Building Homes or Extensions/Oil or Latex


Hello Russell...

I am building a new home in coastal Mexico, on the ocean front.  All walls are brick inside with many layers of concrete.  We are about ready to start painting; inside and out.

I think that I know that if I start with oil base paint, I cannot change to latex.  (Is this correct?)

Without regard to cost, which type of paint is best?  I want to start out right.

Regardless of the type of paint, is my intuition correct that the primer first coat should be greatly thinned to max the soaking into the raw concrete?

The climate here is tropical; always humid, very hot in the summers and a constant, salty air blowing in from the Pacific.

Also, facing the ocean, I am having the garage doors and front entry door fabricated from sheet stainless steel.  What is the best paint for this?  Should the metal be acid washed before the primer?  With what, please?

I am in love with the color that Frank Lloyd Wright used for his metal work (fences and gates).  He called it Cherokee Red.  I believe that a large US paint company now holds the patent for this color and it is named something more politically correct.  (New England Red?)

At any rate, I do not have access to those suppliers here in Mexico.  Is there a formula that I can duplicate from?  I can find examples of his color on the internet, and I could print it out and try for a scan to match, but monitors and printers and the scanners at paint stores are so variable, it does not seem to be the way to go.

Thank in advance for you time, Russell.


Top of the line latex paints with acrylic added to them are superior to oil base paints. They resist peeling & cracking much better. The acrylic allows the paint to stretch & flex. You can order paint online and have it shipped. As far as your color match, call Benjamin Moore & Sherwin Williams customer service departments
For your doors, use a self etching latex primary. Then you can paint it with latex paint. Once again, use only an acrylic latex paint. Bare concrete should be etched with Muratic Acid before painting. I would use an epoxy concrete paint that is used for garage floors. But make sure it is rated for exterior use also. Some brands are some are not. You can use latex over oil based primer but you would have to give the surface a lite sanding to rough it up a little to allow the latex paint to stick. Oil base primer works the best on exterior wood because it soaks in better.. For stucco & concrete fences or foundations above ground, a moisture barrier latex primer works well. . As far as interior painting. Use a mold/moisture resistant latex primer on any unfinished wood, plaster or drywall before painting. And because the house is on the ocean front, use only the best paint that says it has Acrylic in it. Here are some of the top of the line exterior paints Benjamin Moore Aura Exterior and Sherwin Williams Emerald Paint are the top of the line paints for exteriors.  

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Russell Spataro


I can answer all questions regarding building homes or adding on to an existing home


14 years experience building custom homes

25 years as a carpenter

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