There is the option of using Venetian Plaster on your exterior projects instead of stone or stucco, as it is also durable, waterproof and freeze/thaw resistant. The plaster we used on this project is an exterior hydraulic lime and marble plaster, with a heavy grain marble profile giving us a strong finish and a more stone like appearance. This project took us around a week to complete, and the final finish was sealed with an oil based invisible penetrating sealer. I find that for extreme weather proofing or stain resistance, that oil based penetrating sealers are more effective than water based low VOC equivalents.
This finish again was a custom color that we designed from a stone sample provided by the designer. We recommended which product should be used and created three sample boards with different textures, colors, and grain profiles for review.