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Self-Priming Exterior Paint?

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I mentioned in a previous post that I have a newfound respect for the Valspar paint brand found at Lowe’s. I’ve only used the interior version, but got thinking that maybe their exterior would be worth looking into since we’re (…big deep breath…) hoping to paint the house this spring/summer/fall.

We’ve got plenty of scraping and repairs to do before we get down to actually painting, but I’m always much more interested in the “make it pretty” aspects of the job so of course that’s what I’m focusing on.

Valspar Duramax Exterior Paint, Victorian Home

Anyway….. I notice that Valspar has a line of paint called Duramax that is (according to their data sheet) self-priming. Meaning, one less coat of paint to apply to our giant house. Meaning, major money and time saved. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine there was a self-priming exterior paint out there that would remove the priming step for us. It sounds way too good to be true, which means it probably is. Has anyone used this type of paint or heard reviews (good or bad) about it? I couldn’t find anything specific online.

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

nadja and sean had this to say on 03.28.07:

We painted our exterior last summer. We used Sherwin-Williams Duration paint, which is also self-priming, but we used a primer anyway for some parts of the house- Mostly because we were going to a darker shade, and we tinted the primer to be dark so we would only have to use one coat to get the color we wanted. For much of the trim, though, we didn’t use a primer, and so far it has held up really well. and sure enough! One coat coverage! If hadn’t gone to such a dark shade, I don’t think we would have used a primer.
Check out Duration- we did a lot of research of paint brands before we chose that one. Even though it may be a little more pricey, it’s worth it if you don’t have to paint again for 10ish years!! The other brand we considered was the high end of the California Brand exterior paint, which also has excellent long-term reviews. Good luck!

John had this to say on 03.28.07:

I’d love to know too, but it is too late for us this time around. I want it to be true, but I too am suspicious.

Any particular reason you have liked Valspar? I can’t remember what we’ve been using from Lowe’s (olympic or American Expressions or something like that), but I’ve been pleased with it so far.


Beth had this to say on 03.28.07:

While this may not be immensely helpful, we used a self-priming exterior pain that Behr makes, and it worked like a charm. I cannot attest to its durability as of yet (we only tested it on some concrete walls, but decided we didn’t like the color), but it did go on well, and the primer worked as advertised.

Mindy had this to say on 03.29.07:

Oooh, Nadja and Sean – good to know, I’ve always been a fan of SW. And Teague has a contractor account there, which means we get a 10% discount on all our orders. I’ve always maintained that a little more $ for good paint is TOTALLY worth it. Thanks for the info!

John – I used Valspar paints in our bathroom because I was too lazy to drive out to SW (it was a blizzard the day I wanted paint) and was really surprised with the coverage and color. The colors we chose were rich and saturated and the finish was very nice. I was really pleasantly surprised. The guy at the paint counter told me that the Valspar rates very highly, right up there with DutchBoy etc.

Beth – Hey, that’s helpful – I’m not tied to Valspar for any reason right now, I just happened to come across their self-primer. Apparently I live under a rock b/c I had no idea these self-priming paints existed. Teague did, he says a paint counter person gave him a nice long intro to them one day and had nothing but good things to say.

Jury is still out………. but initial reports do sound promising!

Stephanie had this to say on 03.30.07:

I too am a fan of Sherwin Williams Duration paint – it’s great paint. I’m an architectural color consultant by trade and spec interior and exterior paint for commercial and residential clients from a number of different brands. Last year, I restored a 1940s movie theater. We used Duration on the exterior in a very, very dark (almost navy) blue and got excellent coverage in two coats, with no primer. The paint job is a year old now and looks like it could have gone up yesterday. I’ve been really impressed. Sherwin Williams Superpaint is also a reliable exterior paint. I’ve also been impressed with Benjamin Moore and Miller exterior paint. I have never tried the Valspar paint though – I’ll have to check it out. Sounds interesting. Finally, although some people do seem to like it, I have never had anything but terrible experiences with Behr paint – interior or exterior. In my opinion, it’s thin and streaky and gives very poor coverage. I usually advise people against using it and I have had three different clients decide to use it anyway, only to call me later to say that they wished they’d listened. One client wanted a red kitchen and decided to save money by painting herself. I recommended using several other brands, but she went with Behr because it was cheaper than other brands. Even though she used a colored primer as a base coat, it took seven coats to paint her kitchen, and there are still some streaky areas. She hates it and now plans to repaint with a different brand. She would have saved a lot more money by going with a higher quality paint. There are affordable options – Glidden isn’t very expensive as paints go, for example, but it’s decent paint at a decent price. But Behr? Ugh.

bob n. had this to say on 04.19.07:


Holly Caughron had this to say on 04.25.07:

Thanks for all the INSIGHT!! VERY VERY HELPFUL. Isn’t the internet great!? We saw a special on Behr Paint at Home Depot for 25% off…promotion ending tomorrow. After reading your very helpful and lengthy blog, we’ve decided that it’s a bad idea, and to stick with this mini “consumer reports”. Thanks again for sharing your opinions.

