Elastomeric Paint Pros, Cons, and Why It's the Ultimate Choice for Stucco

Jan 02, 2024

The ins and outs of elastomeric paint—your go-to for enhancing and safeguarding exterior stucco, block, and concrete surfaces. Uncover the perks and downsides of this specialized high-build coating designed to keep your masonry surfaces water-resistant and well-protected.

Understanding Elastomeric Acrylic Paints

Elastomeric acrylic paints are a popular choice among homeowners and professionals alike due to their unique properties and benefits. But like any other product, they also have their drawbacks. This blog post aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the pros and cons of using elastomeric acrylic paints.

When Should You Use Elastomeric Paint?

Ah, elastomeric paint—the unsung hero in the painter's toolkit. You'll want to bring this heavyweight to the canvas when you're dealing with exterior surfaces that bear the brunt of the elements. Think stucco, concrete blocks, and masonry. These surfaces, prone to cracks and weather-induced stress, crave the flexibility and durability that elastomeric paints bring to the table.

Elastomeric vs. Traditional Paints: A Quick Comparison

Now, let's do a side-by-side of elastomeric and traditional paints. Traditional paints have their charm, but when it comes to endurance, elastomeric steals the spotlight. Picture this: elastomeric, a heavyweight boxer, going the full rounds without breaking a sweat, while traditional paint, a contender in comparison, may throw in the towel sooner. Elastomeric's ability to bridge cracks and create a waterproof shield makes it the MVP for exterior projects.

elastomeric acrylic paint

Here Are 3 Pros of Elastomeric Paints

Durability

One of the primary benefits of elastomeric acrylic paints is their exceptional durability. These paints are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, making them an ideal choice for exterior applications. They are resistant to fading, chalking, and peeling, ensuring a long-lasting finish.

Flexibility

Another significant advantage of elastomeric acrylic paints is their flexibility. These paints can stretch and contract without cracking, making them perfect for surfaces that expand and contract due to temperature changes or moisture.

A worker climber paints a residential high-rise building and seals up joints in a house, painting a residential house, stucco in Victoria bc

Water Resistance

Elastomeric acrylic paints are also highly water-resistant. They form a waterproof barrier on the surface, preventing water infiltration and damage. This makes them a great choice for areas prone to heavy rainfall or moisture.

Here Are 4 Cons of Elastomeric Paints

Silicone adhesive for general and industrial applications


The Main Downsides of Choosing Elastomeric Paint

While elastomeric paint brings forth a plethora of benefits, it's essential to acknowledge potential drawbacks before committing to this paint type for your abode. One notable downside is its susceptibility to fading over time, particularly when exposed to intense sunlight. This gradual fading can lead to a loss of color vibrancy, necessitating occasional touch-ups or even a full repainting down the road. Moreover, the cost factor is worth considering, as elastomeric paint tends to be pricier compared to traditional acrylic paint. This financial aspect might pose a challenge for homeowners operating within a tight budget, prompting a careful weighing of costs against the anticipated benefits.

Another facet to ponder is that elastomeric paint may not universally adhere to all surfaces with the same efficacy. While it excels in waterproofing and safeguarding materials like stucco and masonry, its adherence to other surfaces might require meticulous preparation and priming. This extra step ensures proper adhesion and longevity, factors critical to the overall success of the paint job.

On the flip side, acrylic paint presents its own array of advantages. It boasts a longer lifespan and superior resistance to fading when compared to elastomeric paint. Additionally, acrylic paint facilitates substrate breathing, preventing the accumulation of moisture and potential damage. If your priorities lean towards fade resistance and breathability, acrylic paint emerges as a potentially more fitting choice.

In conclusion, the decision to opt for elastomeric paint warrants a thorough consideration of its pros and cons. While it undoubtedly provides commendable durability and protection, its applicability may not universally align with every situation or budget. Seeking guidance from a professional is always a prudent move, helping tailor the choice of paint to your specific needs and circumstances.

1. Difficulty in Application

Despite their numerous benefits, elastomeric acrylic paints are not without their drawbacks. One of the main cons is their difficulty in application. These paints are thicker than regular acrylic paints, which can make them challenging to apply evenly. It often requires a professional touch to get the best results.

two workers in a helmet and construction clothes on a high staircase are painting with brushes and rollers, repairing the facade of the house with elastomeric paint

2. Cost

Another downside to elastomeric acrylic paints is their cost. These paints are usually more expensive than regular acrylic paints. However, considering their durability and longevity, many homeowners and professionals believe the cost is justified.

3. Limited Use

Lastly, elastomeric acrylic paints have a limited use. They are typically not recommended for indoor use or on surfaces that do not experience significant temperature changes or moisture. This limits their applicability to certain types of projects.

DIY Tips for Applying Elastomeric Paint

Alright, DIY enthusiasts, let's talk shop. Applying elastomeric paint is a bit like choreographing a dance—it's all about the technique. Start with surface preparation. Cleanse the canvas of dirt, grime, and loose paint. Seal those cracks like a maestro. And when it's brush to surface, remember: elastomeric paints are thick, so pace yourself. Professional tip: consider a primer coat for those sealed cracks—it's the secret sauce for longevity.

Repair, color, renovation and people concept - couple going to paint the wall, they are mixing the color


What Elastomeric Paint Should I Use?

Choosing the right elastomeric paint is like selecting the perfect brush for a masterpiece. Consider reputable brands like Sherwin Williams or Behr for a start. Look for a high-build formula—something in the range of ten to twenty mills per coating. The denser, the better. And, of course, factor in the color. Lighter shades are your allies in the battle against fading.

Considering your temperature and coverage requirements, here are recommendations for the three paints:

Sherwin Williams Conflex Elastomeric

These paints are selected based on their temperature compatibility and coverage efficiency. Make sure to follow the application instructions provided by each manufacturer for optimal results.

Maintaining Elastomeric Paint: Long-Term Care Tips

Maintaining elastomeric paint is akin to nurturing a masterpiece. Regular cleaning is the first stroke, removing dirt and debris to keep your colors shining. Keep a vigilant eye for any signs of wear—peeling, scratches, or fading. As the years pass, especially beyond the 7th year, consider a thorough inspection and, if needed, a fresh coat. It's the symphony of scheduled maintenance that keeps your paint singing.

How to Paint Over Elastomeric Paint

Sometimes, a change of palette is in order. Painting over elastomeric paint requires finesse. Begin by checking the condition of the existing paint. If it's still holding strong, a light sanding may be all it needs. But if there are signs of wear, consider a fresh coat of elastomeric for a seamless transition. Remember, the canvas must be ready to embrace te new strokes.

What To Do To Get The Most Value From Your Next Paint Job?

stucco house value high


If your home has been painted recently and you're considering a touch-up, here's the maestro's advice. Seal those stucco cracks, apply a primer coat of elastomeric paint on the sealed cracks, and choose a premium acrylic paint for the main act. Lighter colors resist fading, ensuring your investment stands the test of time.

Professional Painting Advice and Opinion About Painting Stucco And Elastomeric Paints

After over two decades in the painting arena, here's the unfiltered truth. Elastomeric paint is the unsung hero for waterproofing stucco, but it has its quirks. Darker colors may fade faster, and the application demands an experienced hand. If you're opting for elastomeric, go for the premium acrylics. And remember, while it may cost a bit more, the protection it provides is worth every penny.

Conclusion

In conclusion, elastomeric acrylic paints offer several advantages, including durability, flexibility, and water resistance. However, they can be difficult to apply, are more expensive, and have limited use. It's important to weigh these pros and cons before deciding if elastomeric acrylic paints are the right choice for your project.