By: Jeanne Huber, This Old House magazine
This Old House painter John Dee calls his neighbors Robert and Andrea Bowler “the epitome of diligent homeowners.” They bought their postwar Colonial in May two years ago, and a month later Andrea was down at the local hardware store, picking out new beige paint to lighten up the gloomy exterior. Soon Robert was up on the ladder, hard at work. “It wasn’t easy,” he says. “I scraped the whole house, rented a water gun, primed everything. I put two coats of paint over that. I did it when I got home from work, I did it on Saturdays. It took me the whole summer. It looked so good.”
But within a year, as the Bowlers watched in horror, their labor-intensive paint job — and everything underneath — was flaking off in leathery sheets. The paint detached with such determination that some chips were embedded with cedar splinters from the underlying siding. Layers of paint that had bonded to the house for decades came loose.
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