permacoat instead of paint or vinyl siding?

jaloisiAugust 16, 2006

We recently purchased a 100 year old home in a fairly historic area. The exterior needs to be painted or otherwise recovered. Has anyone ever had permacoat (goes on like paint, but performs like vinyl) or a similar product put on their house?

We'd like to avoid vinyl siding because it is not used much in our area, and we don't want to have to repaint the house down the road. Does this seem like a good alternative to vinyl siding or regular paint? Any idea how this affects resale value vs. paint or vinyl siding?



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Personally, my likes/dislikes - Vinyl siding is cheapo stuff to hide faults. If you are going to use siding, why not aluminum that will actually last 30 yrs without the cracks and warps and chintzy feel.

Spray on coatings, yea right - hide the faults rather than fix them. I think of that stuff as really cheapo stuff that is sold to retail consumers for way too much money. Profit making stuff for the seller. Cracks and falls off walls eventually.

Do it up right and paint the dang thing is my opinion if you want it to continure appreciating in value and actually have class rather than jerry rig the whole place so it looks cheap down the road with those consumer sales gimmics.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 11:53PM
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Maybe you should listen to someone who actually has USED the permacoat. I had the CHIC liquid vinyl system put on my house three years ago. We have a great 1900-vintage foursquare, which was badly neglected by the prior owners.

The paint had peeled off most of it, and lots of the clabbords were rotten and needed to be replaced. We considered vinyl siding, but some of our neighbors' houses had it, and we just hated the look. On the other hand, my dad seems to have to paint his house every 5 years or so, and it's not cheap.

Obviously, I only have 3 years' experience to go by, but I can tell you that it looks great; exactly like the day they finished. No peeling, cracking, chalking or anything. Luckily I haven't had to call in the waranty, but the manufacturer did provide me with a lifetime, transferable waranty for any issues. We were also able to match our exact color choices, just as if we had used regular paint. Vinyl siding comes in boring colors, because it tends to fade badly over time.

The key to getting this done is using a reliable dealer, and making sure that the surface is prepped correctly. That is really most of the cost of a paint job anyhow.

It's impossible to look at our house and tell that it isn't just a normal paint job. It really came out beautifully. It doesn't "hide faults" and it doesn't look "cheap". In fact, I think we preserved the value by going this way, instead of vinyl siding.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 9:39AM
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Thanks mwkbear,
Did they have to take all of the paint off before applying the liquid vinyl? If you don't mind telling, how much did they charge to coat your 1900 sf home?

Sorry mikie, I wouldn't dream of using aluminum siding.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 11:23AM
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They didn't have to take all the paint off. They had to replace all the rotten wood, of course. Then, they scraped and sanded the rest, the same as any good preparation for a regular paint job. Also, before going through with this, I'd thoroughly check out the contractor. Check with local references who have had the Permacoat, as well.

I believe the cost of just the painting and the standard prep (not including replacing clabbords, fascia, etc) was $10,000. I live in the Boston area, so prices are a bit higher here, too. Also, I did get a few estimates for standard paint jobs and those ranged from $5,000-$8,000. So, it seemed definitely worthwhile to do.

My only caveat is if your house has asbestos cement siding, that really holds the paint very well, and a good paint job can last upwards of 15 years or more. So, in that case, it's a toss up as to whether it's worthwhile or not.

For what it's worth, here's a picture of my house with the CHIC:

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 1:41PM
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"Luckily I haven't had to call in the waranty, but the manufacturer did provide me with a lifetime, transferable waranty for any issues."

I bet teh waratny is not worth the paper and ink they used to print it.
Post the exact wording of the warranty.
Most go away when the contrctor who applied the material goes away. Ever tried to make a claim on a warranty against an out of state company?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 12:15AM
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The waranty comes directly from the manufacturer, CHIC Liquid Vinyl Systems.

If you want to check out the company, here is the company website. They have been in business for over 25 years.

Do you have a roof on your house? The standard waranty for asphalt roofing shingles is 30-40 years, and I bet that GAF or OwensCorning or CertainTeed are not local companies. Yet, they issue those waranties and people have probably collected on them when necessary.

I'm not sure why this liquid vinyl product engenders such misplaced anger and derision from so many people. It's a viable alternative to having to paint your house every 5 years, and for some people like me, it made sense to try it. I've been very happy with the results, and the other people who I used as references were thrilled with the results as well.

