Exterior paintwork flaking
We live in a 1930’s white rendered house. Three years ago we employed a painter and decorator (£1,300 labour, plus materials) to paint the render and black woodwork. Unfortunately after only three years all the woodwork is flaking and the render is absorbing rainwater which in some areas has started to show through in the interior.
Can only assume poor quality paint or inadequate coverage is the root of the problem. Any advice on quality paint and preparation would be welcome as we are considering doing the job ourselves?
Early failure of the paint coating on the woodwork is likely a result of poor preparation and/or excessive use of thinners. You’ll need to remove any loose or flaking paint, thoroughly rub-down all surfaces and start afresh with a decent quality exterior paint system such as Dulux Weathershield. This is quite expensive when compared to regular primer, undercoat and gloss paints but it has been formulated especially for exterior use and will usually perform much better.
Ingress of water via the rendered walls is difficult to diagnose and can be the result of a number of factors including minor surface damage/cracks and/or trapped moisture. It is difficult to say whether poor paint quality or lack of preparation has caused this problem but an extreme example could be that your painter has used an all-weather coating over an already damp surface in order to get the job done quickly and this has prevented the wall from drying out?
Regular water-based masonry paints are moisture vapour permeable and will allow minor patches of damp to dry out over time; all-weather coatings do not have this property as they are intended for use on sound surfaces when poor weather conditions make the use of water based paints impractical.
In any case you’ll need to ensure that any minor surface damage has been repaired and any damp has thoroughly dried out before repainting. Most brands of exterior masonry paint are perfectly adequate for the job if used properly.
Peeling paint on brickwork
We have recently bought a semi detached 1950s (ex council) property, the bricks have been painted over the years with several layers of paint-I’m not sure what sorts altogether.
The paint is peeling off in areas, some areas just the top layers, other areas are back to brick and in these brick areas there does look to be patches of white (I think it may be salts from all my reading?).
So the question is what do we do, we would like to do a proper job not just another cover up which is what seems to have happened in the past.
You often find with these situations there are a number of reasons why the paint has failed. The bare bricks and white patches are a clear sign of trapped moisture but this may, as you suggest, be isolated to small areas. The paint failure elsewhere may be just the result of poor preparation and workmanship?
The bare patches should indicate the source of any inherent damp problem. For instance, if it’s around windows/doors it could be just defective mastics which are easily rectified. You can also get damp patches under windows where the sill isn’t shedding rainfall away from the wall. Again, this can be a simple fix.
Once you’ve allowed these patches to dry out in depth you should be OK to repaint with a good brand of water based masonry paint, thinning the first coat so it soaks in a little.
The bad news is that even if you rectify any problems and scrape off any loose paint it’s unlikely your first attempt at repainting will be the end of the matter. Existing paint that looks firmly attached now could start to flake over time – the added load of a new coat or two of paint can often accelerate the process too. Unfortunately, you may have to repeat the process again at a later date.
Suspected lack of undercoat
Had my staircase painted last July & the gloss has started to peel off . I asked the decorator in question to undercoat, but am now wondering if he just slapped gloss on old gloss as you can see the old yellow gloss.
What do you think? Would appreciate your opinion
It seems likely you are right, painting staircase spindles is a labour-intensive job and one where it’s common for short-cuts to be taken.
If you can actually peel the new paint off then this is a clear indication that there has been little or no preparation done beforehand.