PS – we’re looking for interior paints in light/pastel colors, and are using an exterior paint on a craftsman home that has brick exterior if anyone has any other helpful comments, or painting tips. Wish us luck!!!

Thom had this to say on 05.15.07:

I have used Valspar Duramax and compared it to SW Duration, 1 gal each. I frankly see very little difference in the products other than SW is $25.oo more per gallon.

Jerry had this to say on 05.16.07:

Read the fine print on the self priming paints. Yes they do not need to be primed but a second coat is required for the lifetime warranty. So in Duration’s case you can either prime at $20 a gallon plus 1 coat of Duration or you can put on two coats of Duration at $40 somehing dollars a gallon. Either method nets the lifetime warranty.

Craig and Tina had this to say on 05.22.07:

We are planning on painting our house this summer. We would appreciate any feedback on the best paints out there.


Pam Sledd had this to say on 06.22.07:

We used SW in 1999 and it failed on the trim. They replaced it. The house is stucco, and we are ready to repaint but will not use SW again. Behr has a stucco paint and so does Glidden, anybody know how well they last?

Dennis Hinrichsen had this to say on 06.27.07:

I was considering Duramax on a home I am painting. The self-priming factor offset the $33/gal cost. the Lowe’s rep stated it could be sprayed with my Titan sx690 rig, will not spray though an electric airless like Wagner.

I called Valspar for confirmation and was told Duramax was intended for brush or roller application only. Spraying was not an option , nor was dilution for spraying. You would think they could put such a disclaimer in their literature.

So much for confidence. I will stick with Rhodda as usual. I wonder what nightmare the customer buying 150 gallons of paint will experience AFTER he has batched the gallons together for spraying. House taped off and ready for spraying $5000 worth of color, but little comes through the gun. Break out those rollers boys!

chris had this to say on 07.24.07:

wow, 150 gallons on a house! that’s more than 11,000 sq ft! Something like 900′ to a side. whoo!

Rainanrot Inc had this to say on 07.30.07:

I have used Duramax heavily recently and have had Exceptional results across the board. I agree that Duration is a comparable product, but it’s in a different price bracket, so to me, it should be a super paint when compared to Duramax’s price. Duramax WILL spray through a proper commercial airless sprayer. A cup’n’gun of either compressed air, or electric, will NOT pump it. I’ve pumped some pretty thick paints through our airless without much problem, just use the proper tip and pressure. The thicker the paint, the slower the going, so be patient!
As both products mentioned here are ‘relatively’ new to this area, it’s difficult to compare, but I can give you one comparison.

About 2 years ago we scraped and primed, and painted a fence for a nice old lady. It peeled the next spring..
The primer wasnt up to the job of holding to the very weathered fencing. That fall we used this paint on a MUCH more weathered garage. A year later now, and aside from dirt, it’s pristine! The garage side that is almost always sunward looks excellent. Both were sprayed with an airless. The garage (duramax) was not primered, but the fence (conco) was. Go Figure.

John had this to say on 08.03.07:

I have painted several houses over the 30 years and preparation is the best way to start. Powerwash with a powerwash soap and make sure the spray is a wide setting or else you will drill into the wood with the fine setting. If the original paint is in good shape with no cracking you can paint without priming. Primng is only needed on bare wood. The best paint is California paint which is not made in Calfornia. I have tried all brands of paint and keep looking for something better. More information can be found on the Consumer Report website.

Dan had this to say on 08.17.07:

The “experts” in the paint industry say you MUST prime any type of bare wood, including areas where you may have scraped a previous coat down to bare wood. Self-priming only means that on a previous clean painted surface in good condition, it can be painted without using primer. Check the fine print on the paint can. Unprimed prime bare wood regardless of the paint used won’t give lasting adhesion and will start to check and peal after about three years depending on the type of wood and the amount of moisture that was trapped under the unprimed finish.

Joe had this to say on 08.22.07:

I have painted around the house alot over the past few years and won’t use anything but Valspar. The Duramax is Outstanding!! I painted a brick wall, gutters and of course my whole house last year and it still looks great. Check out for some really cool historical facts on the company. They have been around since Thomas Jefferson was president!!

TODD had this to say on 09.14.07:


RJ had this to say on 10.02.07:

The Aura linje from Benjamin Moore is $75 a gallon! It’s outrageously expensive, just to appeal to the snob factor. I use Valspar on all interior projects and it’s wonderful, and good value. Valspar also has “Signature” lines from Martha Stewart, Laura Ashley, etc. My Dad used Laura Ashley throughout a new home and raved, though he used a pro painter.

Rock had this to say on 10.09.07:

Holly? Paint the brick last–if at all… we look for brick, slumpblock, etc because it’s nice unpainted… just like we in the southwest look for desert landscaping…

You must really love to paint!

Earl had this to say on 10.10.07:

I painted my house myself 17 years ago. Took it to bare wood, primed and finished with Sherwin Williams. It needs it now but has looked pretty damn good through that period. Side facing water/sun, mostly windows, I have had to repaint two times. I can’t do the work this time but my painter wants to use Valspar Duramax. We had such good luck with SW I am leary. Any professional painters out there with an opinion? Earl

David had this to say on 10.11.07:

The type of paint you use and how well it covers and adheres to the type of surface you use is has so many factors involved.

