry out the cut optimally, it is best to use a miter box, which you can adjust as you wish. So that you even know the angle at which you are sawing, the angle is measured precisely with an angle gauge. This is attached to the corner, bring the legs to the wall and then screw them tight. So you know immediately which angle and with which dimension result in the right cut. Now the miter box is adjusted to the size.

Attach the styrofoam strips

If you want to attach plaster moldings, you can skip this part and go straight to the next chapter. Even if Styrofoam moldings are not the same as real stucco, they are still a real alternative. Regardless of whether it's real walls or lightweight walls, the stucco moldings made of styrofoam can even be glued to the wallpaper. The main argument for styrofoam strips is the easier installation and the unbeatable low price. Depending on the size of the room, you can get beautiful ceiling elements for less than 30 euros to decorate the entire room. Lower costs are probably not possible.


First of all, we lay out all the tools and materials so that we can save ourselves long walks and tripping hazards. The next thing to do is to clean the surface. This should be free of grease, dust and moisture. Removes old paint and wallpaper if they are no longer required. You can also attach stucco strips to wallpaper, but you have to make sure that the weight of the strips is not so high that the wallpaper is torn off, which is rarely the case with styrofoam strips. In general, it also applies to plaster that it holds an attachment, i.e. is load-bearing. If the walls show rough bumps, then unfortunately only mending will help.

So that there is no mess in the preparation, it is advisable to protect furniture and furnishings with protective film. But don't worry, as much dirt is not created here as, for example, when applying roller plaster.


Now you have to cut the styrofoam strips. The styrofoam strip is best cut with a foxtail and a miter box, but a fine saw can also be used. It is important that the saw has particularly fine teeth and is very sharp. Most styrofoam moldings are bought or delivered in lengths of 2 m and longer. Therefore, before attaching the stucco moldings, it is always important to bring them to size.

Normally, if the walls are rectangular, you mark the longest dimension on the bar, then put it in the miter box and cut the correct angle in the 45 ° groove at the opposite end. If the wall does not have a clean 90 ° angle in the corner, then you have to determine the correct angle with the angle gauge as described above. If you are very unsure, you can practice cutting on a piece of cardboard. You can hold the cardboard in the corner and have not cut the styrofoam strip if you made a mistake.

It is important to always pay attention to how you place the saw when cutting - is it an inside or outside corner. Before you start gluing, you should once again hold all the stucco parts in the intended places and check whether the dimensions have been transferred correctly.

Those who do not trust themselves or want to spare themselves cutting can also get ready-made profile corners. You can have these cut to size at most shops. This saves you having to cut.


Now that we know how to cut stucco moldings, we can attach them. Regardless of whether these are attached to the floor or to the ceiling, the procedure is the same. Stucco moldings are glued. What should you glue stucco molding with? For this we need a styrofoam glue. This is usually referred to as a system adhesive or spatula adhesive in specialist shops.

On the back of the pack you should make sure that it is really suitable for Styrofoam. There are also adhesives that consist of two components that you have to mix beforehand. In most cases, you don't need such a two-component adhesive indoors, unless you are dealing with particularly high levels of moisture in the bathroom, for example. The two-component adhesive usually displaces moisture much better.

The amount of glue you need depends on the manufacturer's product and may vary. You should therefore read the package carefully. Before sticking, you can mark the correct position on the wall with a pencil. You take the spirit level so that the line is really straight.

Apply glue

The glue is applied in serpentine lines on the long side. If it is a wide stucco molding, you can also use a notched trowel. Now the bar is pressed into place in the correct place. As long as the glue has not dried, you can still correct the position. Please do not forget the abutment surfaces. The adhesive, which overflows when you press it on, is immediately wiped away with a spatula and cloth. If you work with corner elements, you should attach them in front of the stucco moldings. The wall is often longer than the stucco molding, in this case you can either call in several helpers or stick a toothpick or nail into the side of the stucco molding and attach the next molding to it.

Tip hot glue for quick adhesion

You can use a little trick: hot glue sticks faster than styrofoam glue. Therefore, you can apply the system adhesive and then apply hot glue to individual points. So you have a firm hold very quickly and no longer have to hold on to the stucco strips. Most styrofoam adhesives take an entire day to harden completely.


