13 posts / 0 new
Last post
Cord
New home paint failure
Cord

Ok, so we have this place up north that we sided this past summer. As I was installing the siding, we'd paint it so we wouldn't have to edge as much. For this reason, the painting occurred over 2 months time. Temps varied from the 70's to the 40's by the time we had finished. Paint was rolled on with two coats using a small diameter frameless roller, the corners were edged using brushes. Without naming a brand, I will say that it's a very high quality self priming latex flat made by a major manufacturer. The siding is the discontinued Certainteed cement board.

Almost immediately after painting the first wall I noticed problems with the finish. The areas that were exposed to rain had formed streaks and white spots that looked like hard water drops. I touched up these spots only to have them reappear after the next rain. The problem is not isolated to just one wall, as all the other walls are showing the same issue. This being a seasonal cabin, I haven't been up there for a couple of months. When I saw it last weekend, I was surprised by how bad the finish was looking. It was almost as if the paint was washing right off the wall! Two months later and the color of the screw heads was already showing through. At this pace, I'll have cement board showing by mid summer.

Conversations with the local paint rep was fruitless. I turned to corporate and they gladly comp'ed me 5 gallons of paint, but I still don't know why the finish failed in the first place. It's now pretty obvious that I'll be repainting the house, but I want to know what went wrong the first time so the mistake isn't repeated. Did I do something wrong? If the surface is failing, can I paint over it? Do I need to strip, pressure wash or wash with TSP?

Wish I could post pictures, but after an hour of trying, I can't get the file size or image size to be compatible with the site's requirements.

A. Spruce
Re: New home paint failure
A. Spruce

IMHO, paint and primer all-in-one is a white elephant, particularly under severe conditions, such as an exterior application. I'd consider it for a repaint of an interior wall, but would not use it as a first or primary coating. The point of primer is to penetrate the surface of the material, locking the product and any light surface dust into the pores of the material and providing a clean, stable base to apply your top coat. When you mix paint and primer, it becomes neither primer, so it can't grab, nor is it paint, so it isn't as durable.

As to how to deal with your current situation of a failed paint job, depends on how bad it is. If it is peeling, then it needs to be stripped and start over. If it is just faded and streaking, then you can probably get by with a good washing and starting over with primer first, then paint of choice. I, personally, recommend sticking with dealer brands over big box offerings.

dj1
Re: New home paint failure
dj1

Quote: " Temps varied from the 70's to the 40's by the time we had finished"

Read the label on your paint can about applying exterior paint in cold temps. I'm sure you will find a warning about temps below 45 F and wet conditions.

Quote: "For this reason, the painting occurred over 2 months time"

You can't stretch an exterior paint job, especially when you expect bad weather for such a long period of time. A good exterior paint job must be completed much faster, under the same conditions to obtain uniformity and best results.

About a primer: Spruce is right, you do need a real primer and a high quality one.

Wait for stable weather conditions (...yeah right...in some areas that never happens) to repaint.

ordjen
Re: New home paint failure
ordjen

Sounds like you are experiencing extreme "surfactant leaching". This is where the water soluble pigments of the paint can migrate to the surface, especially where the paint has not completely cured. Acrylic paints can take up to a month to completely cure. You want to avoid rain for 24 hours after a paint job. Also, bad dew can cause damage. Those 45 degree minimums are for 24 hours after the paint job, not just at the time of actual painting!

It will not hurt to let the damaged paint remain until good weather returns, Just give it a good power wash before commencing with the new paint job.

You did not state if the Certainteed product was pre-primed? It is not impossible that you are getting some alkaline bleed through also. Alkali could also cause whitish markings.This is where a good primer suitable for alkaline surfaces would be advisable. Be aware that all water based primers obtain their optimum sealing ability after about 24 hours of drying/curing time. If you paint too soon, the water soluble elements just leach on through.

Cord
Re: New home paint failure
Cord

I wasted a couple more hours today trying to upload pictures. Every time I get a error message saying the file type was "invalid". Any.suggestions appreciated.

I think it might be surfactant leaching, but wouldn't the paint eventually cure? Time seems to be indicating that it did not cure and is in fact washing off. Surface is definetly thinner than it was several months ago.

Just to clarify, it never took us more than a couple of hours to paint. Just did the work in stages over several months, painting as the siding was installed. Some was painted in warm weather, some in cold. Regardless, the results were the same.

I don't think the cement board was factory primed. I did consult the paint manufacturer before the project and they did not recommend the use of a primer. The paint is not flaking off. It's washing off.

ordjen
Re: New home paint failure
ordjen

I, for one, would like to know exactly what paint you used. Most national manufacturers make multiple grades, every where from that notorious "contractor's grade" to really good paint. Don't rely on merely that it is Benjamin Moore , Sherwin Williams, etc, but that it is their better grade. Most paint store personnel will be honest in telling you what quality you are buying. ( according to Spruce, big box store people don't even know what paint is! ). :)

If you look on the label and see "calcium carbonate" under the pigment ingredients, you can be sure it is not top line paint. This is chalk! Also, some version of acetate under the resins is also a give a way of quality. Avoid them! 100% acrylic is usually the top notch resin. $30 per gallon is the entrance level for quality flat exterior paint. Higher sheens are slightly higher.

Cord
Re: New home paint failure
Cord

This stuff cost me $175 for 5 gallons of flat. That'll put it close to $40 a gallon.

A. Spruce
Re: New home paint failure
A. Spruce
ordjen wrote:

according to Spruce

Ordjen, if you don't already know, I happen to hold you in high regard. It is my hope that you respond to most of the paint questions asked of us because you offer honest knowledge, actual knowledge, of the products available. While our products of choice might vary, our mission is the same, that the people asking questions of us get the best answer possible.

You are correct, whether a dealer brand or big box, paint quality varies, and it is up to the consumer to ask for the best possible paint for their application. It is also of note to keep in mind that quality of paint will depend on the circumstances, those who care will choose a top quality paint - regardless of brand, those who don't care will buy whatever is cheapest, be damned the outcome.

Jack
Re: New home paint failure
Jack

Here are Cord's photos

ordjen
Re: New home paint failure
ordjen

Jeez, the streaking is so uniform that it almost looks like you were deliberately trying to antique the siding! Other than the weather/moisture explanations already given, I can't say further what is going on. I have Hardi-Plank on my own house, which I have painted twice now with flat, top quality paint, first ten years ago with Miller's, and recently with Behr Ultra Flat. Both directly over the old finish and without a primer.Neither reacted in such a fashion, even though here in Portland, we are subject to significant evening cool off and dew.

Are you aware of why Certainteed got out of the cement siding business? Were they having complaints. I would not rule out some kind of alkaline leaching. If this is the case, I would definitely prime the siding with a masonry primer designed to neutralize the high alkalinity. This might be a safety margin to consider in any event. Do have the paint store tint your primer down close to your finish color, so as not to be fighting going over stark white. Also, with any of the water based primers, they give their maximum sealing after 24 hours. If something water soluble is leaching through, re-coating too soon will allow it to just keep on coming through. After 24 hours, it will not. Of course, an oil primer will also stop water soluble stains, such as tannins in cedar wood.

ordjen
Re: New home paint failure
ordjen

Just did a quick Google search: www.classaction.org/certainteed-fiber-cement-siding
Looks like they have had problems since the early 2000's, some of which sound like yours. Some complaints noted white spotting and paint failure.

Now I am leaning toward the high alkaline theory! Sherwin Williams writes concerning cement board,"A high quality acrylic masonry primer will fortify the mildew and efforesence ( i.e. alkaline leaching) resistance."

Pages

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.