There is no one true answer to the original question, unless all the factors that are involved with a specific paint job are considered.

Surface material: Stucco, Wood, Metal, Slate, Plastic, Concrete etc..

Type of paint you are covering: Oil or Latex based. Or has it ever been painted.

Surface type: Rough, Smooth…

Color of previous surface: Very dark, Medium or Light…

Weather exposure: Heavy Sunlight, Beach air exposure, freezing exposure…

Even if you buy paint that is $50+ a gal and you do not use it the way it was designed then you might as well have used $6 gal paint.

My recommendation is to go to a store that specializes in and does nothing else but sell paint (Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, Pittsburgh Paints… Most people you talk to at Home Depot, Lowes, Ace, Hechinger’s, 84 Lumber… have no clue what they are doing when it comes to recommending paint.

They have no real hands on life work involved.

Most have read a manual about paint and that is it. Don’t get me wrong, you will run across a retired professional painter in one of these stores working there. But, that is few and far between.

Try to find the most seasoned person there is, who has painted homes in your area of the country, for most of their life.

They will have used almost every known paint brand and mixture that is available in your area. This is important, because you are painting in your area of the country, not that of someone who is living in a totally different area that doesn’t understand your needs truly…

Best of luck.

jimmy had this to say on 11.27.07:

I’ve been painting for many years now. Maybe too long. I just so happened to stumble across this site and was reading through the posts here and found it a very interesting discussion. I’ll just say this…When it comes to all the abuse exterior surfaces see throughout the year, someone like me can get themselves into trouble real quick if the product they use isn’t up to the task. I’ve used just about everything out there and I have to say that Valspar’s Duramax is the only paint that I feel comfortable using ALL the time. The performance factors are excellent for a product that won’t hurt the customer’s pocket (mine too!). It hasn’t been all “peaches and cream” though. I did develop a problem once with Duramax’s adhesion and the problem came from a mistake one of my guys did on site. The Valspar rep was very helpful and even came out to the job to give us a hand with the fix. I’m a Valspar customer 100%!

davefoc had this to say on 12.20.07:

I was looking for some formalized testing of duramax versus other paints when I came across this thread. Duramax wasn’t included in a Consumer Report that I read on paints awhile back, but the promotional material at Lowes convinced me that it was worth a try.

Our results so far have been positive. It’s been up for more than a year now and it looks like the day it was painted. It seems to be much better than the paint we had used earlier, Weatherall distributed by TruValue think. We use it on wood and stucco.

Pete had this to say on 02.14.08:

I am about to paint some exterior trim on a southern exposure at house in coastal Florida panhandle ( hot humid , relentless sun , salt ) . SW Duration seems to be the best our there and probably can get something off with a friends contactor discount . However , I would like to find out more data about Valspar Duramax and the Behr simialr type products .

Rodney had this to say on 03.04.08:

I am a professional painter with 9-years experience now. The first 5-years was spent doing large commercial multilevel buildings (exterior) in the Florida pan-handle area. Here are my opinions for what it is worth.
Sherwin Williams has the worst quality paint on the market right now. When they started they were looking for ways to grow. They instituted a well laid plan by appealing to the contractors (jobsite delivery, discounts, lines of credit, etc.) This stratagy worked very well and the company took off. Now the general public is convinced that it is good paint because that is what most of the “pro’s” use. When in fact their quality has been declining steadily over the last 15-years. The reader who made the comment about all his research and then going with SW duration must have not delved very deeply at all. Besides my experience with any of their products, you need only look at Consumer Reports to find that ALL of the SW products have rated at the bottom for many years now. The 60.00/gallon duration was beat by many 15.00/gal paints. (Now that is off my chest, here is what I recommend):
Behr first and foremost. The ext. Ultra is by far much better than anything I have ever used and has been a godsend for me. The Duramax is indeed a good product as well, I just don’t like the way it spreads and feels under my brush. (Just my preferance) For interior, again I use Behr most of the time…….But (I will probably be castrated for this one) Kilz Casual Colors is every bit as good (INTERIOR ONLY) and much cheaper. As A matter of fact I think it lays down and spreads better than even Behr does. The problem with Kilz and pros are the fact that you can only get it at Walmart and their service as related to what pros need (high volume, product knowledge, GOOD color matching ability, and fast service) is severely lacking. I wish Kilz would not have signed an exclusive contract with those idiots at Walmart. For the DIY’er who needs quality versus price… is a good viable alternative. Now….remember that this comes from a pro that uses high quality tools and knows how to properly prep a job. Do your self a favor and do a good prep job first, then be prepared to spend good money on “Purdy” paint brushes, “Wooster” roller frames, etc. DO NOT SKIMP ON THE PREP. Don’t go buy a 1500 psi washer, rent a good one if you need to. (2.7 GPM or better) Use high quality soaps and cleaners and spend the time to do it right. Prime any “Bare wood” , work top-down / inside-out, and take your time. Is closing…..Behr ext. ultra (self priming) will work great for you if you spend the time on the prep and premium tools. Just think of the money you are saving on primer when you pay for those “Purdy” brushes. Happy painting, Rodney

Rodney had this to say on 03.04.08:


I have turned down more than one job where the customer insisted on using Sherwin Williams. I absolutely refuse to use their products.

