It can be perplexing when it's time to hang the Christmas lights on your home's stucco exterior. You need to safely secure the lights without damaging the finish on your house, and the rough, uneven texture of stucco makes most adhesives ineffective. However, professional lighting designers have found a simple solution for securing lights to this challenging surface. Using a common crafting tool, you can secure Christmas lights and remove them without damaging the stucco. If you own your home and plan to hang lights every year, permanent installation of light clips might be an even better option. This is also the option to use if your stucco finish is made with Exterior Insulation Finishing Systems, or EIFS.
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Hot Glue Method
Have a partner help you measure along the path where you plan to install the lights to make sure you buy the proper length or amount of string lights.
Plug the lights into an outlet and check to make sure they are working properly before you hang them.
Make sure you buy the proper size glue sticks to fit into your glue gun. To remove the hot-glued lights, hold the tip of an empty glue gun against the hardened glue until it softens, and then gently pull the cord off the wall.
Do not drill holes into stucco — it can cause the material to chip away and crack, making larger holes. Water seeping into the holes can cause serious damage to the stucco finish.
Use a cooler-melting, lower temperature gun if you do wish to glue the lights on synthetic stucco EIFS. This type of stucco has a very thin surface backed by foam insulation and high temperature glue could melt it.
Do not attempt to glue lights to painted surfaces, as the paint will blister and peel away.
Load a glue stick into the glue gun. Plug the hot glue gun into an extension cord. Plug the extension cord into the nearest outlet according to where you plan to hang your lights.
Place the ladder in the location where your string lights will end and climb the ladder with your lights and glue gun. Hold the end of the string lights against the wall with one hand. Place the nozzle of the glue gun close to the light cord, being careful not to touch it. Pull the trigger, directing a glob of glue onto the cord and wall.
Hold the string lights against the wall for about 20 to 30 seconds, allowing the hot glue to harden. Move to the next securing location, about 18 inches away from the first one. Add another spot of glue as you did in Step 2. Repeat the process every 18 inches along the string lights until you reach the end.
Permanent Clips Method
Buy light clips designed for the type of lights you have and make sure they have a flat surface for adhesion.
When installing light clips on a flat roof line, create a measuring stick to make clip spacing easier. Remove bulbs from mounting clips carefully to avoid breaking the clip. Mounting strips can be used in place of individual clips on flat surfaces.
Construction adhesive is permanent once applied, so use care with this method.
Measure the distance between each light bulb on your string lights to determine the proper spacing for the light clips.
Place the ladder in the location where your lights will end. Load the construction adhesive in the caulk gun.
Climb to the roof line or area where the lights will go. Add a quarter-sized dab of adhesive directly on the stucco surface.
Press the flat edge of the mounting clip firmly into the adhesive. Repeat this process for every light clip, spacing the clips to match the bulb spacing on the light strand. Attach the light bulbs into each mounting clip.
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