I own a home in northern AZ that was built in 2001. It is wood frame with a stucco finish comprised of OSB sheathing, building paper, 1/2" styrofoam, chicken wire, and a one coat stucco finish that extends down to about 4" below grade (there is no weep screed). The builder lived in the house and originally painted it with an acrylic paint, but after 2 years went over it with an elastomeric paint. Now after years of trying to patch cracks and keep the elastomeric coating sound, a lot of the paint is bubbling and cracks are showing all over the house. It is a mess! I feel that the only way to make a lasting repair would be to somehow strip all of the old paint, and apply a new synthetic stucco finish with integral color along with a structural mesh over the old stucco. Because the windows are all wrapped with stucco rather than using wood trim, it would be extremely difficult to recover the house with metal lath over the old finish and re-stucco. Am I on the right track, and if so what is the easiest way to remove the old elastomeric and acrylic paint to get down to solid stucco?
There is no "easiest" in this situation. Stripping an entire house will be work.
You can try power washing or sand blasting. Both scenarios require due diligence in the use of the tool and choice of blasting material. With the bl;asting unit, start with a gentle abrasize and work your way up. Your local masonary supply store would be a good place to start.