I do not usually subscribe to “threads” like this one. So if anyone has any questions/comments, you may email me at home,
I live and work in Western North Carolina.

Happy Painting, RB

Rodney had this to say on 03.04.08:

P.S. Don’t think my last follow up went thru so here it is again, I apologize if it hits twice.

I refuse to use SW and have turned down more than one job when the customer insisted I use nothing but their products.

I don’t normally have time to get in these discussions on websites, but I really want to help anyone out there so they don’t waste time and money. So here is my email at home:
If you have a question or want another opinion, feel free to shoot me a message. I live and work in Western North Carolina.


E. Marshall had this to say on 03.25.08:

We used Sherwin Williams Duration paint on a well prepared older frame house. In less than four years it is peeling in sheets off the siding and has performed worse than much less expensive paints that we have used on this house. It is failing on every surface whether shady, sunny or protected surfaces. SW will not honor the well advertised guarantee and has said that it is the paint underneath that has failed. If exceptional professional preparation of the surface will not result in performance of Duration paint, then the advertising is clearly a come on and cannot be relied on.

Rodney had this to say on 04.01.08:

I had some time today so decided to pop back in here. I have re-read some of the posts and wanted to make just a couple more comments. SPRAYING premium heavy paints: You can absolutely spray Behr ultra and Valspar Duramax. I do very often with my small sprayer (Graco Inc. 190es) using a 5-17 or 5-19 tip.
FINISHING BRICK: I have painted plenty of brick with good results, but I prefer to stain it with a high quality concrete stain if the customer wants to change the color and it has not been painted in the past. I just finished my own fireplace facing with this manor. My wife and I were tired of the extremely light colored brick and used two colors of concrete stain to achieve the warmer look we wanted. The color should out last the life of the house (unless the boss wants to change it again)
STUCCO: In my opinion the best (longest lasting) product for stucco would be an “Elastomeric” paint. Think half paint and half rubber roof coating and you’ll get the general idea of it. Usually available off the shelf only in coastal regions. Your painter can get it ordered for you though. If he does not know what it is……..find a different painter. Not for the DIY’er in my opinion. Of course you can paint stucco with a high quality exterior paint, or even concrete stain it if you don’t want the “sealed” look from the elasto or paint. I have done all of these and they all work fine. I realize some of those posts are old, but might be good info for the future.

Rod Bailey
Accent Painting

mel had this to say on 04.06.08:

I have been a professional painter for 25 years. Behr has worked pretty well for interior painting. Interior doesn’t have to withstand weather conditions. For exterior painting I only use Dunn Edwards, its the best!!

Pam Caldwell had this to say on 05.09.08:

I first read about this type of paint on a DIY site as something new that you could use for things with more contraction and expansion, like plastic or metal, and the paint stayed flexible enough to move with it. I had chalked out shutters, stained gutters and downspouts, and cracked Certainteed Perfection shingles on my fixer-upper. I bought the Duramax in 2005 and did the dark green shutters, and used the white Sears version topiant them all after replacing the broken shingles since old and new whites didn’t match. I had plenty of paint left so I did the gutters, soffits, downspouts, white aluminum posts that were added over the original wood porch ones, my mailbox, the front storm door, etc–everything in site that was metal or plastic.
I loved the way this paint went on, the fantastic way it bonded, and the final look (preferred satin on the shutters, but it’s not very satin–the flat is very flat so great for metal).
The directions suggest NOT pressure washing beforehand but a wash prep instead so I did that.
This was 3 years ago and it all still looks like it was painted yesterday, and no sign of flaking, chipping, cracking etc, even in the hottest sun areas.
If you have energy and enthusiasm but not much money, and your basic stuff is in decent shape (like my shutters, storm, door, gutters etc) use this stuff and you’ll get a lot of bang for the $.

Art Ryan had this to say on 05.13.08:

I’m planning to replace defective Masonite “Omniwood” siding with Hardiplank (“Pre-primed”) (unpainted) on two sides of the house, leaving the still good Masonite on the other two. Last painted about 5 yrs ago and still in good shape. Is it a good idea to paint (new color) the whole house with Sh-W “Duration” and if so, what recommendations does anyone have for prep and application? (Powerwash, primer coats, two coats of “Duration”; is Valspar a better bet? Help!

