1. Can you use a water-based paint over an oil base finish?

In a word…yes. However, you will need to either sand the surface to a dull finish or apply a coat of primer.
You will now be safe to paint with a latex paint. The key thought is ‘dull finish’. This gives the paint a surface
to which to bond.

2. We keep getting grayish spots or blotches all over our siding and trim. What is it and what can we do?
It sounds like mildew. This is a common problem in Hawaii. But there is good news. A bleach, water and
soap solution will take care of the problem. I would recommend using a pressure washer. Using ‘elbow
grease’ by scrubbing usually leaves streaks.

There are a few things you can do to avoid the problem in the future.

    a. If you have an oil base finish, convert to latex. Algae spores feast on linseed oils. They can even live
    below the surface of a paint film for years.
    b. When you paint or stain next time, kill and wash off the mildew/algae. Even though most paints and
    stains come with mildicides in them, it is best to add a packet to each gallon. I do this for any
    customer who requests it. It was used on my home and others in the last 3-4 fours years and the
    mildew has yet to return.
    c. Shrubs and bushes close to the house, especially on the North side is fertile ground for algae
    growth. It is extremely difficult to combat this. My suggestion is to cut them back at least two feet from
    the house. It is best to keep them further away. They are pleasing aesthetically but there is a price to
    d. Sprinkler systems- Make sure they are not directed toward the house, specifically spraying the
    house. In the hot, humid summers this is a "death blow" to the aesthetics of a house.
    3. I have four children and they keep the walls smudged. I don’t want a high sheen on my walls to
    wash. What can I use?

There is an eggshell finish that is washable and is recommended for high traffic areas. However it has a
slight sheen if viewed from an angle. If this is not desired some paint manufacturers offer a ‘low sheen’
which is ‘wipeable’.

4. I have vinyl siding and have been very satisfied with it. However I am tired of the same color. Can it be

Yes it can! However, there are some precautions to be considered. Generally you would not paint the siding
any darker than the color of the vinyl. If you use a darker hue the paint will expand from heat retention but will
not contract at the same rate as the vinyl. The results can be devastating. You could end up with siding that

5. What’s the difference between paint and the elastomeric or permaplast coatings that claim to be
guaranteed for ‘the life of the house’?

Without attempting to be technical or claiming some knowledge of chemical properties, here are some of my
observations. There are many elastomeric coatings on the market with varied claims for residential use.
Basically, elastomeric coatings are a high-build or heavy denier coating versus that of typical paints. If
applied correctly your results should be about 10 mils. of coating versus 2 mils with paint. There are those
that even claim insulating value in addition to never needing to be painted. These claims may be true. Time
will tell.

Permaplast technology is similar but does not have the high-build. It is very flexible and retains the color. I
have applied Sherwin-Williams’ Duration, a permaplast coating, to my house as well as to many others. It is
warranted against having to paint again and cost much less than the elastomeric coatings.

Assuming all the claims are true for elastomeric coatings and it proves to be a very good product relative to
your needs there are three major concerns that should be factored in when making your decision. First, like
vinyl, are you willing to keep your color selection the rest of your life? Most people generally do not care for
this. If your investment is great, you may have paid a bundle for years of discontent on the aesthetic side. The
products I am familiar with combined with labor tend to be more expensive than vinyl. Another concern, often
brought up to me, is because elastomeric coatings are a ‘high-build’ coating they tend to hide the texture of
any textured siding. In our area rough or semi rough siding is used more often than smooth. Lastly and
possibly most important is in the painting industry there is a ‘rule of thumb’ that guides decisions such as
these. Your paint or coating is only as good as what’s under it. If your house has had a problem with peeling
or popping paint in the past, make sure it is prepped well before applying any of these coatings. Failure to do
so will prove disastrous.

This would be my general recommendation. If your chief concern is being free of the worry of having to paint
and yet you want to retain the option of changing colors later without enduring awesome cost, use the
Sherwin-Williams product: Durations. It costs more than paint but nothing compared to the other products
and their labor. If elastomeric coatings are applied properly they will have one heavy coat of primer and two
equally heavy topcoats. Another option you may want to consider is using the best paint of a particular brand.
Sherwin-Williams Exterior Super Paint has a twenty five-year warranty. Duron’s Weathershield is another
excellent paint along with Benjamin Moore’s.

I realize that there are many other concerns to factor in when you approach such a decision: condition of
house, personal age, etc., but maybe this little tid-bit of info will allow you to make a more informed decision.

6. Someone came through our county selling faulty aluminum siding some years ago. Can it be painted?

Yes. Unlike vinyl siding you do not have to be fearful of warping. It is advisable to remove the paint residue
that is common on aluminum siding. Apply one coat of latex primer and two coats of paint. You will then be
‘good to go’ for quite some time.

The preceding questions are just a sample of those most often asked. However, if you have any other
concerns please write. If I can’t give a reasonable answer I will certainly attempt to refer you to the right
Residential and Commercial