In order to have a regular paint job last for more than 5-6 years, you need to really prep the house, and pretty much remove all the prior paint. By the time you get through paying for that kind of prep work, the Permacoat process starts to look pretty good. NONE of the paint quotes I received would guarantee their work for more than 2 years, no matter what the level of the prep work.

Here is a link that might be useful: CHIC Liquid Vinyl

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 10:54AM
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I"m going to say stay away from any of those "spray on siding" products as over the long term they are going to create more problems than they solve. Here is a link to a discussion on another web site that has been going on for quite a while. Please give it a read...

Here is a link that might be useful: Spray on siding

    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 12:30AM
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I don't think anyone is telling you not to enjoy the product you are pleased with. I think, for some of us, the "too good to be true" alarm has gone off in our heads. Also, the five year repaint position you continue to express is not the norm for many of us. A good paint job lasts longer than 5 years. Didn't you say the spray on required a similar sort of prep? How do you repair or touch-up the vinyl? Do they leave a can for touch-ups?

History on this forum shows that most here do not use vinyl products on their homes. I think you have presented an alternative for those who might be looking for this sort of solution. Others, including those on the link to the other old house forum, are expressing cautions that those weighing the benefit of this product should take into consideration.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 6:11AM
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A quality paint job should least at least 10 years. Poor prep work almost always kills paint films early.

My BS detector tends to go off with companires like this.
The shingle warranties are pretty much worthless. They wil replace the material, but rarely cover labor to remove the defective shigles or install the new ones (most of the labor warranties disappeared a while ago).

Maybe since for all the advertising claims there is not an actual piece of testing data on the web site?
You can say a lot in advertising 'puffery'. Backing it up is another matter.
They claim vapor permable. What perm rating does the finished material have?
Just like paint (or pastic even) perm rating depends significantly on the film thickness. If the material is able to fill voids in the old substrate (another claim on the site) it cannot be as permable in this thicker area. What is the actual permability per mil of applied film?

New very tight houses have shown a number of moisture related problems. Heat recovery ventilators have moved from the commercial world into residential use to try and deal with the moisture buildup in tightly sealed homes.
Older houses tend to be leaky enough that moisture buildup is not a problem, until you apply a surface that slows the movement of water vapor. Bad things start to show up then.
The web site does not even dipslay the actual warrnty details "Talk to the Authorized CHIC Dealer in your area for complete warranty details."
Supplying new material to the 'authorized dealer' leaves you at their mercy for labor to install the material.
How much coating did they leave for touch ups?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 9:16AM
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Hi all,

I've been involved in this discussion before on this site. Regarding the Old House Web link posted above, you can read my response below. People keep bringing up that thread, but nobody seems to bother to read it carefully.

As for touch ups, they did leave us a bucket of the CHIC product.

As for the issue of it being "vinyl" and all the negative connotations that go along with that, I can tell you that it's not some funky plastic wrap. It's paint. It looks like paint on the house, and as I said before, nobody would know that I didn't just freshly paint my house, unless I told them otherwise.

I keep "throwing around" the 5 year paint job, because I've never lived in a house where the paint job looked good beyond that point. At the 5 year mark, there were obvious signs of problems...chalking when you rubbed against the siding...little alligator cracking in places, maybe even some peeling here and there. Three of my neighbors just repainted their houses this summer, and all told me that it had been more like 10 years since they last painted. But, it LOOKED like it was 10 years. Each house probably should have been painted sooner. Also, if paint lasts so long, how come NONE of the painting contractors I contacted would offer more than a 2-year waranty?

Regarding the water vapor issue and Perm ratings, here are some actual scientific studies from a reputable testing company. The Perm ratings are all listed below (next to last paragraph). This information is on the CHIC website:
I thought I'd pass along this bit of information regarding the liquid vinyl coating (see below). If painting your house would not cause it to rot, then I don't think the liquid vinyl would either. As for the link above that Suzie posted, most of that forum is over 4 years old now, and they are all complaining about one particular company, Alvis, which has gone out of business and was ripping off customers due to lousy workmanship. The best product in the world won't stand up to a lousy, incompetent installation by a disreputable contractor.

Does CHIC Liquid Vinyl Breathe?

