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3 min read

HOA Building Painting: What’s the best paint product?

When an HOA or Landlord is considering a paint job, it’s best not to skimp on the paint! The largest cost as Chipped-Paint-520x346a percentage of the job is labor. Most buildings paint their stucco every 10-15 years. In many cases well beyond the lifespan of the paint they apply on the walls. Ever rub your hand on the surface and had chalk smear your fingertips? Chalk is a clear sign of a topcoat that has deteriorated. This blog article covers the importance of choosing a paint system that will stand the test of time.

Paint quality involves the pigments, binders and liquids (PBL). I am about to get a bit techy but follow me for a minute and you’ll learn more about paint in 10 minutes than you ever wanted to know!


Pigments provide color and hiding power. Two types of pigments are prime and reinforcing. The most commonly used prime pigment is titanium dioxide, which is a high quality white pigment that ensures good hide. Colored pigments can either be organic, which typically produce vibrant colors, or inorganic, usually used for more earthy hues. Reinforcing pigments are also known as “extenders" or “fillers" and they modify paint properties, such as gloss and flow, as well as reduce the cost of paint formulation. As a general rule, paints with more prime pigments than reinforcing pigments tend to be more durable, therefore higher quality.


A.K.A, “resins," hold or “bind" the pigment together and to the surface being painted. In addition, binders give paint greater durability. Oil paints typically contain alkyds, which are synthetic resins made from drying oils, as their binders, while latex paint is formulated with different types of polymers. Of the two, latex paints using acrylic binders last longer, provide superior color and gloss retention and are more eco-friendly.


Liquids such as water, mineral spirits, and alcohol makes it possible to apply the paint to a surface. While it evaporates during the drying process, it provides desired consistency and improves paint flow and leveling. Leveling is the ability of a paint to dry to a smooth, consistent finish.

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There are various paint grades and types and levels of ingredients, which help provide different application properties. For example, the more solids in a paint (i.e., binder, pigments and additives that adhere to a wall) the thicker the paint and, therefore, the better the coverage. A low-quality paint consists of approximately 30 percent solids, whereas a high-quality paint contains about 40 percent solids. Some other criteria related to paint quality and its desired properties are listed in the table below.

The following is my opinion based on years of painting various buildings in the South Bay area. Our paint of Dunn-Edwardspaintcontractorexpert-1choice is Dunn- Edwards (DE). DE is widely considered a premium line paint in the south west. Not all surfaces are created equal. Have you ever noticed a house with the paint on the fascia peeling but the stucco’s intact? It is because paint ages differently on metal, wood and stucco respectively. DE’s product line offers diverse paint solutions specific surfaces. If you have a large multifamily building with various architectural features this fact becomes more important. In some cases, Dunn-Edwards technical team will come out to your property and evaluate the best product to apply on each surface.

The following represents my experience and preference of paint product for each surface:

  • Stucco

Stucco begins with power spray wash to remove salt and grim. My experience is that any coating applied over salt won't adhere very well or for very long. A good wash will take care of the problem. My product of choice is Evershield. It comes in various sheens and when properly applied provides an excellent top coat.

  • Wood

EZ Prime is the secret weapon. The top coat will always be Evershield but EZ Prime is the foundation primer upon which a long lasting topcoat is applied. We always apply 2 coats of finish. If a paint job is expected to last 5 years, you need to have a good thickness of paint on the wall.

  • Metal

Metal is the most problematic surface that we face in coastal communities. Dunn-Edwards make a primer called Galv-alum. This product is made for galvanized metal, ferrous metals and aluminum surfaces.

It is important to consider paint and primers as a coating system that requires careful assessment of environmental conditions and specific surface applications.  Selecting the correct combination of paint product will contribute to a lasting paint job. Tell us what you think. Was this article helpful?


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