I figured with such a diverse crowd there's surely some contractors on here that may be able to provide some pointers. The 'DIY/homeowner' forums are horrible, and the contractor forums don't take kindly to DIY'ers.

I have a cement block house, that was painted, and later covered with vinyl siding. My plan is to rip off the vinyl siding, and to stucco my exterior.

I've already studied the basics a ton, and feel very confident, and will be working from the back of the house (actually I'll be starting on the shed lol. Basically I'll be starting in less prominent areas).

I've got like 10 websites that have instructions, and a stack of books from the library. There seems to be two ways of applying the stucco: just directly over the blocks, or apply the metal lathe first.

I don't want to do the lathe, I want to apply it directly to the block. *But*, I can't find good instructions anywhere on how to best prepare my concrete blocks for the stucco.

so, if anyone here could shed some light or point me in the right direction, it'd be huuuuuuugely appreciated. As of right now, I'm thinking of just using the concrete etching stuff over the blocks, then using the concrete bonding agent, and stucco after that. If there's anyone here who works with this kind of stuff who could shed light it'd be so helpful (about to close on my first house in a few days hopefully, and have a huge list of renovations, feeling overwhelmed and want to make sure this large part of the renovations goes smoothly)