This is very important question and one that many people ask. If Chic Liquid Vinyl or any other exterior coating did not breathe (which is another term for "vapor permeability"), there could be a problem because moisture vapor would build up in the wall of the house, would condense and over time would cause wood damage, mildew, and mold.

Vapor Permeability is the degree to which water or water vapor can penetrate (or escape from) a buildings material. This permeability is measured in perms. The lower the perm rating of a coating; the lower the vapor permeability. Conversely, the higher the perm rating of a coating; the higher the vapor permeability.

The Boston based Building Science Corporation ( can help one understand perm ratings. Building Science Corporation is an architectural and building science consulting firm with clients throughout North America. This company is internationally recognized for its expertise in moisture dynamics, indoor air quality and building failure investigations. They have a glossary that includes some definitions that relate to vapor permeability.

Here are those definitions.

Vapor Impermeable: Materials with a perm rating of 0.1 less. (rubber membrane, polyethylene film, glass, aluminum foil)

· Vapor Semi-Impermeable: Materials with a perm rating greater than 0.1 but less than 1.0. (oil-based paints)

· Vapor Semi-Permeable: Materials with a perm rating greater than 1.0 but less than 10.0 (plywood, OSB, most latex-based paints, elastomeric paints and coatings)

· Vapor Permeable: Materials with a perm rating greater than 10 perms (house wraps, building papers)

What is the Perm rating of CHIC Liquid Vinyl? Using the ASTM* E96 Procedure B test method, CHIC Liquid Vinyl has a Perm rating of 18. This rating confirms that CHIC Liquid Vinyl is on the high end of the vapor permeable category. Therefore, CHIC Liquid Vinyl is very breatheable, thus allowing water vapor to escape from the building wall.

CHIC Liquid Vinyl has been applied to exterior walls of all kinds on thousands of buildings in North America over the last 21 years. In that 21-year period there has not been one issue of wood rot, mildew, or mold resulting from the application of the CHIC Liquid Vinyl System.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 3:12PM
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I wonder what people said when latex paint started showing up. "Use that instead of oil based? Bah! Don't come running to me when it all peels off in the first rain!"

I don't know how good this stuff is; this is the first I've heard of it. But advances are made all the time. Maybe this is the next generation of house paint. Is it the word "vinyl" that has everyone switched over to "scorn" mode in the absence of information?

Our house needs painting, and I'm going to check this out as an alternative.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 6:03PM
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I saw some ads for a similar product about 7 years ago. They called it "liquid vinyl siding." They claimed it was a new product developed by NASA for the space program. Supposedly it had the same R-value something like R-11. It required professional preparation (by their work crew) plus replacement of any deteriorated wood. Their ads claimed the total cost was "comparable" to that of regular vinyl siding.

I had entertained the idea of checking it out, but I haven't seen those ads for several years now. If it was such a great product, I would think it would still be around, and widely used by now.

One of my concerns was that, from what I read in the ads, the stuff didn't breathe significantly.

Yet, I would think that by now, with all the issues involving lead paint and interest in historic preservation, market demand would have lead someone to develop an effective primer that would impregnate wood reaching several millimetres below the surface, and allow a paint job to last in terms of decades rather than years.


    Bookmark   August 26, 2006 at 9:53PM
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i am a architect in the new york area and there in one liquid vinyl company me an my colleauges recommend and that is am vi co LVS go to it is a true lvs and the chic product is a acrylic paint it is a good paint but is not truly a LVS if you have the extra money upfront such as the govenment and such entities do they are going with the LVS by AM VI CO bc it has proven to be made the way paints should have been being manufactured years ago but paint companys realize people are buying there product ever 5 years and now they may make a similar LVS because in the world of architects this is the only way to go just make sure you have a certified installer.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 11:06PM
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has anyone had liquid vinyl paint done over existing vinyl siding?If so, are their links/pictures available. I've read that liquid vinyl paint gives the impression of real wod grain, but I can't imagine that could be true if it was painted over vinyl clapboard siding? Thanks, Brian.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 11:46PM
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I am also checking out this liquid siding. Cost is big for me. The one thing that I think of is the spray on bed liners for pickups....... That stuff is tuff... Products are being improved.. I would like to do my on prep and my own painting. If I can get the price down by doing my own work, I will do it... I would like to see and touch this stuff on a house.. I am very interested in this.... I don't want to paint this house but one time....

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 4:00PM
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