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robertgrumbles 07-22-2013 03:16 PM

Exterior Painting - Stucco

I have a 2 story house in Florida that I am purchasing. The house has been vacant for a while (foreclosure) and the outside needs to be sealed and painted. This is my first "real" home and I've never done this before. I'm getting a contractor to do the work this time around (maybe I'll DIY next time) but I was wondering if anyone knew what the best method was, what kind of questions I should be asking. Should I insist they do anything in particular for long lasting results? The 1st floor is block construction and the 2nd floor is frame. The house was built in 2006 and this is the first time it will be repainted. I am painting it the same color. There are a lot of cracks from settling, but none of them are major (or so I was told). I have met with 2 contractors so far for estimates. One said he was going to use something called sealcrete and then paint with flex seal. The other one said he would use sealer and primer and then a regular paint (I'm assuming latex, but he didn't specify. I still haven't gotten the official estimate yet). Any help or advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks!


Pro Painter 07-22-2013 06:03 PM

Hello, Tyler

Here's some advice, since I don't think you know these contractors very well, nor their workmanship, and you want to find someone who knows their trade, not necessarily to learn their trade yourself: Get references of other jobs they have done in the area, and call each one of them and see what their previous customers think of their work. Get ones several years old, so you can find out how long their work lasted. And, last but not least, get onto Angie's List and find some more local folks.

Good luck

Jmayspaint 07-22-2013 06:57 PM

The above is good advice. Hard to tell from here how legit any given contractor is or isn't.

I will say that using seal krete as a primer on stucco, really any masonry, has worked very well for me in the past.
There is a big old stucco building I drive by on the way home every day. It was in a similar condition as what you describe. We primed with seal krete, caulked the bigger cracks, and top coated with elastomeric. That was 14 yrs ago, and its holding up amazingly well.

The main thing seal krete original does is stabilize old chalky/crumbly surfaces. A house sitting in the FL sun for that long is almost certain to have oxidation problems. That is possibly your main issue. If a stabilizing product like seal krete is not used, other steps must be taken to deal with the oxidation. Priming alone is not generally sufficient.

There are other ways to deal with oxidation, heavy washing/scrubbing helps, and there are paint additives that help paint stick to 'chalky' surfaces.

Rub your hand across the stucco. If any loose matter, or a chalky substance comes off on your hand, you have an oxidation problem. And that must be dealt with first, to ensure the success of a top coat. The best paint on earth will fail over an oxidized surface.

robertgrumbles 07-22-2013 08:04 PM

That is great advice. Thank you!

I am a member of Angie's List. That is where I got these contractor's info. That is great advice about the seal krete. The first contractor did rub his hand on the stucco. Although he said there was no chalk (which now I know what he meant) he still recommended seal krete. After your post, I'm inclined to agree, if that seems to be the best stuff. I would rather use the best materials and have the job last a long time. Labor is the big cost. If it costs an extra couple hundred bucks for better paint and materials, I would rather do that.

What paint would you suggest for the top coat? I read somewhere today that Sherwin Williams duration is regarded as the best, but I have no idea. Should I use something with flex seal or not? Again, I'd like to use the best materials, so whatever information you can give is really helpful. I understand what you are saying about the references, but I'm working on a pretty tight schedule at this point. I don't think anyone is going to give references of people who won't say they did a good job.

Jmayspaint 07-22-2013 08:27 PM

I'm no expert on stucco finishes. I've had luck with elastomeric.

And I should clarify, the building I referred to is in a cool Mtn climate.
Seal Krete is a fairly well known product. I think its made in FL, its not as readily available farther north is seems. I've never seen a bad review about it.

There's some other guys here that know stucco, in hot climates.

ToolSeeker 07-23-2013 07:09 AM

Sherwin Williams makes a Lovon line you can look into for a second choice. The only thing I disagree with is the Angies list. I personally feel it represents nothing if there is a dispute over money to get even you get a bad write-up, if there is a dispute over a contract, you get a bad write-up. My point is there are reviews on there for bad contractors and some for just spite and revenge. How do you tell the difference? I have never been on the site and will never go there.

robertgrumbles 07-23-2013 07:29 AM

Thanks to both of you again. Very helpful. Hopefully someone with FL experience will weigh in. That would be very helpful as well. I am reading up on elastomeric paint. Do either of you have experience with this? Do you recommend it? Would it be overkill to use it and seal krete together? It seems like if I used both of these products that the paint job would last a really long time before needing to be painted again. Thanks again for your help!

As far as Angie's list goes, I personally try to take in the totality of the reviews. If the reviews are overwhelmingly positive, then I try to take a look at the bad reviews and see what happened. Usually you can tell if there was just a disagreement or if the customer is just a jerk. It does stink though if someone is just getting started and only has a few reviews and some of them are negative.

Kay Athos 11-10-2013 11:36 AM

I live in California and have a stucco house. The exterior hasn't been painted in many years. The front of the house and the back have kept a new look (north and south sides) but the other two sides have badly faded (Kelly Moore paint) and the west side has some bad chipping of paint.
How should I start? I have a good painter who is very conscientious but feels that a good thick coat of paint will do it. I'm not so sure. Kay

Gymschu 11-10-2013 12:32 PM

Check out Sherwin-Williams Sherlastic.

Pro Painter 11-10-2013 12:46 PM

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

Adhesive bonds of one-thing-to-another are links in the chain that holds the stuff-on-top to the stuff-at-the-bottom.

One needs to use some judgement as to surface prep before putting something on top of whatever is there.

The best topcoat in the world made by the biggest-name-brand company is not going to glue what-is-there, marginally stuck to the underlying stucco, back down. There is also the mechanical/chemical compatibility question of the new stuff to the old stuff.

Ask your painter to do some adhesion-tests of existing coatings before putting new material on top of the old, and also some patch-tests to ensure the proposed-new and existing-old products bond together adequately.

It's not a really big deal, it's just the idea of being able to predict a result before diving-right-in with a lot of work and cost and then maybe being happy for a long time, or maybe only for a short time.

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