Why does painting a house cost so much?

Exterior paint, takes a beating in the Yucatan. The sun breaks down the pigments and binding agents over time and the paint begins to chalk and flake. If you are at the beach, the salt air and sand are even harder on the paint and it does not last as long as house paint in Merida. I am currently having my own house at the beach painted and it is not a quick process if you want it done right, so that it will last. It is not a matter of a quick scrape and slapping on some paint.

First the exterior has to be washed with a good powerwasher. This will strip any flaking paint and dislodge any loose finish. The areas of loose finish, then need to be chipped away, to get to a solid surface, making sure the underlying material is sound.

IMG_3067This area then has to be prepped and resurfaced. We use a special bonding agent to make sure the new cement bonds to the old.


All to often what seems like a small crack ends up like this and of course it takes time to repair properly and time is money.  The whole house has be washed and repaired, then a sealer coat is put on. But this has to be done in sections to make sure the salt air does not get on the old surface again before you paint. The sealer does 2 things, obviously it seals the old and new surfaces, but it also acts as a bonding agent between new and old paint. Only now, can you put on the first coat of paint and it usually takes at least 2 coats, to get a good solid coverage. 1 man working on a small house, will take almost 2 weeks to do it properly, depending on repairs needed and the complexity of the colour scheme and house design. Then of course there is the cost of all materials required and paint is not cheap. Now you know why quotes for painting vary so much. There is quick and cheap or there is doing it right, which costs a lot more, but lasts longer.

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