Ryan walker had this to say on 06.08.08:

Does anybody have any comment on pittsburgs timeless one coat exterior paint, or any line of their exterior paints

Jeff Strainer had this to say on 06.12.08:

I find these threads to be somewhat insufferable; however being a professional painter since 1987 (I was 14 then) I have tried )and sometimes back in the day incorrectly) just about every paint known to man…does that make me credible…perhaps…here’s a summary:
Exterior Priming: absolutely nothing covers (in regards to drastic color changes) like Valspar Complete Home primer….it’s a bit thin and will initially cause concern; however, once applied, you will be shocked. I just finished a job where I anticipated usuing 10 gallons, and I used just over 5….(I’m usually dead on with my material specs)
Duration is the ONLY and I mean ONLY SW product which I will EVER touch. …Why, you ask? Well, their paints have no body whatsoever, they cover like crap, and they make me look like I’m a sloppy painter when I complete a job with overspray all over myself…they drip….they are grossly overpriced….Don’t buy the discount hype…it is just that, HYPE….that being said, with proper preparation Duration is a fine product…still overpriced in juxtaposition to the two other self-priming products on the market: Behr Ultra and Duramax…..sometimes the Duramax seems way too thick and difficult to work with, and other times the consistency is more traditional. My employees refer to Duramax as the marshmellow creme brand because of its thickness. …Hope this helps, and remember more than anything, success is in the preparation….proper washing, scraping, priming and then a nice top coat…remember the variable of weather as well….good luck. any specific questions pleae send to: I have no affiliation to any company and can most likely prevent you from doing something which will irriate you and your wallet in the future. Here’s to a dry Ohio summer!

BEB had this to say on 08.22.08:

I purchased the Valspar Duramax exterior paint (black) based upon Consumer Reports. I live in NE Ohio. The surface was protected from the elements (very long eaves or covered porches and gets no direct sunlight) and was smooth and clean. By the end of the first winter the widespread chalking that developed gave the appearance of water dripping (there was none). I contacted Lowe’s who then put me in touch with the Valspar representative. He inspected my home and called me back after speaking with their “technical department” and informed me that this was “normal”. I never had this problem with SW.

Guy Gordon had this to say on 11.01.08:

I have used Porter Paint for 20+ yrs and have never had a problem except with the frequent price increases. I tried the Duramax instead of Porter’s Permanizer and so for the results has been great. The satin spreads better thah the semi gloss. As far as primer, it is hard to beat Porter’s Bonding primer(oil or latex). I have used it on many badly peeling houses in the past and it has never failed.

halltee had this to say on 04.29.09:

I’m getting ready to paint my home, which needed a-lot of caulking due to new hardi cement boards and cracking of the old paint. A painter recommended Vulspar Duramax. I’ve read all the comments and appreciate everyone who took time to make a comment. I painted my interior with Behr which is decent, but pretty thin. I would’nt recommended it and I’m ready to try something different, especially for my exterior, which I’m definately going to try a self priming paint. I from the west coast and we used Miller and Duron. Of course Duron is expensive and I have’nt found Miller. Wish me luck.

ray reynolds had this to say on 05.06.09:

I’m sorry but using an expensive paint to prime is dumb. You still need at least 2 coats. It would make more sense to prime with a specific primer. It does a better job.

Charles had this to say on 05.21.09:

Seems to be a lot of conflicting info here. As a homeowner I bough SW superpaint exterior and found it ok, we used a lot of paint 5 gal job, ended up using 7 gal. The coverage is good but a little uneven. I have a contractor in the family and he said like another on this board that Behr has gone up in quality and SW has gone down in the last 15 years.

I am buying paint today and really confused on where to go, either HD or Lowes. I will be suprized if you can spray lowes exterior paint — Valspar. Valspar interior is much beter than Behr interior I have used it for years, so that is what I will try on the exterior unless someone stops me:)

Charles had this to say on 05.21.09:

Change of plans — Called Behr and Valspar.

Valspar — rude for one and told me to spray i would need to also back roll it – what so why spray? Anyway it is thick paint and can be sprayed but I will need a .019 tip, add 8oz of water to every gallon, and clean meshes reg. — THIS IS CRAZY

Behr — nice customer service — sprays without issue, can use 0.15 tip

KM had this to say on 06.06.09:

I have a historic home that has always been painted with oil base paints. Can one of the self-priming products, like Behr’s Ultra, really be used the next time I paint? It would be wonderful to use a latex paint! My painter says it will work fine as long as the surface is cleaned properly. Please give me your thoughts on this….he plans to spray it on. He says he loves the Behr Ultra product. What do you think???

lockwppd home improvement had this to say on 07.01.09:

>>>>>>>>>>its not worth the money! i do state grant work on Victorian remodels. myself and all my employees say its a major wast of time and money. it does not cover like the brocher pic (white over black)some coats or 3-5 on light over a dark color.both fresh paints.
i have for years refused to waste money on high dollar paints and have always been very very happy with valspar sever weather paint.(very happy).duramax will go through a good sprayer,with out diluting it..but when we water it down it did (not) change the color at all (1/4 ratio).and it worked much better on dry dry wood for the first coat.. i honestly will never use it again. and if it did what it said it would ,id pay $50.00 per gallon.
also the valspar rep has yet to return a call ,in 3 weeks of asking, lowes to have him call me.
again valspar (sever weather) is all i will ever use.

mike had this to say on 07.23.09:

I have been using the Duramax exterior semi-gloss on the outside of my house and my wife informed me the feel is rough.I checked it out and the surface has little bumps.I used a 3/8 nap roller and a purdy brush. What did i do wrong. I clean and brush my brush after every painting session.

