Question posted - November 17 to November 25, 2012:
How many times can a building be repainted before the paint becomes too thick to perform properly?
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Maintenance + Renovation
Gary Burke of Finishing Brands , Ransburg on
November 28, 2012:
It all depends on the substrate, how old the painted surfaces are, quality of coatings used, and how surface was prepared the first time around.
Ken Johnson of Heritage Preservation on
November 20, 2012:
This would greatly depend on the type of substrate and paint used. On older masonry and concrete structures, breathability of the coatings may become a determining factor and, as coating thicknesses build up, breathability becomes less, which can lead to paint failures.
If you see failures right down to the substrate on a masonry building, it may be time to remove the paint and start over using modern, more breathable coatings.
On a wood structure, the problem can be similar. Older paint coatings will lose their elasticity and be subjected to cross-grain cracking. You can scrape and remove the spots where the coating has failed, but the underlying problem still exists. We have seen instances where microscopic examination of historic buildings indicates ten or more applications of paint. The coats are thick and brittle and subsequent coats fail relatively rapidly. It may be time to remove, prime and replace.
Paul Corey of Paul J. Corey Ptg.& Dec. on
November 19, 2012:
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There is no limit if correct prep and application methods are used.
Coating / Film thickness
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