Needing paint recommendations

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Needing paint recommendations

Post by Dan »

I'm out there scraping my 1908 Queen Anne cottage and really want to use 20 yr paint. Was wondering if anyone has experienced "perfect" paint. I'm planning on taking all of the old paint off and doing a quality prep job. Any tips will be appreciated.

Terry G-B

Re: Needing paint recommendations

Post by Terry G-B »

First off, yeah, another cottage. My wife and I are in the first week of painting our cottage. And we have yet to find another Queen Anne cottage here in Des Moines.

Regrettfully this means we are in the same boat. Six colors and a well used 2" sash brush. What we are using is a good primer and exterior acrylic. I've read the acrylic has better adhesion and durability than latex. Getting the paint at discount (thank you neighbor) helped us tremendously. Being slighty gelatinous it spreads great. The manufacturer is Iowa Paint, and considering they have been in business for over 50 years in this climate we are confident in their product.

Word of warning. My wife has spent a good 2 weeks stripping just the porch detail. She'll be back at it today. A constant whirrr of the heat gun. Chemical strippers didn't cut it. We tried 2 different types and they only took more time and effort. Plus the cost would buy us several heat guns. Plus be prepared for repair work. Many tubes of caulk, wood filler, wood harderner, nails, screws, new wood, and a whole assortment of hand tools. Oh, and kiss your social life good-bye for awhile. Unless you consider all those who walk by and comment on how much work that will be.

Good luck, Dan



Re: Needing paint recommendations

Post by Dan »

Thanks for the tips, Terry. Luckily, my house was built around 1908, the end of the Queen Anne era so there is a minimalistic look to it, no scroll work or porch detail. Yeah, its a major project but I'm mentally up for it, I think. I've definitely got some repair work that will really slow me down. Just going to take my time and approach each board as if it were the only board (hehe, its obvious I haven't really started yet). Let us know how it went when you're done. thanks again


Re: Needing paint recommendations

Post by bonnie »

Dan - do one side at a time. At least that way something get's done..... Bonnie in Boston


Re: Needing paint recommendations

Post by Chris »

You'll be hard pressed to find ANY paint that will last 20 years on wooden siding. Even the best paints will wear out around the 12-14 year mark, if not a little sooner.

If you're going to go to all the trouble of doing a quality prep job, don't skimp on paint. Buy a good name brand paint like Benjamin-Moore or Sherwin Williams. I use both (Benjamin-Moore MooreGlo and SW SuperPaint to be specific), and find them both to be excellent paints. I actually choose between the two depending on what kind of primer I use. BM has better alkyd primer, while SW's latex primer is awfully good.


Re: Needing paint recommendations

Post by rollanda »

We are partway through our job of rebuilding, repainting the exterior of our 1905 mostly 4-square, partly Victorian home, and are we getting good at paint!!!! The best paint we've found is Sherwin Williams Duration - they don't even call it paint, they call it an 'exterior coating.' It's unbeatable in our estimation. The stuff never goes on sale, but it's so good it sells well anyway. We've also chosen Sears (don't laugh) Weatherbeater Ultra - because it uses the same bonding technology that the Duration uses - both claim Lifetime guarantee - (you know, more or less, depending on usage, but even the claims are better than others) My hubby used to be a paint chemist, so we've really run the paint guys through their paces over the last couple of years. Here's a tip on Sherwin Williams - they sell mistints at drastically reduced prices - I purchased 80 (ya, eighty) gallons of (interior and exterior)paints, stains, exterior coatings, etc. for a nickle a pop and we've now got plenty of paint for smaller projects all over our house, our friends houses, our church, etc. and the best part is we get to test out the most expensive paints for almost no money. We also picked up 5 gallons of mistinted Duration at $5/gallon which we are using as primer on newly sided areas. You already know that prep is the key. Just stick with it, and don't skimp on quality brushes & paint. Oh, one more tip - before you buy all your paint, purchase some quarts in your chosen colors, put them up on an area of the house already prepped and LIVE with them for a while. Make sure the colors will suit your family in all seasons. Plus, it's a great motivator to see that one lovely, if small, finished area. Good Luck to you!!!!!!!

Ken Holmes

Re: Needing paint recommendations

Post by Ken Holmes »

Hi Dan,

I'd second the comments others have already offered about not expecting your paint job to last 20 years - no matter how careful the prepwork!

