5 posts / 0 new
Last post
Stucco painting

I'm in quite a predicament here and any help would really be appreciated.

Our old stucco and cedar shake house really needed a paint job and we finally decided that this was the year to do it, since painting prices seem to have come down significantly in our area. After looking around and getting several estimates, we settled on a large, nationwide company to do the job. This company has a two year warranty on their job and carries insurance.

We settled on the colors with a colorist and the manager for the local branch of this company wrote up a proposal, breaking down the different components of the house, how many coats they will do on it and the type of paint they will be use. For the stucco (which was done about 10 years ago and has never been painted or primed), I wanted them to use an elastomeric paint and he agreed that that would be the best product to use.

Fast forward to yesterday. The painters had been here for a week painting and the house was looking great. In fact, the house was almost finished. Here's the problem: To make a long story short, I found out that somebody made a mistake and did not use an elastometic paint on the stucco until after it was all painted. (I truly believe that this was an innocent oversight and not an attempt to rip us off.) The elastomeric paint that was supposed to be used was a primer and paint in one. Instead, they used just regular house paint and nothing was primed. So, basically, the situation we have is we have one layer of regular house paint that was rollered over unprimed stucco.

I am extremely concerned that the stucco on our house only has a layer of regular paint on it -- No primer, no elastomeric paint. I have called several painting stores and talked to a couple of handymen that I know. The answers I get are conflicting, ranging from "It's just fine. Don't worry about it" to "Oh, no. I don't know what to tell you. Someone's going to have to sandblast and paint or redash your house. You can't put elastometic over it now because it won't adhere."

My question is, what is the real story on this? Is it OK the way it is? If not, what should be done to make sure that we are not going to have a problem with peeling and cracking? The manager admits that he made a mistake and sheepishly said to me this morning, "Well, we do have the two year warranty. If any peeling or cracking will happen it will probably happen within that time." I'm not buying it and I think he knew that wasn't going to fly. I told him I needed to do some research today and get back to him. I can see that he is sweating over this.

If it were you, what would you do and what would you ask to be done/paid for by the painting company. If I'm off my rocker, please feel free to say so. I don't want to be a jerk and ask for something I'm not entitled to, but I also want to make sure the job is done correctly and I am not going to run into major problems in the future.

If painting, working with stucco in some capacity, etc. is your expertise, can you tell me about your background with you answer.

Thank you so much in advance!

A. Spruce
Re: Stucco painting

At the very least, your bill should be adjusted to reflect what was used rather than what was bid.

I've painted a number of stucco homes over the years and have never primed or used elastomeric paint over stucco and I've never had failures or problems with my techniques.

Primer is generally cheaper than paint, which is one of the major reasons it is used, though priming before painting helps to seal the wood and any surface dust/dirt and provides a more stable surface for the paint to adhere to. You'll never go wrong using primer, though it isn't an absolute necessity to use it either.Will you have problems or failures down the line, I can't say, as I'm not familiar with elasomeric products or how they must be applied.

Hopefully Ordjen will add his comments in here. He's well versed with a variety of products and always has good info on both products and technique.

Hank Bauer
Re: Stucco painting

Number one be glad you did not get the elastromeric paint.
The elastromeric will trap water and small blisters will form than increase over time.All you have to ask the painter is what happens if water gets behind the elastermic coating and he will tell you it can't get in. But if it does it can't get out?
As for the piant direct to unpainted stucco you should be fine as long as the manufacture states that it is acceptable to be applied over stucco and one coat over stucco is in my opinion better than two coats it will allow the stucco to breath better.
Next time you need to paint raw stucco use a mineral paint or a Silin mineral Stain for masonry.

Hank Bauer
Re: Stucco painting

You asked about my background.
Plaster and Stucco only for the past 32 years.
Most work is on buildings from the 1700's thru 1860's
Also do new work am 73 work every day and manage a crew of 12 plaster/lathers the baby plaster has been with me for 25 yr's the senior plaster has worked with me for 32 yr's.
Most of our work if Historical repairs.
And the most profitable repairs are correcting improper type materials that were used, most failure occur any time after the say five years.
Last year I completed a church that had been coated with elastromic the only way to remove it was by Sponge Jet Blasting.
I still use the old Fram Oil filter ad. " You Can Pay now or pay me later"

Re: Stucco painting

Thanks to both of you! Wow -- Great advice and from two people that sounds like they really know what they are talking about! I have gotten a mix of opinions when I have asked a variety of people today. My family and I just went out for a bit to take a breather and I said to my husband that I don't know what to think -- The opinions I have gotten are from completely opposite ends of the spectrum. Whew. A million thank yous.

Hank, if I am hearing you correctly, it sounds like if the manufacturer says that its OK to apply to stucco, this is actually how you would have recommended the job be done? (Other than using the products that you mentioned.)

Excellent, excellent information ... And thank you again to both of you!

If anyone else has any thoughts of their own, anything to add or even just agreeing with the previous posters, I would appreciate your thoughts.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

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