Liquid siding

gaviota_galJuly 3, 2005

My son owns a nearly 100 year old Craftsman bungalow with ship lap wooden siding. When he bought it a year and a half ago, it was freshly painted. Now, the paint is lifting with space under it. I could peel off pieces with my fingernail, if I wanted to. I think it is going to be a nightmare to repaint. The old paint has to be totally scraped off. Ten years ago, we built a new home with smooth stucco and used Elastomeric paint which has been fabulous. I saw, on a home improvement HGTV show, a spray on liquid vinyl siding which looked great. It is applied, like paint, and lasts 25 years. Does anyone have first hand knowledge of it? Does it look just like paint or does it loop "plastic". I don't want to encourage my son to do something which will destroy his home's vintage appeal but paint just does not last any more.

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Paint does last if moisture issues are dealt with and the house has the appropriate prep work done to it. I don't think you can skip on the prep or priming stages and expect good results.

If the paint is lifting they may have used latex over oil based paint without the right primer between the two coats. If that siding has lasted 100 years with paint, I think it deserves another look by a good painter who will do the job right.

I hope someone else can offer advice about "liquid siding". You may want to post again on the Old House Forum.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2005 at 3:12PM
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Hi Gaviota,

I think that it's likely that the original coat of paint on the house was Oil based, and they painted latex over it, which would cause catastrophic paint failure. If you decide to paint again, you will need to really strip off the old paint and get down to bare wood where possible.

As for the liquid siding product, I did use it on my house. I used the CHIC liquid vinyl product. We had it put on last spring, and it's been great so far. No peeling cracking or anything. It comes with a 50 year warranty, and they say that we should not have to paint again, unless we want to change the color.

It looks just like regular paint, and it comes in any color you want. If you decide to use it, the critical thing is to find a reputable dealer/installer. If it's put on properly, I think it's great, but if it isn't, it will fail just like paint.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2005 at 3:31PM
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I am sorry guys, but you can absolutely paint latex over oil, in fact it is a recommended system. If paint is lifting off down to bare wood, it is a problem with the original layers of paint. One thought is it could be mill glazing, which is what happense when you paint over the smooth side of the siding instead of the rough. But more likely it is a moisture issue. I bet someone at some point caulked the gaps in the clapbords, or sealed it up to tight. This leaves no where for moisture to escape, so it goes through the wood, and will cause peeling.

Do we have anymore information? Is the paint bubbling? Is it coming of in sheets? The weight of the latex topcoat could have been just enough to pull a poorly adhered paint job right off the wood.

One thought is that the house had latex paint on it, then was repainted with an oil based primer, then a latex topcoat, and you in most cases CANNOT put oil over latex. This would not explain the paint peeling back to bare wood though. The two most common reasons paint peels back to bare wood is no/poor priming prep work, or moisture. You will need to fix the moisture problem before you repaint if that is the issue.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 8:00AM
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Latex Paint over Oil Primer is good - I wouldn't be so sure about Latex Paint over Oil Paint with no primer. Oil Paint does not breath like Latex. My painter had to strip 3-sides of the house down to wood and start over due to severely failing paint. He used a slow-curing oil primer and is finishing with two coats of 100% acrylic latex paint. The prep itself took 4+ weeks; the painting has gone much quicker. One thing to note is that if you do it right, prepare for sticker shock ($15k+). On my house, the previous owner sealed the clapboard which contributed to the failure; of course the cedar shakes were failing too. My house was built in 1906.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 9:10PM
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Latex over oil primer is great. If it were over oil paint, you would have to sand as part of your prep work, and it would still work great. The major differences between latex and oil are that oil dries frm the inside out (hence the leveling), and latex dries from the outside in (when it feels dry you can scrape it with a fingernail). Paint in itself will not fail if the right system is used. Moisture will kill any paint job.

15k sounds pretty high, how many coats of paint/primer?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 7:28PM
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Assuming someone decides to strip 3-4 sides of the house I would say $15k is a low figure. Painting,assuming 1-coat oil primer and 2-coats acrylic latex, should take about a week. The process of stripping the paint, sanding, spackling, caulking, resanding and otherwise preparing the house for paint can take upwards of 4 weeks. My experience has been a crew of 4-5 painters can take a house down to wood in 4 weeks and paint it in one week. Assuming 20-25 days of labor, four painters would cost about $16k-$20k

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 1:01AM
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I would stay away from it. It seems to me that covering a house with plastic would prevent moisture from escaping. I am quite disappointed in HGTV for airing such a show. If your son's house has paint problems, it means one of a few things - poor prep work before the last paint job, paint failure, or more likely, moisture problems that must be addressed.

It would be heartbreaking to destroy a 100 year old Craftsman. I would thoroughly research this product. Here is a link to a discussion about it over at

Here is a link that might be useful: Thread at

    Bookmark   July 12, 2005 at 8:16PM
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Wood needs to breathe... a vinyl paint would probably result in the wood rotting away beneath it. I would avoid this new gimmick, at least for your siding. Instead I'd take the advice of the others and strip that siding down to bare wood and then have a quality prep, primer, and top coat applied.

You should also avoid elastomeric paint over wood. Same breathability problem. It's ok on stucco, but I think it's overrated.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2005 at 8:54PM
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Hi all,

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   July 13, 2005 at 10:47AM
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Interesting. I am wondering now why I've been told by several painters that you can't put elastomeric paint over wood, that it will cause problems, but that it's ok for stucco.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2005 at 8:56PM
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The cynical side of me would say that painters have told you to stay away from the product because it is a threat to their livelihood, not because they are concerned about the moisture issue.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 1:21PM
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We bought a home 7 years ago that had liquid siding applied the year previously. It looked good for several years, but has been cracking the last year. It now looks really bad. Unfortunately, the contractor was the TN company that was sued multiple times for shoddy workmanship and now went out of business. I cannot afford the $17,000 to have someone redo liquid siding (and I'm not sure I want to). The question is about painting over liquid siding. What kind of prep work would be needed to do this?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 3:43PM
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We contracted with ProCraft of Virginia last July to have our 220 year old farm house painting with their Liquid Siding in spring '07. They've had scheduling problems and they haven't started the job yet, so I decided to look for customer complaints on the internet. The contract states that they are to replace all the rotted wood prior to painting. Since we have a lot of bad wood I'm skeptical that they can replace it all. After reading all the comments above I'm staring to rethink this. Has anyone used ProCraft? If so, what has your experience been?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 12:50PM
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DON't DO IT!!!
Paid 13K and had this stuff sprayed on my house four years ago. After the first year it started peeling and cracking in a few spots. It took all summer to get the owner/installer to come back and when he did he just did some patchwork and blamed the peeling and cracking on moisture on the wood underneath. My response was that he shouldn't have done it then, or should have warned me, etc., because there were no such exclusions in the "lifetime warantee." He assured me he'd return any time I had issues and I foolishly let it slide. Four years later and it's peeling and falling off all over the place, looks horrible and of course, I can't find the guy. Don't do it THIS STUFF IS A SCAM.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 9:23AM
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