Painting our House in the Philippines

painter painting If I remember correctly, the first painting of our house in the Philippines wasn’t completed until November of 2006. I think it was only about a week before we moved into the house. I don’t remember the exact color of the exterior walls – it was supposed to be close to taupe, but it ended up looking pink after a couple of summers. The trim around the windows, as well as the underside of the roof, was white. The interior walls were all painted in an off-white color, called “dirty white”. It doesn’t matter now – the exterior was repainted in 2011 and probably needs to be repainted again.

How Often should you Paint your House?

It depends on two things: Desire and need. Most people want to repaint their houses before they need to. In my case, I need to repaint my house in the Philippines more often than I want to. The “need” factor depends mostly on the weather.

My previous house, in Phoenix, Arizona, didn’t need to be repainted until I was ready to sell it. That was around 12 years. The weather in that area is dry most of the time, with sunshine way more often than not. Sure, the exterior paint faded, but so did the paint on all the neighboring houses in our subdivision.

The Philippines has almost the complete opposite weather with a couple of added bonuses: Torrential rains and tropical cyclones every year. The exterior of my house there looked like it needed to be repainted after only two years.

The only interior room that’s been repainted is the master bedroom. That’s where I spent most of my time and for some reason, the walls got progressively dirtier every month. The original paint wasn’t any good (I blame the contractor). When it was repainted, it was only one coat. It looks dirty again and I haven’t been there for months.

It’s Time for Painting Again

In 2011, we repainted the exterior in medium brown, using maroon for the trim and anything metal. Patches of paint have peeled off, but I think we can get away with just painting those specific areas. That’s if, of course, we can get the new paint to match the old.

We’ll definitely be repainting the master bedroom again. This time, one of my in-laws (the one I trust) will be taking care of it before my wife and I return to the Philippines (planned for November, 2014). I also want some other interior walls repainted because of peeling and bubbling – mainly a wall in the stairwell. We’re repainting in gloss white, so entire walls will have to be repainted to cover the “dirty white”.

We’re paying for everything, of course. Luckily, the labor cost is minimal since it’s all being done by in-laws. The best part is that it’s supposed to be done before we get there. If it isn’t, well, I still have some money sitting in a bank account that I can’t touch until I return.

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10 Responses

  1. Johnny Hudson says:

    Reading your blogs that I ran across because I’ve been thinking of moving to PH sometime in the future. I’m really interested in the same area you’re in. I spent a few week there in March and April and rented a house in a subdivision. I also spent some time in metro Manila and Antipolo and for many reasons, I prefer the Olongapo area – especially because of the better roads and driving conditions, less congestion, and stores that sell American products. I have a good friend that lives there and she got us half prices and/or discounts on the house, and all of the attractions there like the Zubicsafari, Ocean Adventure, All Hands Beach Resort and a new place that has odd things in it like a mirror maze, pictures on the wall and costumes you can don to take pics. My friend was like a celebrity at all of these places because she started most of them. That’s what she does – start businesses and get them going and move on to start another one. She’s renovated and restarted at least one resort there also. Anyway, the actual reason that I’m writing is I’ve been reading about your painting issues and today I ran across new products there that came from California that I think would solve all your problems. It’s cheaper than paint, does well in high heat and humidity, comes in colors and doesn’t fade. They have different textures, some rougher for outdoors if you want, and some smoother for indoors and some made for floors. And if I remember, it comes in about 80 color selections. They said painting costs about $400 a square meter and this stuff costs about $250 per square meter. I think they said they’re selling it in Pasig City. Here’s the link.

  2. Johnny Hudson says:

    I would like to read more details of the materials you used in building your house – such as is it all concrete, did you use wood like we do here, did you go with the local architecture style or try to build an American looking house?

    • RT Cunningham says:

      It’s an American-style house, or what they think an American-style house should look like. The walls and floors are all cement. The only wood is the banister on the stairs, the cabinets (including the wardrobe cabinets) and the wood that keeps the ceiling attached to the cement on the first floor. The roof is tegula-style aluminum attached to iron rails.

  3. Johnny Hudson says:

    Oops I meant 400p and 250p, not $ hahaha

  4. agnes says:

    it’s hard to find a good contractor to renovate our house in the philippines. would you recommend someone?

  5. nobdy says:

    I used Acrytex from Boysen. Worked out well and has been a year now. Looks new still.

  6. Peter Clark says:

    We used Acrytex and its a beautiful paint that dries to a hard finish. although it does not require neutralizing the bare concrete plastering, its best to do so because years later the bubbles will crack the surface. We chose a tin of “high performance yellow” as a tint for a gallon of semi white gloss and it lasted three years before the yellow faded in patches. Having to decide now what else is available for the exterior maybe the new water based acrylic types are good?

    • RT Cunningham says:

      Neutralizing or “poisoning” the plastering is a must. I can see every spot where it wasn’t done properly.

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