D Snedeker had this to say on 07.23.09:

I painted my home 2 years ago with the lifetime Duramax. Yes, I used two coats of it.

I am down here in southern Lousiana and it is constantly humid. Within 1 year maximum 2 years, most homes will need to be pressured washed due to the mildew buildup from the humidity.

Since I have placed the Duramax on, there is not a spec of mold or mildew where I used the Duramax.

It is a extremely heavy paint, and is extremely thick. It laid on beautifully and quite easy. Whether you want to do one coat or not, depending on what it’s going on, you may need a second coat anyway.

I am 100% satisfied with the Duramax.

andrew c had this to say on 08.07.09:

I own an older New Englander that is about 140 years old so when i tell you i hate paint you can understand why. Originally I used Behr Exterior paint based on the recommendations of a prof. painter. The behr paint did not last at all. The paint just flaked off. This was inspite of prepping the clapbaord down to the bare wood. I have had much better luck with SW duration paint. Also Ben. Moore from Ace Hardware stores was also excellent.

Angela had this to say on 08.20.09:

What recommendations do you have for Northwest weather–Seattle area. I’d rather not break the bank, but I don’t want to repaint anytime soon. We’re leaning toward Valspar. Does anyone have experience with that in this area?

Nick Burns had this to say on 08.24.09:

I mistakedly painted over an exterior surface with interior paint. What do I need to do to paint this surface with exterior paint?

Thomaskm had this to say on 08.29.09:

I just finished painting my house. It had been 35 years and I had to cover oil based lead paint, 2 types of latex, asbestos, aluminum flashing, rusted metal, bare wood, field stone, concrete block, spider cracked paint, roof tar, and mold. I scrapped and power washed, then scrapped again. It was a mess. I decided to prime with one coat Kilz 2 white ( 11 gallons), and cover with one coat Duramax semi-gloss white ( 10 gallons). Both rolled & brushed. I am so pleased with BOTH decisions. I feel like I have the whitest house in the whole world. The brightness of the Kilz shows thru, and the Duramax gloss is so bright you actually can not look at the house directly when the sun is on it. NOTHING sticks to the Duramax, the area under my outside spigot where I cleaned up everyday, and also took mud off my garden produce etc. remains pristine and shiny as glass. Both paints applied and covered well, but there is no such thing as a one coat paint unless all conditions, tools, and methods are perfect. Areas where I double or triple coated with the Duramax are not quite as bright as the one coat ares simply because the Kilz primer is a full shade whiter than the Duramax white. I had to triple coat the bare wood due to the linseed oil bled thru both the Kilz and 2 coats of Duramax, the 3rd coat will cover anything including rusty nail heads, and my old rusty flag pole etc. I love both paints.

Another subject, when you apply super paints to a picket fence you paint all 4 sides and create an air tight seal. This allows the moisture in the wood to push against the paint and lift it right off. The better and thicker the paint the more it will lift. Like blowing up a ballon.

Goodtimesman had this to say on 09.12.09:

There is a lot more info here than I’ve seen elsewhere. Here is my question. I am painting the exterior of my little house soon. I am looking at Valspar Duramax external flat, (not the stucco, masonry type… didn’t like the 90 sq ft per gal.coverage). Also because of a color I like, I am also looking at Frazee’s top non-elastomeric paint…I can find NO reviews on Frazee. (Also Color wheel, General, Parker and Kwal) Which are tied with Frazee. Everyone says theirs is best.. I just want a good paint. Are these 2 any good? Pricing is close. Thanks for any info you can give me!


gary bennett had this to say on 01.07.10:

the valspar duramax is the best paint that have ever used, I did a restoration on 2 arcade machines with the duramax in black with 14 of y , one was going over old paint and the other was vinyl covered, I filled all dents and chips with bondo then sanded smooth, then painted with a roller, it is rare to see paint be so consistent on wood, vinyl and even some steel that i painted.
i am learning that you get what you pay for and if you buy the best it will save you time and money, i give this paint a 10

DoItYourSelfer had this to say on 03.16.10:

I’ve used the Valspar Duramax to paint my outdoor siding, trim, doors, and gutters. It was significantly thicker than the other, cheaper outdoor Valspar paint. I needed 2 coats with the other Valspar outdoor paint, but I only needed 1 coat of the Duramax for good coverage. The thickness of the Duramax made it cover much better and fill in cracks more. The downside of the Duramax is that its smell is much stronger. It smells like ammonia. Its definitely worth spending the extra money to buy the Duramax.

asbestos siding had this to say on 04.04.10:

Has anyone used Valspar Duramax on asbestos siding? If so, how many coats and how well did it work?

