Building Homes or Extensions/Oil or Latex


Hello Dan...

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, Dan.


Tom, you are asking some very technical questions.

Because this industry is constantly developing new products, I would defer my answers to the experts.  I suggest you go to this site and contact them by phone.  There are other manufacturers and I am not necessarily pushing SW, but I know they serve the commercial industry and are well respected.

Answers straight from a manufacturer's technical department are always best.  

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Dan Griffin


I can answer almost all questions related to the total construction process. My expertise is in commercial construction, though I can field most any residential question. I have hands on experience in concrete, heavy equipment, masonry, all phases of carpentry, interior finishes, and I am fairly strong in mechanical and electrical.


I have over 20 years experience as a commercial carpenter and commercial construction superintendent. I have another 20 years experience in facility management for a major school district.

My favorite hobby for he past 12 years has been singing bass in a The OkChorale men's barbershop chorus and the Mature Moments quartet.

I hold a Bachelor's degree in English and Math. I have completed many continuing education hours in the building trades. I hold a Master Carpenter card from the AGC, Associated General Contractors.

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