Building Homes or Extensions/Oil or Latex


Hello Bruce...

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, Bruce.


Hi Tom, I'm not a big oil based paint fan.  Latex to me is the best way to go inside and out.  Mainly because of the clean up.  You can paint over oil with latex provided you use a proper primer.  As far as initial priming goes, follow all manufacturers recommendations.  Do not thin the product unless specifically told to do so by the maker of the product.  The Frank Lloyd Wright color Cherokee Red is actually a pallet of different reds in differing hues based on iron oxide which produces a reddish brown color in paint. Several manufacturers have produced a color known as Cherokee Red and have it in their color charts, PPG, and Valspar both have matched this color.  Martin Senour has a tallesian pallet Developed specifically for Wright which has the Cherokee Red in it. I couldn't find the formula but I'm sure you can get from them. I hope this information helps, sincerely, Bruce Johnson,

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Bruce E. Johnson


I can answer any construction related question in regards to carpentry, concrete, drywall, masonry, structural elements of any type of building, residential or commercial. Interior or exterior.


Custom Commercial and residential buildings. Churches, theaters, schools and auditoriums. Most recently I am working with the Catholic Church on several design build committees. I have a website related to scheduling and project supervision. Although my expertise is more related to multimillion dollar commercial, educational and theatrical projects my generous credentials in residential and remodelling construction make me a viable source of information regarding all forms of building questions.

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