Home>Discussions>PAINTING & FINISHING>Permanent Exterior Coating versus Standard Paint
11 posts / 0 new
Last post
Robren
Permanent Exterior Coating versus Standard Paint

My husband and I are considering a permanent exterior coating rather than standard paint for our house. We have a two-story contemporary colonial sided with clapboard that is currently finished with a stain. Can we use these products over a stain? I cannot seem to find any objective reviews of the various "permanent" products out there. Are they more protective against wind-driven rain, as claimed? Also, how environmentally sound are these products? Several companies are based in Massachusetts. One is called Rhino Shield, another Lifetyme Paint. What about the "lifetime" warranties offered? What if the company goes out of business?

ordjen
Re: Permanent Exterior Coating versus Standard Paint

Robren,

Look back in the posts. This topic has been discussed before.

Mariag
Re: Permanent Exterior Coating versus Standard Paint

Hi,
We are also considering these products and I am so surprised that I can't find independent reviews etc. I have searched these TOH boards for 'permanent exterior coating' as well as the specific brands and cannot find anything. Could someone lead us to the earlier discussions? We have a colonial with clapboard and an issue with no sun at all on the house front....so, plenty of mold.
Thanks,
Maria

goldhiller
Re: Permanent Exterior Coating versus Standard Paint

Okay, I'll stick my neck out here and offer up a few considerations for thought.

These permanent coatings are thick and they don't "breathe", so to speak. This becomes a huge issue when applied to wood siding...particualrly so when on a house that may not/ does not have an interior vapor barrier. Most older houses do not. Yes, if there are a couple coats of old oil-based paint on the inside of the exterior walls, this serves as a semi-decent VB, but it is not like having a layer of 6 mil plastic or better under the drywall/plaster.

Even if your house does have a plastic VB on the interior, these coatings would still not be advisable IMO. Reason being that you would then have two VBs and this is a no-no. Any moisture that makes it's way into the stud bays, etc.......then has no way out at all. It cannot dry to the interior or to the exterior. Think terrarium.

When warm moist air migrates thru these walls during the heating season/winter ...and enters the stud bays,etc...... it condenses and collects on the wood, the insulation and finally migrates to and thru the sheathing....where it then wets the backside of your wood siding. If enough accumulates and it can't dry out fast enough.......the wood siding suffers accordingly. If that problem is appreciable, paint will peel from the siding which should then be a heads-up that there is a problem.

Latex paints are recommended these days over the use of oil-based paints for the exterior of the average house. One reason being that latex paints will allow the transmission of water vapor thru them (to varying degrees depending upon type of paint) ...and this allows for some degree of drying to the exterior side/great out-of-doors. If that moisture cannot escape, wood rot will follow. (Even latex paints have their limits as concerns the rate of vapor transmission. If you have a big interior moisture problem, they can still peel. This is most often seen on the exterior walls of bathrooms or kitchens where exhaust fans are not installed and/or used.)

Coat your house with one these "permanent" coatings and there goes all of your exterior side "breathe-ability".

Think about this: Tyvek, Typar, 30# felt and all the other house-wraps are designed to shed water droplets, while still allowing for water vapor transmission. There is a reason for that.

Bottom line......I would not personally put one of these coatings on our wood clapboard house.

There used to be a website (easily Googled) ....devoted to exposing the travails of homeowners who had these coatings applied to their houses (replete with photographs), but......they were sued and forced to take it down... a year or so ago.

ordjen
Re: Permanent Exterior Coating versus Standard Paint

Goldhiller,

This has been my concern with these products too. I have been on some of their websites and they claim that their product does have a good permeabilty rating. Who knows?

I have also wondered about the use of "Dryvit" type synthetic stucco. These products use styrofoam as the base. Styrofoam is a closed cell plastic ( the cells are sealed and don't allow water to enter). This is why styrofoam is used for flotation devices. Does synthetic stucco present the same risk of moisture damage within walls?

Back in the early days of aluminum siding, it was not uncommon for large sheets of aluminum foil to be used as a backing under the siding. I remember reading of HUD having checked on some of these homes years later and finding that the internal walls were rotting away. Again an example of what happens if moisture is trapped in the walls!

NOLA_bees
Re: Permanent Exterior Coating versus Standard Paint

I am a new poster here, but have been browsing around TOH as I have rebuilt my New Orleans home since Katrina. I stumbled on this thread and thought an experience I had in 2007 may be of help to others here.

