Paint contractor questions

17 Replies

I have a rental I am currently rehabbing and have a paint contractor about to start. This house hasn't been painted in 30 plus years and his plan was to power wash and scrap what's flaking off, but leave some "alligatoring" which is typical for the area (not really my issue). My concern in the paint and it primer. He was planning in using Benjamin Moore ultra spec exterior paint two
coats but no primer. Wouldn't you want a
primer on a combination of old paint and
bare wood? I don't think the ultra spec is even a paint and primer in one, the only reason I'm using it is he has a hook up and it's cheaper.

Second question what's the best exterior paint for wood siding and this application? I plan on having this place a really long time. For all the wood repair and prep work I am already at 12k for the whole paint job so don't want to add, but will if it will be best for the house.

Thanks a lot!

Per manufacture's specification, this product does not require prime on previous painted areas.  However, for certain custom color, prime is required. You may want to contact a local Benjamin Moore for confirmation.  this product is designed to be durable, which meets your intent. Good luck

@Mike H.  

Thanks for response. I must be blind because I still couldn't find where it mentions a primer is not needed, in fact the can has a oil based primer recommended for wood. Typically I wouldn't get so involved on paint this is just about 4X's more than I have ever paid to change the color of a house. 

Anyone used the Valspar reserve ext? 

@Josh C.  Any product on the market, especially the commercial grade products has a specification sheet indicates the application requirements.  

See this Link:

on page 2, surface preparation will tell you what is the minimum requirement for this product.

Personally I don't think there is a need to apply commercial product on residential use unless the performance is way greater than the price difference.  In this case, if it takes 4 times of the value for product, it better give you at least 4 times or more of durability otherwise I don't think it might not be worth it.  You may check w/ local Benjamin Moore representative regards its durability comparing w/ regular product and if special maintenance is required to obtain the product life.

typo: I don't think it is worth it if the performance doesn't give you a return that is equivalent 

The BM ultra spec is only $126 per 5 gallon. Much cheaper than SW or the Valspar reserve. Additionally since paint is only about 10% of project cost it isn't that relative in overall cost. I did some additional research and I couldn't find any real evidence one is better than the other, just painter opinion how smooth it goes one. I think I'll use it or the Valspar but have him put down an oil based primer first.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond.

If it's a long-term buy and hold property I can see spending some real coin on surface prep, primer and Benji Moore paint. As a flipper I've never spent more than 7K on a total exterior repaint, even on large homes with lots of trim. The one below cost me about $6,500 with some local contractors and 6 years later it still looks great. The photo makes it look yellow but it's actually a lot more tan. The color was a sherwin williams paint called "toasted bagel." 

Please keep us posted on what you do. Post some pics too!

If it is a long term buy and hold, I would recommend on putting primer on it.  It is better to do it right right the first time.  You will fell feel better when it Is done right

@Josh C.   they make some great paints now days, but I would still go with a good oil based primer before applying paint.  Make sure your paint is compatible with your primer.  Good luck.

I have five uncles who are house painting/cabinet finishing contractors with about 25-35 years experience for each of them. I'd just cycle through calling them about any questions I'd encounter. I have a little over 6 years  experience myself.

You need to at least spot-prime the exposed raw wood. If you had a lot of peeling on the siding, the contractor should scrape it well and light hand-sand the edges down(if you're dealing with lead paint then take proper respiratory precautions.)

I'd also not trust anything that's primer-paint all in one. But that's opinion. Skipping a step is what I look at it as.

As Steven suggested, definitely spot prime all bare wood at minimum. If there is a great deal of bare wood after power wash and scrape, prime the entire body. If you prime the entire thing, tint a high quality, high build primer to paint color and you may get by with one top coat. I believe a good primer coat and one top coat beats two coats of paint as far as durability and longevity, hands down.

I need to qualify my last remark. That is the case, provided its either sprayed and wet roller back rolled, or brushed. Everyone can paint, but not everyone is a painter. Because it looks good, doesnt mean it lasts good. Back in the day it was called a "journeymans coat and a half"... Meaning the painter is good enough that he could apply a heavy coat evenly enough that the amount of paint applied was just under what would sag and run. It takes more attention and bit more time, but a heck of a lot less time and material than two coats.

it's 5000 sqft, but hasn't been painted in 50 years. Tons of wood repair, hand scraping most of it as well. Also, as an update, my painter said this is too much work and walked off the job, so if anyone knows a good guy in Indianapolis I'd really appreciate it. 


Not sure what he would charge:  Damon Lettich  

Worked on my house.  

@Josh C.  - wow for $12k you can probably just go with vinyl siding and never have to worry about it!

Also, rhino linings [yes, the spray in bed lining] offers their product for homes to.

$12k just sounds like a ton of $$ for a paint job!

Josh, how did the paint job go?  Cost wise did you feel it ended up the right value? Was there a professional team you'd recommend?  

Checking back on how the painting contractor process had went.  I have had quiet the time still finding qualified painters that weren't going for $3 to $4/square foot (15k to 17k on 5000 home)  While I keep ending up doing all the work myself (and all the fun permits to go with half of them), it would be nice to find a few painters that ...
1. Show up.
2. Aren't so high/drunk I am nervous about them doing the work or falling off a ladder (it's been a fun one)
3. Is around $2/square foot and will do decent job. Not artist work of art, but professional enough to tell it's not the first home they've painted.

Thoughts?  Recommendations?

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