When we’re not out on a job, The Paint Doctor keeps abreast of current science regarding paints and surface coatings. We wanted to share with you a recent scientific study that is an object lesson in the importance of preparation, knowledge and execution – all hallmarks of the Paint Doctor’s work. Here’s the gist of the story: an upscale summer community in the northeast hired a scientist to figure out why the paint was always peeling on the cedar shakes on their homes. The sides of the homes that faced south and, thus, received the most sunlight, had the most damage. It turned out that the wood siding had deteriorated because the original paint insufficiently protected the cedar because it was not only the wrong kind of paint but the wood had not been lightly sanded and power washed before the initial paint application.

Fixing the problem meant the removal of the paint and repainting the existing shingles, or complete replacement of the shingles with new pre-primed cedar shingles, followed by painting the new shingles. In sum, think: lots of work and expense.

Not surprisingly, a cost estimate showed that paint removal and replacement would be a more cost-effective solution than complete replacement of the shingles. However, if the contractors didn’t prepare properly the wood surfaces, the same problems would reoccur. The scientist also recommended the contractors use an acrylic primer and a finish coat because acrylic coatings generally exhibit better exterior weathering characteristics—better color and gloss retention.

Archie Deese