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Old 04-23-2012, 01:21 PM   #1
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Exterior paint finishes

Hi all, I'm new to this forum so please feel free to point me toward another discussion thread if a similar question has already been answered elsewhere.

We're going to be repainting a new-to-us 1948 Cape Cod-style home with cedar lap siding and for the first time in our DIY lives we're hiring a contractor to do it for us. We're doing a 3-color scheme (gray body, off white trim, black doors and shutters) and my question is related to the finish of the paint. When we've done exterior painting in the past we've always gone with satin body and semi-gloss trim. The contractor is recommending satin body, semi-gloss doors, and flat finish on the windows, shutters, door frames and fascia. We'll be using Sherwin Williams SuperPaint.

I'm aware that semi-gloss will highlight existing flaws, but I'm stumped as to why he would recommend flat finish. None of the paint is in really bad condition, and if anything it's the body of the home that has more flaws - the windows and shutters especially appear to be in pretty good shape.

I'll ask the contractor about his logic on this, but I'm curious what you all think. Is it strange to use paint with a flat finish on exterior trim areas? I lean toward asking him to use semi-gloss on everything but the body of the house, but I appreciate your feedback and opinions.


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Old 04-23-2012, 01:44 PM   #2
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I've never heard of doing it that way. Flat is harder to clean and keep clean.


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Old 04-23-2012, 04:08 PM   #3
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Not sure I follow the logic either unless he is going for some sort of flat black trim look?
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:13 PM   #4
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It will be interesting to hear why he recommends this.

Might be a very good reason.

Or not.
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:50 PM   #5
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What he ^^ said
Flat for any exterior purpose,IMO, is not a good idea.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:17 PM   #6
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It's most likely a decorative scheme. Flat has a certain appeal and attractiveness, elegance. The pics below are a house I did a few years back where I used all Cabot's solid stain, which is basically flat. The people loved it. It looked really rich. I've also seen the scheme he's recommending before, though not with satin body. It could also be that the trim is so dogged up he doesn't want to illuminate it with semi-gloss. These are the only two pics that survived my hard drive melt down.
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Exterior paint finishes-074.jpg   Exterior paint finishes-img00121-20100501-1233.jpg  
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:18 PM   #7
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I have never used exterior flat. Always assumed would be as difficult to clean as interior flat- and the door is the busiest place so would assume it will get dirty. I also don't think it sheds water very well, which may not matter on the front door if it's protected by a storm door, but could be a little more important on the shutters, especially if they have any horizontal surfaces. Not saying flat exterior doesn't look good, as the above pictures say it can, but not convinced flat black shutters and doors will look good for very long.


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