Plastic Paints

 

Dear John,

I do not live in the Jalon Valley but visit Jalon most Saturdays as my wife loves the Rastro. I usually pick up a copy of Different magazine whilst I’m there and look forward to reading your article. I have been impressed with the depth of your building knowledge and would therefore be grateful if you could help me with my present predicament. 

We are about to have the outside of our villa repainted and have received several varying estimates to carry out the work ranging from 3000 euros to 11,400 euros. The most expensive estimates being from Companies who specialise in sprayed on plastic coatings and who state that the villa will never need to be painted again. The villa is not a large property at only 95 m2, therefore I would ask what do you consider to be a fair price to pay and do you consider the paint with a lifetime guarantee worthwhile.

Kind regards

Robin
Calpe


Hi Robin,

It is normal to have a property repainted every 4 - 5 years and as you have already discovered there can be a vast difference in the prices quoted for the work and also in the materials to be used. Normally the saying “you get what you pay for” is true but this is not necessarily the case when it comes to the painting of a property. I personally would never have my property painted with the so called long life plastic paint coatings that seem to be popular at the moment. It is very important that the walls of any property are allowed to breath and the sealing of the outer surface of any wall can be very detrimental. The manufacturers of these plastic paint coatings usually guarantee their product for many years, often stating that this material will last the lifetime of the building. This may well be the case but what they fail to tell you is that the life of this paint is dependent on its adhesion to the material onto which it is applied. Their other common statement is that their paint is breathable, this may also be true but to what degree will it allow the wall to breath adequately. The paint itself does not generally fail but its adhesion failure is of a direct result of the wall being painted with this material in the first place. Let me explain, moisture is trapped within the wall which can not escape; this moisture then condenses behind the paint and separates the paint from the wall, the paint then peals off in sheet form. In very cold conditions this moisture can freeze within the render, expand and remove not only the paint but the render with it - this being a common occurrence in England where the winters are colder. I looked around the area to find a good example of this type of paint being used and failing, I did not have to look far and found a perfect example in your home town of Calpe, on the sea front above the Restaurante International (400m from the Hotel Esmeralda in the direction of the Ifac). The photographs show exactly what could happen, however it would be worth a visit to the building yourself to realise its full impact first hand.

The repainting of a property is not a complicated process and many home owners carry out the work themselves, my advice as always would be to do the job properly; using only traditional good quality masonry paints. The paint should be applied with a roller or a brush and not sprayed on as sprayed paints usually need to have a lot of water added.
There are a few simple rules which need to be followed to achieve a long lasting quality finish

1. Clean all walls prior to painting – this can normally be carried out with a pressurised water spray, however care must be taken not to get too close to the wall as intense water pressure could remove the render along with the dirt.

2. Remove any remaining loose or flaky paint with a wire brush.

3. Repair the walls as necessary, filling any small cracks and imperfections with a flexible compound filler.

4. Mask around all windows and doors along with any exposed timber beams, this can be a long and laborious task but you can be sure that it will be quicker than trying to remove any excess paint from these areas afterwards. Also make sure that you protect the floor with dust sheets below the area you are painting.

5. Repaint the walls with two coats of quality masonry paint – the price of masonry paints can vary tremendously but as a general rule of thumb the more expensive the paint the longer it will last.
If you are painting rendered walls for the first time, thin down the first coat with approximately 30% of water, then apply a further two coats undiluted.
 
6. If you decide to employ someone to carry out the work for you, my advice would be to choose a professional painter and ask them for a written fixed price quotation, not an estimate. This quotation may sound expensive initially but could prove inexpensive after Joe Bloggs has taken two months at 100 euros a day to complete the job. I would expect the cost for a professional painter to supply both materials and labour to be in the region of 4,000 – 4,500 euros.

John Phillips (F.I.A.S. F.A.B.E. M.I.B.C.O. F.F.B. M.R.S.H. C.M.W.O.B.O. M.B.I.M)
Construction Buena Vista

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