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Old 12-28-2013, 04:14 PM   #16
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Am I being OCD/too demanding, or is the painter lazy?


Too bad about that stuff. It would actually be better if something was a disaster, then you could dismiss him without paying more. Unfortunately it's annoying stuff, like weak paint lines. I understand the frustration of paying for mediocre work. You're not paying just so you don't have to do it - you're paying for results that are better than you could achieve, through some magical skill the painters have obtained over the decades.

TopGun 140 is typical cheap painters caulk, about like DAP Alex. Painters like it because it's cheap and dries fast to paint over. Has little flexibility. Alex Plus is basically a minimum caulk for me, although the cheap stuff could be used for hairline cracks that I don't think will move. I prefer Dynaflex 230, or Alex Ultra 230, which is basically Dynaflex 230 with mold inhibitors, I believe. Most painters won't pay for this caulk. The way I look at it, it only adds $2 per job for my smaller jobs, so I just add $2 to my price. They way they look at it, it's $4 extra for their bigger jobs, multiplied by 300 jobs per year = $1200 they save and no one ever asks them what caulk they use or how long it should last.


Last edited by jeffnc; 12-28-2013 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 12-28-2013, 04:18 PM   #17
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Am I being OCD/too demanding, or is the painter lazy?


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Originally Posted by JackoD View Post
Ok, let me tell you how it should be. You are not unreasonable and you should get exactly what you paid money for in your contract. Every dimes worth.
I have been in business over 25 years and I have seen and heard it ALL. I constantly fix other contractor mistakes and shoddy work. And home owners bad work or failed attempts, too. First off, painting is not a trade that takes a college education or a degree. Anyone can claim to be a painter and go in business easily. Many laid off factory workers become instant painters and go on Craigslist the next day. Many teenage kids looking for a fast buck work as cheap labor for painters. Then you have the "HEY, I'm a great painter and will work for almost free." "I'll do your entire house for $99.00, etc."
Now I am not knocking painters regarding education, some have a higher education than myself. I am a painter and many other trades are under my belt. And I have made a lot of money being one. But the trade is full of less than desirables and unscrupulous kinds. I hope you get my drift here.
Look, a good company, One-man or otherwise, earns their reputation by doing very good work for a agreed upon price.
Expensive or not, it does not matter. Price should not be relevant to good work. It can be an indication of it, but let the buyer beware. What is relevant to finding a great painter or company is reputation, word of mouth, references from people you know and trust.

To address your issues by number...

1. Not painting the top edge of any window or door frames.

*** Every area in that contract should be to specification. That includes the tops of all doors and windows. It is very easy to do and only takes a minute to do the job right. That should have been a tip off to you that those painters are less than honest. Even if it seems to be difficult to get at some areas, a true and good painter knows how, and it's very easy.
(you can contact me privately and I'll tell you how to do it, I'm not giving away my business secrets publically for the shoddy painters who may be reading this)
The same with tight door frames close to walls.

2. Inconsistent caulking.

*** Same as above basically. Caulking is fairly hard to do when you don't know what you are doing. It can become very messy, very quickly. And the end result can become horrible looking. Lots of practice here is the key to a good job. I don't put most of my young guys on caulking a customers home until I am positive they are good enough at it.
Insist on every nook and cranny being caulked properly. No lumps, no bumps, no missed spots and consistent width. A proper caulking can make or break a fine job.
You are paying them your hard earned money to do the job the right way. Make them earn their money the hard way, as you do. If it's not right, make them rip it out and start over.

3. Suboptimal surface prep.

*** Per the contract, all areas to be lightly sanded. The key word is "all", that includes the walls. It might just be a light sanding to knock down tiny imperfections or it may take some real effort. Every job is different here and it depends on what you are applying, over what.
If you want real perfection for your walls, speaking drywall, you need a Level 5 drywall job done first, usually done by a drywall guy. But I myself do Level 5. It adds a lot to your cost but makes for a beautiful finished job. And it requires a degree of skill, the mud needs to be the right mix/consistency. Experience really counts here. And using the right mud. Trade secrets not talked about much, father to son stuff.

If you can tell they didn't sand your walls, stand up for yourself and demand to the owner that he go over every wall again, AFTER light sanding them.
If you wind up with a free coat of paint, too bad for him. Maybe he will learn a valuable lesson.
And do NOT pay until you are satisfied with the job, totally and in every way.
You are in control of your situation, you might just not know it. Money talks. If he has to wait and sweat it out because you refuse to pay until it is done right, he will be forced to fix things as soon as he realizes you are serious. He has a payroll to meet, he has supplier bills to pay. He will get the picture soon enough.
Don't feel bad about doing this, you are paying him. He wants your MONEY.


<> then he's gonna have to just go to the Benny Moore store and get it done right.

