How to avoid a flaky paint job

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Q: In 2005, we painted our 1959 stucco house in the Washington Manor area of San Leandro, Calif., with elastomeric paint. Over the course of the week, I watched the contractor power-wash, scrape, then prime and roll on the new paint. Within six months, the new paint began to peel and flake. The contractor came back and redid the work, but it continues to flake off. I want to repaint my house without elastomeric paint. How do I seal the walls? A: Generally, elastomeric paint, a thick, durable product that expands and contracts with the weather, is good stuff. We did a little digging and found a sprinkling of references to some problems with the application of elastomeric paint. It sounds to us like your painting contractor did a good job following all the right steps. We confess we're befuddled as to why the previous job failed. One answer might well be incompatibility of materials. But another might be continuing moisture penetration behind the stucco itself. Stucco and pain...