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Exterior paint - one coat or two?

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  1. #1
    Apprentice (new member)
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    United States

    Default Exterior paint - one coat or two?

    <!-- / icon and title --> <!-- message --> Hello!

    I have received two bids for painting the exterior of my house: asbestos cement siding with wood trim. The siding is currently a medium blue, and will be painted a light gray. The wood trim is currently white and will be painted white; it is flaking and peeling pretty badly, and needs to be scraped and sanded.

    Painter #1 has proposed one coat of Sherwin Williams Duration paint on the wood trim (no primer), and one coat of Sherwin Williams SuperPaint on the siding, at a cost of $2500.

    Painter #2 has proposed primer and two coats of Sherwin Williams "premium house paint" at a cost of $3000.

    The one-coat painter has said he will not leave unless we're satisfied with how it looks, and will put an extra coat on any spots where it's needed. However, I am concerned that even though one coat may *look* fine, it may have durability issues down the road.

    Is it worth the extra $500 to have two coats of paint? Or is one coat sufficient? We plan to sell our house within the next 2 to 5 years, and do not want to paint or touch up again before selling.

    Thanks so much to anyone who can provide some advice!

  2. #2
    Old Chippy 6K
    Join Date
    Mar 2007


    The paint manufacturer recommends just one coat on an external surface re-paint and claims this is sufficient for that special paint:


    If it is a new or poor surface they say a primer & one coat so the areas that are flaking will need to be prepped well and primed.

    "How it looks' is no indication of how long it will last - the main rules of painting are good prep, good prep and good prep. Most early failures, regardless of the paint quality, are due to poor preparation.

    Hard to be sure, but sounds to me as though one quote has factored in the time for good perp and extra work on the flaky areas on the wood trim and the other hasn't.

    As with all tradespeople the best test is the opinion of their earlier clients. Ask each to give you a couple of clients that they have done work for - and ideally at least one from two or three years ago, then call and talk to them about the quality of the workmanship and the workers and go and see the jobs if you can.

    If it were me, and regardless of who gets the job, I would be at home to watch how the prep was being done on those wood trims so that if it seems too little or not up to scratch you have the chance to get it done properly. Once a primer is on, or the final coat, you will have no idea what lies underneath - until it starts to fail just about selling time . . .

  3. #3
    Apprentice (new member)
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    United States


    Thanks so much for your reply! The painter said the Duration is self-priming, but after looking at the Sherwin Williams website, I'm not sure that applies to bare wood (which ours would likely be, after all the scraping and sanding). As you said, the surface really should be primed. And for the SuperPaint (which would be on the asbestos siding), it recommends two coats (again, the painter said one coat would be enough, which would be true for the Duration, but not the SuperPaint).

    The $2500 painter said the whole job would take one day, while the $3000 painter said two days. (Not including the pressure washing, which would be an extra day for both). It sounds to me like the extra $500 is well worth having the job done right.

    I really appreciate your advice, and will be sure to be at home to see the prep work!

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