I have an 80 year old 2-story home with lap cedar siding. The house has been in the family and was well-maintained prior to the storm, including frequent paint jobs. One of the most annoying things about living in New Orleans is dealing with mold and mildew; we typically hired someone to pressure wash our home every year (every other year if funds were tight). After Katrina, we were forced to replace about 30% of the siding wood and, respectively, needed a fresh coat of paint. We heard about a company called Rhinoshield from neighbors and on the local radio station. Skepticl, my wife and I had them come out for an estimate and to hear about the product. I was surpised to find out that the product claimed to make it where we would never have to paint again. The price was a few thousand dollars more than a regular paint job (not sure exactly what percentage more, but not exorbanant) and about the same as some vinyl siding estimates we received from our contractor and another local company.

After seeing a few references and talking with others who had done it, we made the leap of faith to proceed with the ceramic coating. Obviously, I was most concerned about the breathability of the paint, but was assured that it was vapor permeable (sp?). Nearly four years after the job has been completed, I am proud (and relieved) to say that we got our money's worth. We have not had to have the house pressure washed due to mold or mildew, the color is still vivid, and the overall appearance looks as though it was painted recently. We have recommended this company to neighbors and friends on the Mississippi coast, and they have all had equally rewarding experiences.

Although I can't vouch for other coating companies or those in other cities, I can say that we are most pleased with the decision to use the Rhino. This year would be the normal cycle year for new paint, and the wife and I will be able to do another project instead. Absolutely no peeling paint anywhere (even on the west side, which takes a beating daily). No mold or mildew, and no signs of moisture issues. We most likely saved the original windows by putting it on them. Overall, very pleased with the product and the company. Best of all, the wife loves it. Amen.

kevingunn
Re: Permanent Exterior Coating versus Standard Paint

As stated in another question, I am a dealer of Extreme Performance Permanent Paint. There is a big difference in coatings on the market. Rhino Shield has a "sticky" primer, we do not. Our primer dries in 30 minutes. Our perm rating which is the rating given showing breathability is a 50.4. That is the whole systems rating. Other products rating actually drop once the top coat is applied. The only reason that our paint will fail is because of installation issues. If any coating on the market is not applied thick enough, it will act like an ordinary paint....which, like ordinary paint, will fail in 3-5 years. Our warranty is 100% labor and Materials. You will never have to pay us a dime if our product fails. Big question, "what if we go out of business?" Then our warranty is also covered by our manufacturer, who has been in business since 1919.
www.permanentpaintingnj.com is our site. We are based in NJ, but we have other Dealers across the Nation.
Kevin

ordjen
Re: Permanent Exterior Coating versus Standard Paint

So now we are getting down to brass tacks: "Performance Permanent Painting System is warranteed ... for as long as you own your home". Read: we know that most Americans move frequently and we are making enough profit to amortize the occasional failure claim. We don't really have faith enough in our product to make it a transferable warrantee.

"The only reason that our paint will fail is because of installation issues". Kind of what I have been saying right along - Good preparation is imperative. Good preparation and quality new generation acrylic paints and primers will give excellent results.

Unlike oil paints of generations past, acrylics breathe and stretch with the extremes of heat and moisture to which exterior paints are subjected. Failure of acrylic paints is most commonly seen when going over older homes where there are several coats of oil paint underneath. Every coat of oil paint was an additional vapor barrier. Further, oil paint gets more brittle with age. Indeed, many paint chemists caution against going over old heavy accumulations of oil paint. Oil does not expand at the same rate as acrylic paint and the acrylic paint can actually break the bond of poorly adhered oil paint and pull it off the siding! Of course, if you remove the old, poorly adhered oil paint first, there is no such problem.

Brother Ordjen rests - Amen :)

Dennis Morgan
Re: Permanent Exterior Coating versus Standard Paint
Robren wrote:

My husband and I are considering a permanent exterior coating rather than standard paint for our house. We have a two-story contemporary colonial sided with clapboard that is currently finished with a stain. Can we use these products over a stain? I cannot seem to find any objective reviews of the various "permanent" products out there. Are they more protective against wind-driven rain, as claimed? Also, how environmentally sound are these products? Several companies are based in Massachusetts. One is called Rhino Shield, another Lifetyme Paint. What about the "lifetime" warranties offered? What if the company goes out of business?

Robren,
Yes, you can use the product over the stain. I have been installing ceramics since they first came out as roof coatings over 15 years ago. I actually even tried to install it to the headers on a Nascar for Robert Yates one time to cool the engine to win the Daytona 500. It worked, but it just would not bond to a substrate that was 1200 + degrees doing 200 mph. Unfortunately, that was the only unsuccessful application I ever performed with a ceramic material and d d not get my lifetine unlimited access to all Nascar sanctioned races.

