Professional Paint Peeling Predictions

Professional Paint Peeling Predictions

Aside from my amazing alliteration, paint peeling predictions can save homeowners a lot of money, and painting contractors a lot of time. If they don’t know what they are looking for, even the most diligent homeowners can be in for a nasty surprise. Even after hours of painstaking prep work and exterior painting with the best of intentions, some exterior paint projects last less than a year.

Exterior Painting Error

I’ve spoken to dozens of homeowners who looked on in horror as their labor-intensive do it your yourself paint job began peeling off in big leathery sheets — sometimes in a year or less. One DIY painter in Canton told me her paint detached with such determination that some chips were embedded with cedar splinters from the underlying siding! According to Anderson Paint Company, about one in 10 paint job goes awry. Often it’s because of cutting corners — not sanding, not scrubbing, painting just before a storm, ignoring long-term moisture penetration. Quality prep work is key for all home repairs, but exterior painting is particularly demanding. People who own old homes can do everything they’re told by a “For Dummies” book or paint salesmen and follow labels devotedly can still wind up with exterior painting that peels.
Peeling Exterior Paint Can Be Prevented

Peeling Exterior Paint Can Be Prevented

House Painting Heart Ache

But there is hope – you can generally tell if you have a house that is going to peel if you probe around a bit.  The problem can occur when an old house with multiple layers of oil-base paint is coated with a modern water-base paint. The homeowners decide to upgrade and put on a modern latex paint, and everything looks great when they finish painting. To their surprise and dismay,  that last coat of a new type of paint can be sufficient to cause catastrophic failure, often right down to bare wood.

Residential Paint Types For Exteriors

When you break it down to simplest possible terms, there are two kinds of residential paint: oil (also called alkyd because of the alcohols and acids used to make synthetic oil) and so-called latex – which actually has no rubber in it! Both consist of three main components: a pigment, a binder that glues the pigment to a surface as the paint dries and a solvent that makes the mixture loose enough to brush on. Oil paint forms a tough plastic like film as the binder reacts with oxygen in the air. The binder can be a natural oil like linseed or oil modified with alkyds. Latex paint forms a flexible film as water evaporates and the once-floating spheres of binder and pigment move closer together and fuse. The critical difference between oil and latex paints is that they do not cure in the same way. Oil paint never stops curing – yes – NEVER.  As it ages, it continues to oxidize, becoming more and more brittle. Latex cures in about two weeks and stays pliable. Oil paint generally adheres better to problem surfaces because the oils are small enough to seep into the wood or microscopic openings in old, even chalky paint, while the resins in latex paint are generally too big to seep into anything. But that can be advantageous. The gaps between the larger particles in latex paint allow water vapor to pass through. This makes latex less likely to peel from homes with excessive interior moisture.
Professional Painters Know How To Deal With Oil Base Paint

Professional Painters Know How To Deal With Oil Base Paint

Professional Painter Help

So which kind of paint is better for your house? Sadly, the most straight forward, honest answer I can give you is “it depends.” It depends on the underlying material your exterior was made from (wood, aluminum, vinyl), what kind of paint was used on it previously, how many layers of old paint have been applied… you get the picture. But, my lucky readers are in luck – we give free painting estimates, and of course, there’s always our handy dandy blog.

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