7.11.2011

Exterior Paint: Why We Subbed Out

When it came time to paint the house we had the grand debate of whether to do the work ourselves or to sub it out. Well, actually it wasn't a grand debate, it was decided pretty quickly by both of us that it would be well worth it to sub the work out.

Now, don't get us wrong, we love us some DIY and to date we've only "professionally" had people: patch our stucco, upgrade our electrical service from the street, put on a new roof, install the granite in our kitchen, put in a new window, install our glass shower enclosure and repair the structure of the garage that would soon fall over. Other than that we have done everything else ourselves, like: spending over 50 hours tiling our bathroom, installing and staining hardwood floors, re-wiring nearly the entire house, re-plumbing the bathroom, installing doors, installing a french drain, plumbing for our washer and dryer...the list is really endless (hello 2 year old blog).

So when it came time to figure out whether we would do the painting ourselves, we didn't feel bad about leaving this one up to someone else. It was certainly work we could do ourselves (Chris spent summers in college as a house painter in fact) but we knew it would take absolutely FOREVER to get done. And it would be really freaking hard (no, I do not want to paint our turret).

You probably know what our house looks like (yes, it's our header, duh)

I know that every house has quirks about it that make certain things difficult, but previous owners really let our house go, and we have a ton of trim work, there was peeling paint all over, windows that need to be fixed or replaced, and a bajillion small projects here and there that Chris and I had to tend to even before we got to the paint prep stage. We had paint prep prep.

And all that prep work took us nearly 2 months. And that was the "easy" stuff. That wasn't all the sanding, bondo, patching, scraping, taping (because we did some of that too)...oh my god the exterior paint prep to do list is looooooonnnggggg. And because our prep work took so long, there was no way our house was going to get painted within the next 9 months if we didn't sub it out.

Thankfully two neighbors had used a local painter and his wife to paint their houses and we loved their work. They gave us an amazing quote and even lowered it when they came back when it was time to paint and saw all the prep work we had done. We loved employing a very small, family-owned company and were incredibly thankful for their affordable price, speed and quality of their work, and incredible professionalism and upbeat attitude on all fronts. (Their name is Garcia Painting, and if you're in the area and are interested in an estimate, feel free to email me for their contact info.)

So while some may paint their whole house themselves, or install all their awesome siding like Kit over at DIY Diva (isn't that siding so amazingly cool?)...

(photo from here)

...Chris and I weighed all the options and decided, for us, even though we are hardcore DIY enthusiasts, supporters and do-ers, this was one job we wanted to leave to the professionals.

But just because we left it to the professionals didn't mean we weren't involved. Chris was really specific about the kind of paint he wanted used to paint our house. A few weeks ago I posted about whether we liked Behr or Glidden better and stated that we tend to use Glidden throughout the interior of our house. And not to knock either of these brands of paint (because I especially think Glidden is great), but we decided we definitely needed to go with a professional grade paint for the exterior, so we went with Sherwin-Williams

(image found here)

Here's what Chris said:

paint is the first line of defense against the weather, especially rain. and when you have a 90 year old house with 90 year old tar paper underlayment, it's even more important to have a good quality paint protecting your house.
we went with sherwin-williams because it's a professional grade paint. frankly, there are probably a few other paint manufacturerers that are at about the same quality level, but we like sw and have heard nothing but good things about them from the pros we have spoken with.
ben moore, dunn edwards, and kelly moore are other good brands. we don't have as much faith in behr. lesser quality paints don't cover as well, don't stick as well to poor surfaces, aren't as easy to work with, and don't cover up problems as well. the better paints have more and better pigments, greater solids ratios and are simply much better engineered, for lack of a better term.

And because we have a stucco house, we went with an elastomeric paint, specifically Sherlastic Elastomeric Coating

This kind of paint has a flexible film in it that covers hairline fractures amazingly well and provides a good cover-up on your house's blemishes. I was a little apprehensive because it's more expensive, but it covers amazingly well and really does seep into any minor cracks in your stucco and hides them. Now, this paint isn't going to fill in huge cracks - at that point you should get some stucco patching done - but if you've got minor cracks here and there, this paint definitely does the trick.

Sherwin-Williams's website actually has a great FAQ page about what kind of exterior paint to use for all kinds of different surfaces.

So there you have it, a LONG explanation of why we subbed out and what kind of paint we used. Hope it wasn't too boring for you :) but we thought those were some important and share-worthy decisions. And, Sherwin-Williams didn't pay us for paint or pay us to say any great things about their paint, we just wanted to give you our honest opinion about their products.

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