Stucco Meshes

Chicken wire was a popular choice for wire reinforcement mesh, but we discourage its use. Wavy and impossible to stretch tight and flat against a wall, it is much too labor intensive. If metal wire mesh is required, welded galvanized fencing uses much heavier gauge wire than poultry netting but often costs about the same. The use of welded fencing can save a lot of labor time because it requires less stitching or quilting of the mesh. Welded fencing with 2-by-2- or 2-by-3-inch holes will work well.

When we use mesh on a building, we much prefer to use a plastic mesh. Our current favorite is Cintoflex D by Tenax. This mesh comes in 10-foot-by-330-foot rolls which are easy to handle and install (it can be cut with scissors or a utility knife instead of wire cutters!) and yet provides the same kind of reinforcement. As an added bonus, it is not prone to rusting that will eventually deteriorate even the galvanized metals.

Expanded metal lath —also known as diamond lath or plaster lath — is heavier than chicken wire, and comes in flat sheets rather than rolls. It is more expensive and can be more difficult to work with, but its extra strength is useful in corners and around windows. It's found at building supply yards or stucco specialty shops. It's not typically used to cover a whole building, but to provide extra reinforcement in key areas: door and window openings, corners and over wood.

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