I just had my house repainted. I hired the highest rated contractor on google in this area and paid more than regular.

Today when I had a close look at the wall, I noticed quite a few small dots.

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There are less dots on most of area but it is a common problem can be seen on many places.

The wall was pressure washed. Looks like they are not dirt particles.

Is it normal on exterior painting? I need to make sure this is a failure or not before I communicate to contractor....

  • Are you sure they weren't there before? Is that fiber cement or hardboard siding? I seem to recall that being common with the fiber cement I've worked with, as though the factory press left them. – isherwood Jun 25 '20 at 14:19
  • Dirt particles? Though that seems to be a awful lot of them. – SteveSh Jun 25 '20 at 14:28
  • @isherwood - I don't have anything like that on my cement board siding. – SteveSh Jun 25 '20 at 14:29
  • @SteveSh, that doesn't really matter, does it? :) – isherwood Jun 25 '20 at 14:29
  • Was this sprayed or brushed/rolled? – Matthew Jun 25 '20 at 15:22

First, you made a big mistake. You relied on Google reviews. It's known by everyone that the reviews are completely unreliable. Google is one of the worst rating systems. Yelp is much more accurate but you also have to be careful. Currently, no rating system is even close to perfect so you have to look at several rating systems and read them to find out if they are fake. For example, if you find tons of 5-star reviews in the same month, it's obvious that the company paid a company in China to write the reviews or they are even writing the reviews themselves!

This even occurs on Amazon. You would think it's harder because you have to be a registered buyer with a credit card. Not so. Amazon is trying but not very hard to figure out a way to stop it but with the number of products out there, it's a losing battle. You'll notice a lot of relatively new Amazon product releases with 5 star reviews in the 1st year. If you are sharp enough, you'll notice that sometimes many of the names are foreign sounding. Then, after you purchase the product and after one year of use, it doesn't turn out as you expected, you'll notice that the Amazon rating for that producted has plummetted to 3 or 4 stars as the recent 1 or 2 star start to average out the ratings. It's a scam. Companies will pay like $5 a review to people to write reviews because it creates a lot of money for them.

Now, Google doesn't even filter out the reviewers so the reviews are even more manipulated. The company can write the reviews themselves! As I said before, if you are sharp enough, you'll even notice that many of the reviews occur in spurts. Just don't use Google as a method to find contractors.

The dots are not normal and you should say something. There are a ton of reasons why the dots appeared. It could be the humidity, quality of the paint, how they painted it on, etc. They are air bubbles that haven't popped. It may or may not be their fault. For example, if the material is porous, it has more of a tendency to do that. One brand of paint might cause it and another might not with that type of substrate. Nevertheless, you need to tell the painter to go back and sand it out and paint it again. In painting contracts, there is an expectation of a certain level of finish. In the tier of finish wasn't stated, then it's expected that the finish is relatively smooth. And, when I say finish, I don't mean gloss, semi-gloss, etc. I am referring to something like this. This refers to drywall but you can probably find the exterior paint version of it. You have to pay a lot to get a level 5 finish. This means it's absolutely smooth with no sign that skim coating was done. But, it's reasonable to expect a level 3 finish which is a relatively smooth finish.

Did you put use a high gloss finish? After they sand it, don't just allow them to paint over it and just feather the edges. It'll flash. This means that due to the component in the paint that makes it shiny, you can tell where they painted another layer. On the other hand, you can cut them a break and don't require them to repaint an entirely new coat since it's outside. It's up to you to decide to make a big deal of it. I'm kinda' anal so I would make them paint that entire side of the wall again.

Just to let you know, I stay away from high gloss. You really can't paint over it again. Why? Because it doesn't come off and when you paint over it, it starts to look globby. Yes, it lasts longer but the next time you paint it, it looks not so good. By the third layer, it looks terrible. Yes, it looks great the first time, especially on trim but you need to think about the long-term that no one does. If you don't know what I mean, go to any old house and look at the paint job. You will almost definitely see places where they used hi gloss paint. You'll see that those areas look so globby. It's because age and weather will not remove that gloss paint although it will dirty it. When you then put another layer to it, it builds up and up and up. If you use something that is more matte, yes you will have to paint it earlier but that is the cost of keeping it beautiful for the long-term.

And, please leave a honest review about them on Google, Yelp, and others. If they do a horrible job, please post that this did so and mention that the other reviews are probably fake. As long as you are honest, they can't sue you. I have been threatened with lawsuits and I laugh at the lawyers. Some actually sue me and I countersue for a frivilous lawsuit and they lose big time. They can't threaten you for speaking out. That's one of the biggest protections in the Constitution. Just report honestly.

Unfortunately, I admit that many times, my honest review of their poor performance sometimes does not have any effect. But, you try your best to make the world a better place. Do what's right.

  • Thanks! They must be air bubbles. I will see what contractors says first. – Wayne Li Jun 26 '20 at 1:36
  • They are definitely air bubbles. All painting contractors know this. You used a painting contractor right? Not a general contractor (GC), right? You would think painting is easy but it isn't. It's a very difficult job with subtle tricks. For example, some will use tape, some won't. Which is better? Depends. Without taping, he must have many years of work to have a steady hand to feather at the trim. Also, 99% of painting contractors don't know many important things. This doesn't mean they are bad. It means that they know 90% of the know-how, which generally is good enough. – QuietInMontana Jun 27 '20 at 19:31

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