Repaint a Stucco Home
My name is David Worthington and Im the owner operator of Worthington’s Painting Inc. We are a small custom residential repaint company located about 25 miles north west of Orlando in Apopka, FL. (Repaint Stucco Home)
In this article we will be covering in great detail how to repaint stucco home (deep in degredation).
Including the recommended processes and products from Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams. Remember before commenting that we are located in Central Florida and the topic is repainting stucco with heavy chalk (deep degradation).
Lets talk about degradation and explain what were looking at in the picture to the right. Degradation simply means degrading or breaking down of something. Here we are referring to the natural break down of the paint. (Repaint Stucco Home)
What is paint made up of (simplify) PBS. Pigment, binder, and solvent. Pigment is the colorant (chalk), binder is the glue (latex) and solvent is the (water) which evaporates out leaving a solid colored film.
Paint is predominantly broken down by 2 natural occurrences. Ultra violet rays from the sun and rain. Ultra violet rays from the sun, damage the bond between the pigment and binder causing them to hang loose on the surface of the film. Then the rain washes them away causing what we call “faded paint”.
Aesthetics and Protection
Not only is faded paint not pretty to look at, but its also an indication that the integrity of your coating is no longer sound. This simply means you have less protection for your building materials. No need to freak out, 90% of all homes we encounter look like this. (Repaint Stucco Home)
Paint failure isn’t a bad word or something you should take personally. Every paint job will experience paint failure sooner or later. It is our job to make sure it doesn’t happen prematurely. Premature paint failure is 99.9% of the time the applicators fault. Either they didn’t follow proper surface preparation or didn’t apply ample product. (Repaint Stucco Home)
Stucco cracks can most commonly occur when stucco is curing. Also as foundations are settling and
when stucco is open to the elements from paint degradation for long periods of time. As pictured to the left we can see that some stucco cracks will actually follow the concrete blocks mortar joint hence
they are known in the industry as stair step cracks. The masonry texture has also delaminated on the bald spots to the left of the photo. Stucco cracks can be dangerous if left untreated by allowing water to enter the home or even causing delimitation. We will go over the solution later in this article.
(Repaint Stucco Home)
Ill start out by actually listing all the steps in the process and get into the fundamental differences in products between Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams further down the page. (Repaint Stucco Home)
1) Trench around the foundation of the home. This is done primarily to paint below the substate so that if erosion occurs you won’t see the line where you stopped painting had you not trenched.
2) Pressure wash the paintable surfaces of the home. Removing heavy chalk ( remember simply pressure washing a chalky surface may remove heavy chalk but will not remove microscopic chalk deposits). Along with heavy chalk, we’re eradicating dirt, mold, fungus, mildew, cob webs, insect nests etc… Were also probing for loose paint. (Repaint Stucco Home)
We personally do not use any cleaners do to the fact that we don’t want to be responsible for poisoning wildlife, killing grass or shrubs etc… sealer will kill mold/alge by cutting off 3 essential items needed for life (water, air and sunlight). In other words please stop using bleach.
3) Mask windows, lights etc… Cover with paper and plastic to protect against over spray.
4) Apply masonry conditioner and or sealer/primer (this is where the two companies start to differ which we will address later in the article).
5) Apply textured brush grade elastomeric patch to stucco crack. Do not do this process before sealing the surface because this compound could delaminate from a chalking surface. (Repaint Stucco Home)
6) If corner bead is rusting use a rust inhibiting primer. Newer homes come equipped with plastic corner bead, (genius idea).
7) Finally a thick coat of premium paint sprayed and back rolled. Ill go into detail later in this article where we will talk about an accurate way of describing the thickness of a paint job. Its not the # of coats you put on its the (DFT) dry film thickness of the coat that matters. (Repaint Stucco Home)
Core differences between Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams
When talking to higher ups at Sherwin Williams they will actually suggest Conditioner and Masonry Sealer/Primer. The main reason for the use of a conditioner I’m told is because there Masonry Sealer/Primer won’t adhere to a chalky surface (even after pressure washing, remember its still technically chalking). The conditioner sticks to the chalk and the Sealer/Primer sticks to the conditioner. (Repaint Stucco Home)
Not a big deal except Benjamin Moore’s Ultra Spec Masonry Sealer #608 clear happens to be a Chalk binder/Sealer/Primer in one hence just 1 coat of Benjamin Moore’s #608 sealer instead of 2 coats (1 conditioner and 1 masonry sealer/primer) of Sherwin Williams. If that doesn’t make you happy about saving on money on labor with Benjamin Moore what if i told you the product was cheaper. Thats right more than 2 and half times cheaper.
Is Benjamin Moore Really More Expensive?
Your probably wondering why painting contractors say Benjamin Moore is too expensive at this point because I can assure you that paint prices are exactly the same. Obviously the process and products when it comes to sealing a chalky stucco surface are more expensive with Sherwin Williams. So why is Benjamin Moore seemingly more?
Painting contractors in my area will not use the masonry sealer/primer on a repaint. Thats right, they only use the conditioner that has a consistency of skim milk. Ill tell you why thats bad, its because the product is so thin it cannot be back rolled into the stucco texture. It runs down the wall and is incapable of creating a solid barrier like a full bodied primer/sealer.
Im sure you already know where the big savings are coming from as a result of Sherwin Williams painters short cutting the actual process. Even with 2 coats of paint on top of an insufficient conditioner the paint job is doomed and will end in contractor negligence aka premature paint failure.
2 Coat Paint Job
If I told you I could load up my sprayer and paint your whole house with 3 gallons of paint you would probably laugh. But in all seriousness i could do just that in conclusion, yes it would look super thin and probably wouldn’t change the color much but the point of the exercise is that its possible.
With that being said forget about the # of coats that probably won’t make it on the surface of you home anyways. You want to focus on (DFT) dry film thickness. That number should be anywhere from 3-4 mil thick including sealer. (DFT) is a measurement in mils (One 1/1000 of an inch) of how thick a coat of paint is after its dry.
Sounds complicated but its really quite simple. You need the actual square footage of paintable surface of your home. You or your painter should be able to come up with a reasonably accurate number consequently don’t hire a painter if he didn’t measure. Lets see what we come up with by reading the back of a (TDS) Technical Data Sheet from Benjamin Moore Aura and sealer #608 and assuming your home has 3,000 paintable square feet.
TDS says 300 sq ft per gallon for the #608 sealer (3,000 sq ft devided by 300 sq ft per gallon = 10 gallons of sealer) which creates (DFT) dry film thickness of .95 or 1 mil.
TDS says 250 sq ft per gallon for Aura exterior low lustre (3,000 sq ft divided by 250 sq ft per gallon = 12 gallons of paint) which creates (DFT) dry film thickness of 2.8 mil.
This gives gives us a total (DFT) of 3.75 mil hence thicker paints are premium and hard to cut corners with and this coating is thicker than the 2 coats of super paint and conditioner even if they follow the technical data sheet.