Questions about painting and possibly adding siding to stucco house?
I am renovating a 50 year old house with a stucco exterior. I would like to paint the exterior a different color.
Some on-line research has left me confused. Some sites suggest you should not paint stucco. This seems to be a bit of a non-issue with me, since the stucco on my house is already painted a rather unappealing tan color.
My first question relates to lead paint. Given the age of the house, it is possible that the current paint, or some paint underneath is, is lead-based. I cannot think how painting a layer of non-lead-based paint can be a safety problem. If anything, it would seem to give my family an added layer of protection against any lead paint underneath. But, as I'm no expert, I'd like to hear if I'm missing something.
My second question relates to siding. I prefer the look of wood siding to stucco. However, I read that to do siding, I'd need to scrape off the stucco exterior. That raises at least two concerns - first, that certainly WOULD seem to create exposure risks if there is any layer of lead paint on the stucco. Second, it sounds like a task that is simply beyond what I'm ready to undertake. Painting a house seems pretty easy by comparison. However, if anyone thinks there is a pretty easy DIY fix to get siding on this house, I'd love to hear it.
My third question is, assuming siding is out, and I want to paint the stucco exterior, is there any need to remove prior layers of paint? Again, as noted above, I have concern that there might be lead paint layers underneath and I'd rather just paint over it. Stripping paint off stucco also sounds like a task that is beyond what I can undertake, as I've heard stucco is somewhat delicate and I'd worry not just about lead paint exposure, but also that I'd hurt the stucco. Any thoughts on this from some one who knows would be appreciated.
Finally (whew!) once we get all that out of the way, assuming I will NOT do siding, and I can paint over the existing paint, is there a good summary of how to paint a previously painted stucco exterior? I have read some competing stuff. One person suggests using strong water jets to be sure the stucco is clean, another person says that the stucco is so delicate you should use your garden hose only on fine mist to clean it prior to painting. One person suggests using a certain type of roller, another suggests a paint sprayer. Is there a good and reputable guide for this?