I recently had someone from a painting company visit my house to give an estimate.

He gave me three options:

(1) the cheapest paint, six year warranty, $3000

(2) a thicker paint, nine year warranty, $4000

(3) two coats of the paint from (1), fourteen year warranty, $5000

It is quite obvious that if I expected the paint to immediately begin peeling as soon as the warranty expires, (3) is the best deal.

However, I don't know enough about paint to have any idea how long these three different paint jobs are likely to last.

How can I compare these three options to make the best selection, assuming that I use this company?

Update: I just realized that I failed to specify that I'm speaking only about the exterior of the house.

2 Answers 2


I don't really know what cheapest paint vs. thicker paint means. I am assuming that the cheaper paint is still a good paint if this is a company using it - not just some guy with cheap paint. So I am making an assumption. I am also assuming that the three levels all involve the same Day 1 finished look of the house because really if you are paying them they should be doing a professional job on any of the choices.


  • I would not expect said company to exist in 6 years let alone 14 years. They could. But your expectation for this type of company is they won't.
  • If said company had a lot of issues with their paint, it would probably be more cost effective to fold and open under a new name. And if the company does a great job then you probably have no reason to call them back.
  • It would be very difficult to prove that an issue 5-14 years later was due to the company's installation of the paint. They will invariably come back with a list of home owner reasons.
  • You can't expect a company to come out and fix nicks, oily hand marks and so on. There is wear and tear on paint due to the owner. If you don't ever touch your walls and the temp/humidity levels in your house are acceptable a good paint will last 20 years easy. But it doesn't in high traffic areas because we hit the walls with our body, hands, feet, furniture, whatever.
  • Do you even know if you will be in the house in 15 years?

So yea I would go the cheapo route. Maybe get a little more information on the paint difference between 1-2 and look up the manufacturer info and reviews for those paints. If there is a difference I would say slap on paint #2 and keep the warranty at 6 years. You have to be honest with yourself. Would you expect anyone to come back and repaint your house anytime after 3-6 months?

I have used TONS of different painting crews. I verify while they are painting the exact type of paint. Most of the time I choose the paint and provide that for them - I think you should ask about this option. Often they might say well we only use this type of paint - and then be like great I will buy that then, as long as said paint is good. I then look over their work as they go along and then inspect paint. On last day I walk around with little bits of blue painters tape and mark any missed spots. They fix those spots and we are done. I don't call them back 3 months later if there is a scuff mark on a wall or if something is peeling. If a week later I notice that they missed something big maybe I call but that is kind of on me - I missed a closet one time (well they did too) and a couple guys came to paint it. That's it though. If some guys come paint your house they don't own your wall issues for the next 15 years.

  • Sorry, I just realized that I failed to mention that I'm talking about the exterior of the house. Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 21:13
  • Basically the same answer. I mean do they cover a paint job if you bump into it with a ladder or hit it with the power washer too hard? I would worry about the rating of the paint not their warranty info.
    – DMoore
    Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 21:17

I would come at this from a couple of different directions. First, I would look at what the estimate includes for prep work. This should include scraping, sanding, and caulking everything, and doing it well. Multiple coats of the best paint you can buy are not going to last that long if the surface is not prepared well. Multiple coats can make up for some of this (mainly by decreasing the chances that moisture works behind the paint) by filling cracks with paint and ensuring that everything gets covered - putting on two coats makes it hard to miss the exact same spot twice.

Also ask the painter (or look through the estimate to see) how they are going to apply it. If they are spraying it is easier to get a more even coat. Again, thinner spots in the paint will cause problems. High quality paint that is brushed on can do worse than low quality paint that is applied with a high pressure sprayer.

I would personally be hesitant to use one coat of most paints. Thicker coatings require more paint to cover the same area, and it is pretty wasteful to put two coats of a thick paint on. More important are going to be things that effect the surface of the paint, such as mildew and fade resistance. You can't really get a good handle on how a paint is going to perform in these aspects without finding out the paint they intend to use and reading some reviews. Keep in mind that exposure is also going to play a factor here - are there large areas that are sun-lit most of the day? Areas that get little or no light?

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