Best Exterior Stucco for Outdoor Kitchen Project

I am building a large outdoor grill island (84L x3 6H x 29w) for my patio. I have the frame built from galvanized stud type material and I have attached 1/2 inch cement board. I plan to tile the top surface and use some form of stucco material on all of the sides. Problem: I have never used any stucco before and the local home centers claim to not have stucco. The only product I have found is surface bonding cement by Quikrete. I believe that I can use the liquid coloring to tint the cement for my purpose and there is a fortifier that they carry as well that supposedly helps adhesion.

Question 1: Is the surface bonding cement combination that I described good for this project? Vertical adhesion, weathering, etc. Or is there a better product that I should use instead?

Question 2: What is the best technique to apply? I assume a trowel because I have poured/ finished concrete before, but please describe the “how to”.

Thanks for your time.

The Money Pit Answer

You are correct that the product to use for this is surface bonding cement. For the details, we went right to the experts a QUIKRETE for this answer.  

The QUIKRETE team says QUIKWALL Surface Bonding Cement from  is ideal for this project. It contains fibers and other additives that make the surface strong and protect it from potential harm. QUIKWALL is also rated as a waterproofing material, which is a great for outdoor projects like a grill island.  They do recommend also using QUIKRETE Acrylic Fortifier to increase bond strength and yes, you can absolutely use QUIKRETE Liquid Color for a little more decorative flare!

Much like stucco, QUIKWALL is a sanded product designed to be applied vertically with a trowel. In fact, the primary use of QUIKWALL is for building block walls without mortar (known as dry-stacking).

Rather than explain the step-by-step process for applying QUIKWALL, check out this how-to video.  It covers all the bases. Good luck with the project and please share your finished work!