You have to be careful who you deal with on any new product. Now that the technology has progressed enough to suspend the ceramic in an acrylic paint, contractors are popping out of the woodwork charging a fortune to do the work with a suede shoes salesman at the forefront.
First of all, the warranties are worth the paper they are written on. Companies change names every day. Do your home work on the owners of the companies. The most popular one out there now actually started the new company after failing once already. Be careful (always( of companies that make and apply the coating. How wonderful it must be to be the manufacturer that recommends the applicator and backs whatever they say and vice versa. As for the ceramic paint itself.

Here are the pros and cons. ( of the top 3. In my opinion) (i am very accredited in the field, but still learning every day)

• Longevity – It comes with a 20-year and up to a lifetime transferable material warranty from chipping, peeling or flaking. But forget the paper and research yourself where and why ceramics in general are used. It's properties are consistent in all fields.
* It retains it's color and gloss under UV light better than any product on the market although it's not talked about nearly as much as it's insulating properties. why? I have no idea. The sun does not change the color over time. the gloss and color retention is incredible. People will actually start to paint their houses white again without it yellowing or fading in 5 years.
• Class A fire and smoke rating – It’s a strong rating. that's a fact. not very useful in this application, but fact.
• Extremely high Mold and mildew resistant – It’s also less likely for wood rot to occur due to the properties of the primer sealers used with it and the properties of the ceramic itself being highly resistant to moisture.
• It is permanent – It permanently bonds with any paintable surface. Whatever is their, If any other paint can be applied to it, then it will stick to it as well when applied properly. if your unsure of what properly is, read the bucket. it's printed right on the side of every paint can manufactured or sold in the US.
• Flexibility – It expands and contracts with changing temperatures. This, and the next property I will list, is the absolute key to the warranty and success of the products on the market today. The 2 together are what you don't get with other coatings on the market today. It's always one or the other.
•2nd key factor is it is Breathable – It has a breathability (perm) rating average of 32.7 with the top 3 manufacturers. That simply means that it keeps water particles out but allows water vapor to escape from the interior, thus reducing the chances of mold and mildew occurring, reduces the chance of trapping moisture or chlorides. these 3 things make up 955 o fall coating failure and ceramics eliminates them by just being what it is. Everyone is selling it on it's insulating properties and that's why it's getting a mixed reviews. Who cares if it insulates. You will never have to paint again if the work is done properly. Ust the cash you would have had to use to paint again in 5 years and re-insulate.
•It has Lower V.O.C.’s – Most available now rate at 80 - 85 g/l compared to approximately 200 g/l of traditional "VOC compliant" house paint. So even the most devout tree hugger "REALLY" has something positive to talk about. That's incredible. That's almost like saying you don't have to spit it out if it taste's good. Eat it!!! I can eat it and will not gain weight!!!! Seriously, California has been trying for years to achieve this with a material that actually provides barrier protection. Hats off to then for leading the way to force us to do it right. But, for 50 year they've painted more often and leading the way for us all to do the same.
• Second to last is there are variety of colors to choose from – It’s just like paint in that way.
* Last and least, but most talked about for some reason, is it does provide a level of added R protection even though everyone is afraid to publish it because it varies based on too many other factors in this particular application. A lot higher rating is achieved if the roof of your home is coated with a ceramic coating. The walls is not where the majority of the heat in your home is entering from. Just stick your head in the attic if you want to know where the ceramic coatings will give you the most added R rating.
I do encourage everyone to read "Treehuggers" article on ceramic insulating paint. Use ceramic paint to "never have to paint again" not to insulate your home.

Con's (only two)
1. You better like the colors you pick because it will last andcon # 2.
2. cost. it's expensive. The reason it is expensive is because it will last a lifetime if done properly. A lot of prep has to be done to make sure the substrate is sound, dry, and sealed. By dry, i mean checked with a moisture meter, not to the touch. If it rains, there shouldn't be work performed for at least 24 hours of low humidity to draw the moisture back out of the substrate. after washing, 48 hours. Always tested prior to coating. It has to be done right to work. For the first time since lead was removed from paint, the painter will have the material tell on him for not doing the prep. Until now, the coating wouldn't last long enough before needing painted again anyway due to the life of the coating just running out.

the days of a painter doing your home n 2-3 days are over if he's using a good ceramic and plans on standing behind his warranty. So do your homework and talk to the applicators. I'm sure you already know what the salesman is going to say.

I wish you good luck finding someone in your area who can do the work properly for you.

Hope I helped out in making your decision.

Dennis Morgan
[email protected]

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

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