Gary Williams had this to say on 04.25.10:

My wife and I have spent years re-doing homes. We have used every paint under the sun and can honestly say that the Valspar paint is pretty good. We have used it extensively on our 140yr old Queen Anne Victorian and absolutely love it. It covers well and provides great durability. We have had good luck with most of the paint we have used in the past, to include Sherwin Williams, Behr, Glidden, Sears, Kilz, Porter, and of course Valspar. All, with the exception of Behr, have provided good results. The only problems we’ve had with Behr is color matching. The color you ask for does not always yield the color you end up with. The Sherwin Williams and the Valspar paint give the best coverage. We highly recommend spending time prepping and priming before any paint job. That is the key to any good paint job. We are preparing to paint the exterior of our house with the Duramax Flat in historic colors. I will provide updates as to how well it goes on, coverage, and durability.

Sam had this to say on 04.27.10:

I was reading your posts on line and I find what you have to say very interesting, I am about to paint my House and agonizing over not just color, but brands. I thought S.W. seems like a good brand, because that’s all they do and seem pro. but I keep hearing Lowe’s Duramax is as good for a better price, I really HATE to paint, but worst I hate a bad paint job, so if I really knew which is the better paint, I don’t mind putting out the xtra bux for a better paint, which only (hopefully) means I don’t have to paint soon after. I must of spent $60 on samples, the back of my hose looks like a circus tent.
What would you recommend??

Alan Sterling had this to say on 05.02.10:

I bought a gallon of Valspare Duramax Exterior Semi-Gloss Finish last fall. Have been using it on wood frames of screened porch. With such fine work, i.e., screen molding, it’s difficult to get enough on the surface to cover old stains even though we have washed with detergent and bleach.

Gary Williams had this to say on 05.06.10:


If this is bare wood I would suggest priming first and using a very small brush for application of base coat. Maybe even using an artist brush. We have found with very intricate work an artist brush with many coats works well. If the surface is very dirty I would use TSP on it and scrub well. It is very important to rinse the surface really well after using TSP as it can give you problems with painting. Good Luck…

Roberto had this to say on 05.15.10:

Just had my house painted using Valspar Duramax. My painter had never used it – but he said that he would use it from now on. He did comment it had a strong odor – but otherwise was the best paint he had used. It sure looks great.

Jake had this to say on 06.03.10:

hello everyone,
i am a professional painter in the Chicago area. i’ve been painting for 10 years. new construction, residential, commercial, and repaints. i would only recommend SW Duration or Super paint for exterior. sure there are products on the market that may be comparable but i’ve never had problems with SW paint. we stick to what we trust and trust me, i’ve used hundreds of other products out there. Duration is well worth the few extra bucks when it comes to the exterior of your home. and as a self employed painting contractor, my reputation is on the line every job, so we use the best products and tools to our knowledge to uphold an impeccable name. feel free to email me if you have any questions about anything regarding in/ext paint.


Larry Halldorson had this to say on 06.16.10:

Some comments about Duramax, 2 years after application. House was originally a green color, painted 3 times in 13 years with S/W and Iowa paints, probably contractor grade, flat. Every time, it looked faded and transparent within the first 2 years. Then I painted it myself, instead of hiring out. Stuff went on like a dream, both with brush and good airless sprayer. I used the semi-gloss formula. The house, to me, looked like there was absolutely no fading or weathering after these 2 years. Then I did some repairs and touchup on some siding and trim, which I needed to paint. Dug out the 2-year old paint can and painted here and there. The touchup spots are completely invisible- Absolutely no degradation in color or gloss when compared to the freshly applied stuff.

van had this to say on 09.06.10:

We started with the Duration brand. We had it tinted in a color called ladybug red in flat. The paint was very thin and took about 7 coats to cover white siding. I was OK with that–the house is very old and had been covered in vinyl with foam insulation panels. When I went back to get more, the sales associate refused to mix the exterior paint in that color. ??? So, I tried the Duramax in a very similar color, transferware red. Also very thin and took about 7 coats. We then started using 2 coats of dark gray primer with 7 coats of the red. It has held up very well in some areas, but is already cracking in others. The southern most and western facing sides have done better–no fading.

Herbert Weller had this to say on 02.07.11:

I am a professional painting contractor with a degree in engineering. I have used almost every brand of paint out there. Duration is a wonderful product but I have far more respect for Duramax. My company applies paint strictly by brush and sometimes we use a roller. I have found Duramax to be more user friendly and the coverage is great. I have a test I use to demonstrate to my clients the quality of exterior paints. After a bucket is empty and dried I pull the “Dry Film” skin from the inside of the bucket and show it to the client. Duramax is very flexible and elastic in nature. This is a great way for anyone to evaluate interior as well as exterior paint. If the “Dry Film” skin crumbles it is less durable.

Mandy had this to say on 04.18.11:

We are thinking of using SW Duration for our house in Oregon. Any paint recommendations for wet region? I am concern about mildew resistance. Appreciate your comments.

yippeee had this to say on 05.03.11:

Howdy All,
my 2 cents worth . . . I applied Behr premium plus semi-gloss with lifetime guarantee, 7 years ago, here in Central Texas, and it’s time to paint again! It went on smooth, looked nice, but has worn down where the sun hits it. I’m not using a dark shade, but something of a butterscotch color. This paint wasn’t cheap, so I expected more than 7 years from it. I’ll prolly try the Valspar duramax this time.