Now the joints and supports on the wall must be filled. Sometimes the manufacturer supplies a suitable product for filling the stucco moldings. Otherwise you can use ordinary acrylic. This is usually obtained in the cartridge and can be applied with a press gun.

In order to clean the butt joints, there is usually the matching negative profile of the stucco molding, which shows the profile in mirror image and offers the best fit. But you can also work with a spatula and a cloth.

Paint the stucco moldings styrofoam

If you have already got yourself a color and are not sure whether it is also suitable for Styrofoam, then try a paint job. To do this, you simply take a piece that you cut off as a waste product. For the sake of the environment, use an environmentally friendly, water-based paint. Unfortunately, ordinary wall paint does not usually stick to Styrofoam strips.

If the bar is to be colored, then you usually use an acrylic varnish. However, the opacity does not have to be quite as strong as on a normal wall. It is best to use a brush for painting, as the roller would not only not cover the profile, but would also not get into the pores.

Attach plaster moldings

Plaster moldings require a little more manual skill, but these plaster moldings can also be attached without a craftsman.


Again, the preparation starts and the surface is cleaned and freed of paint and old wallpaper residues. The plaster moldings should not be attached to wallpaper, as this is usually not load-bearing. Of course, the old paint and plaster must also be load-bearing if you want to attach the stucco moldings to it. Cleaning in particular should be carried out with care. The perfect substrates for plasterboard are gypsum fiber boards and sanding plaster.

First you put the stucco molding on the wall and now take the guide line to align it. If the subsurface is not even, then it has to be filled with a spatula or the ceiling removed. With plaster stucco moldings, the preparation is even more important than with the styrofoam moldings, because you have a lot less time to assemble the moldings correctly.

By scratching and roughening the surface, you increase the adhesion during assembly. The substrate must be moistened before applying the stucco molding.

Bring it to measure

Before attaching the stucco strips, these are cut to the appropriate size. Here, too, the miter box is used again. When cutting plaster of paris, a stucco saw or a foxtail with fine teeth will help. The stucco strips are pushed back upside down into the miter box and cut to size. It is advisable to draw the cuts with a pencil beforehand so that you do not mix up the inside and outside angles. There are also prefabricated corner profiles for the plaster strips, which make work easier.


If you haven't moistened the surface yet, do it now and let the moisture take effect for about 10 minutes. This is how the plaster of paris glue will stick best. A plaster adhesive is not enough for all plaster strips. Particularly large stucco strips are also fixed with screws. To do this, drill through the plaster strips into the wall. The drill must not be turned on impact, otherwise the stucco strips will break. If the wall requires a hammer drill, then you have to pre-drill the holes in the wall and then drill through the plaster strips. The dowel is pushed into the hole and the bar is fixed with a screw. Depending on the screw head, it is countersunk to match

The gluing

Now the plaster glue is being prepared. According to the manufacturer's instructions, it is mixed with water with a whisk until it has a quark-like consistency.

When gluing, we also start again in the corners. Now you can finally apply the plaster glue (stucco glue). Again, it is necessary to follow the manufacturer's instructions. Here you are generous and apply plenty of gypsum glue on the ceiling and wall-side surfaces and the wall itself. With a slight movement you can now attach the stucco molding.

Working cleanly saves further work

Any glue that protrudes on the sides is removed with a spatula or, even better, a scraper. Then you can rework with a damp brush or sponge and remove the small traces. If you work cleanly here, you save grouting in the best case.

Since the plaster moldings are very heavy and the adhesive does not dry very quickly after an hour, it is particularly good to knock small steel pins into the wall below the molding and thus give the necessary hold.

It usually takes 1-2 days for the plaster of paris adhesive to harden completely. You can tell by the color of the glue. If the color is as light as the stucco molding, the glue is dry.


Either you use a product from the manufacturer for filling or you use acrylic sealant again. Acrylic has the advantage that it can be painted over. Now the bar transitions and mitres are grouted at the corners. Grouting can be done with a Japanese spatula. To get a clean picture, you take sandpaper and rework the transitions.

Working with color

The best result is obtained if you not only paint the stucco molding, but also the entire room. You should not start painting before the plaster adhesive and joint sealant have dried.

Conclusion attach stucco strips

That's it with our instructions for attaching stucco moldings. Attaching the stucco molding is relatively easy and does not necessarily require a craftsman. If we haven't explained a step precisely enough or you have further questions, please leave a comment.