Here in central Maine, the only surface I've ever seen that will hold paint that long (sad to say) is, um, vinyl siding. (Back in 1988 I bought an ugly duckling investment house with lime green vinyl siding. The budget didn't allow ripping off the siding, so we painted it a more pleasing color. We sold the house for a nice profit. And I'm happy to say that 14 years later the paint looks great!)

As for houses clad with wood, seven to 10 years is about as good as it gets in this part of the world.

Our own house here in Maine (which also house the offices of The Old House Web) was last painted in 1989.

The house had not been painted in many, many years when we bought it. We prepped carefully and used quality products (Pittsburg pro-line primers and topcoat on the clapboards, and Stulb Old Village paints on the trim.)

We sold the house in 1992 and bought it back again last fall, as part of a long-dreamed-about move back to Maine.

Paint on the northern and eastern sides of the house has held up remarkably well, with very little peeling. (These sides don't get as much direct sunlight, so the wood doesn't move as much, and the paint lasts better.) But after 13 years, even the best of paints have faded a lot - and need attention.

As for the southern and western sides of the house, the previous owners (don't ever do this ... ever!!) took a power-washer to the clapboards and trim. Then, to make matters worse, they never got around to scraping, or priming, or painting -- save for a few sections where they dabbled away with cheap paint mixed with hideous colors.

Needless to say, we've got our hands full as we again get the outside of the house back into shape!

As for paint choices this time, I experimented with a couple of brands and then settled on Behr paints from Home Depot. This choice surprises even me - but the coverage equals or exceeds that of a variety of premium brands I've used over the years. As for longevity? Ask me 10 years from now.

Anyhow, this note rambles a bit, but it seems to me that a long-lasting paint job on an older house comes down to this:

1) Be obsessive about removing any and all loose paint.

2) Never paint directly over weathered wood - it won't hold paint. Scrape and sand until you expose a fresh layer of wood.

3) Clean surfaces thoroughly before priming - and be sure to kill off any mildew.

4) Renail all loose clapboards and trim, and use lots of caulk after you prime.

5) While others might disagree, don't think you must remove all the old paint. Personally, I try to remove anything that is loose or alligatored. With the size of this house, it would take me many years to paint the place if I tried to remove all the old paint. And I'd run the risk of damaging lots of beautiful, 125-year-old Victorian trimwork!

Hope this note helps.

Ken Holmes

Publisher, The Old House Web

Part of the south side of The Old House Web's office, newly repainted


Re: Needing paint recommendations

Post by Dan »

Hey, thank you all for some great information. Now, its time to get started...once I figure out the color scheme, that is.


Re: Needing paint recommendations

Post by Barbara »

Dan, My house isn't nearly as old, but I have found a paint I think is worth checking out. Consumer Reports rates it the highest and my dad has used it and thinks the world of it. Pratt and Lambert Accolade ~$42/gal & Red Seal ~$35/gal. It comes in various sheens.

I bought a quart and painted a section of my house and I have to say it looks really nice and has quite a different look and feel compared to some of the other paints mentioned in the message thread.

The link will give you all the details about the paint and a store locator. I live in Sacramento and there is only one store in the entire area that carries the paint. Good Luck


Re: Needing paint recommendations

Post by Misty-Anne »


Like many others, I'd say 20 years is a bit optimitic (although a few claim these kinds of results). Other than prep-work and restoration (using 2-part epoxy if necessary), I'd say quality paint is key. We've used Benjamin Moore and California brands with good success. There is no doubt that they cost more, but they apply easier, last longer, and fade less. This was the mantra of all professional restorers I chatted with in the Boston area. My dad historically used Sears Weatherbeater and actually had good results, but Consumer Reports have given them mixed reviews over the years.

After much debate and consulation here and with professionals, the wisdom seems to be oil based primer topped with 2 coats of latex paint. On particulay dry areas (like window frames), we also used the classic painter's prep to re-hydrate the wood prior to painting. Also, don't skimp on your paint brushes. If you take care of them, they'll last and last and won't leave fibers behind and make your hand ache (quite so bad anyway).

To apply the paint, we used a medium knapped roller. Then, while still wet, re-brushed the primer to get rid of the texture and ensure coverage in all areas. Same procedure for the latex.

Good luck! Misty-Anne

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