Sue Suchar had this to say on 07.09.11:

Painting a saltbox type sheep barn we had built last fall. Siding is T1-11. Barn is on hill with lots of weather. Got a gallon of Velspar Duramax to try. Hate painting and thought would do the one coat. It’s just a barn. Painting it light gray. Any comments, thoughts?

SteveTheDYIGuy had this to say on 07.22.11:

Valspar Duramax Report:

It seems to be good paint BUT…

One can of Dapper Tan satin exterior using Satin #2 Base for the custom mix color was excellent on the garage door trim. It covered well, felt nice under the brush, left a smooth even finish and was “one coat” over a somewhat darker greenish tan.

Another custom color (sort of deep brick red) using the Magenta Base painted on a previously painted fiberglass door over Kilz primer was cr**. It was watery, left major streaks, large areas of the Kilz white showed through, and if put on thick enough to cover well it either ran or the paint coagulated into tiny mounds unless back brushed (tricky timing for this…too soon and it lifted the paint you just put down, or too late and the paint balled up). And took 3 coats to cover on what should have been a one coat job.

My time is to valuable related to other DYI projects to gamble on which type of paint I will be working with, when if I lose, I end up with an expensive paint that is junk and requires even more of my time to get decent results. I cannot imagine a pro gambling his reputation or profit on this paint.

As mentioned by others above, I too have had poor results with Home Depot’s Behr paint. Poor coverage and interior paint that was not remotely washable when it said it was. From reading the posts I will skip SW and move on and try Ben. Moore.

And BTW, in both of these applications cite above, I washed, sanded to knock down the gloss, washed again and then applied the paint when the surface was in the shade, the temp was 75F – 85F and the humidity was 35%. There was just no excuse for the paint not to work.

Lowes customers would be served if the company would take some of that money from their massive TV advertising budget and use it to assure the paint they are selling is consistent across the entire set of color bases.

Ashley had this to say on 07.22.11:

Sherwin Williams Duration is HORRIBLE on cedar. You MUST use primer or the oils will bleed through, it won’t cover, and you will get cracking and peeling within months.

Jenelle had this to say on 08.09.11:

When the roof was replaced 6 months ago; the roofer’s nails perforated the plywood, the eaves (and the inside of the atticP), leaving pockmarks with broken out pieces of out pieces of plywood. I figure these are very bad,come the wet fall, winter, and spring (in Seattle). Is there a building code regarding these nail breakthroughs?

The paint job is about 10-12 years old, and most areas under the eaves are also spotted with black mildew. I’m trying to figure out what to do. Contact roofer? Contact building inpector? Spray primer over the naked wood before spraying with bleach mixture to kill the mold? Scrape AFTER spraying with bleach?

Certain exposed trim and siding (UV, rain, and me hosing down spiderwebs) has blistering, some that doesn’t scrape or wash away with the jet stream, some I can peel off in sheets (business card sized or larger), exposing bare wood. Some flakes away, with pieces that don’t come off with a wire brush. These sheets of paint are flexible and seem to be where “super thick” paint was laid down. For areas that come off in tiny flakes, but not complete, even if I scrape (wire brush, the herkin’ scraper), should I leave the flakes that won’t come off? This is rough cedar siding. I know all bare wood needs to be primed, and I’m using spray cans of primer because I have them. Does that primer have to be thickly applied, or is a thin/uneven coat OK? The primer doesn’t come off my fingernails…even after 2 hours in a swimming pool and 4 days of handwashing, heavy gardening, so I’m disinclined to get a gallon container that needs to be brushed on!

How to address the black mildew? Brush/scrape the plywood after applying bleach mixture? Also, spraywashing (jet stream on garden hose) the entire 4-folding roll up garage door shows yellow bleeding at the seams. Wondered how one is supposed to prep the seams…spray on primer AND paint in the seams?

Likewise I’m replacing a deck. Should I treat the cedar decking BEFORE nailing it down? Should I use screws? Should I repaint each nail/screw as soon as I’m finished?

Wade had this to say on 10.24.11:

I’m using the Valspar Durmax as we speak in exterior satin. So far, I’m happy with the ease of use, one coat coverage (though I’m repainting my home the exact same color scheme), and easy clean up. The paint doesn’t run or splatter with the whizz small diameter roller and brush (no spraying for me). Only time will tell on it’s longevity, but for application wise, I’m very satisfied.

Jim had this to say on 11.21.11:

I used valspars duramax in 2008 some areas I primed before using and other areas I sealed with a concrete sealer (shady side of house). Its about 3-1/2 years later and the paint in areas where the house gets direct sun has faded and is not holding up. I have used SW elastomaric paints back in 1996 and got 7 years, a friend of mine who paints houses recommends Behr so I will probably give them a try. I would not recommend Duramax it, the amonia smell alone makes it very uncomfortable to smell and not woth the expense in my book.

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