**** Exactly, force him to do just that, and check the paint cans to make sure.
Save a empty can, too. For color match later. If there is any paint left over, get it from him.

<> and I'd be more comfortable doing a walk through of the trim and getting those issues fixed before color goes on the walls. Is that unreasonable? He seemed to balk at the idea.

**** You are correct, the trim should be perfect before the wall coating gets applied.
However, you can't force this one. The final walkthrough will have to suffice. Then hold him to it, again, do not pay until you are happy.

I wish you much luck, and next time, do some research. Ask for references and SPEAK to the references. Get at least 3. State that you are going to ask the references if you can actually see the work. This is not crazy talk, it eliminates friends and brother-in-laws and drug addicts from being references.
You don't need to go see the work really, especially interior work, but just mention it to the contractor.
Shakey contractors will fall apart right away when you tell them you are going to call and ask to actually see the quality work they do.

Bottom line, it's your money. Spend it wisely. Any honest painter worth his salt will be happy to comply with your requests.

Look, we do a lot of work, and I mean a LOT.
90% of our customers are return customers or have been referred by our customers. We do it all, residential, commercial and industrial. We have never had a call back or dis-satisfied customer. Never in over 20 years. It is due to the way we conduct business and treat our customer. It doesn't make a difference to us whether you spend $500.00 or $500,000.00 with us. We give you exactly what you paid for. And sometimes a little more.
By the way, I am NOT stating all this looking for work, I have way too much now. This is NOT advertising in any way. Don't call me, please. I don't need the work and I am serious.
I just plopped this together to give you an idea of what you should be looking for in a quality paint company.
References, references...references. Get them.
Happy holidays.

http://www.qualitypainting-staining.com/

Designers and specifiers are encouraged to
consult the following reference documents:

ASTM C11,Standard Terminology Relating to
Gypsum and Related Building Materials and Systems
ASTM International,West Conshohocken, PA.

ASTM C 840,Standard Specification for
Application and Finish of Gypsum Board
ASTM International,West Conshohocken, PA.

GA-216,Application and Finishing of Gypsum
Panel Products, 2010. Gypsum Association,
Hyattsville,MD

Master Painters Glossary, Painting and Decorating
Contractors of America, St.Louis,MO.
Contact one of the following associations for
additional assistance:

Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry
513 West Broad Street, Suite 210
Falls Church, VA 22046-3257
Telephone: (703) 538-1600
www.awci.org

Ceilings & Interior Systems Construction
Association
405 Illinois Avenue, Unit 2B
St. Charles, Illinois 60174
Telephone: (630) 584-1919
www.cisca.org

Drywall Finishing Council
www.dwfc.org

Gypsum Association
6525 Belcrest Road, Suite 480
Hyattsville, Maryland 20782
Telephone: (301) 277-8686
www.gypsum.org

Painting and Decorating Contractors of
America
1801 Park 270 Drive, Suite 220
St. Louis, MO 63146
Telephone: (314) 514-7322
www.pdca.com
Great advice and well written out.
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Old 12-28-2013, 04:20 PM   #18
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Am I being OCD/too demanding, or is the painter lazy?


Do we seriously need to copy that entire thing?
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Old 12-28-2013, 04:21 PM   #19
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Am I being OCD/too demanding, or is the painter lazy?


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Too bad about that stuff. It would actually be better if something was a disaster, then you could dismiss him without paying more. Unfortunately it's annoying stuff, like weak paint lines.

TopGun 140 is typical cheap painters caulk, about like DAP Alex. Painters like it because it's cheap and dries fast to paint over. Has little flexibility. Alex Plus is basically a minimum caulk for me, although the cheap stuff could be used for hairline cracks that I don't think will move. I prefer Dynaflex 230, or Alex Ultra 230, which is basically Dynaflex 230 with mold inhibitors, I believe. Most painters won't pay for this caulk. The way I look at it, it only adds $2 per job for my smaller jobs, so I just add $2 to my price. They way they look at it, it's $4 extra for their bigger jobs, multiplied by 300 jobs per year = $1200 they save and no one ever asks them what caulk they use or how long it should last.

To fix a cracking caulk issue, they would have to first remove the old caulk and then re-do the area with new caulk, correct? I suspect when I point this out to him, he'll try to have his guys simply caulk over the existing stuff.
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Old 12-28-2013, 04:24 PM   #20
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Am I being OCD/too demanding, or is the painter lazy?


There's basically no way they're going to remove the old caulk. You might not even want that - he'll be tearing your drywall. Just get them to caulk back over it with a low shrink, higher quality caulk. I suppose he doesn't have to - he could recaulk with the same caulk and it would look better.
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Old 12-28-2013, 04:31 PM   #21
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Am I being OCD/too demanding, or is the painter lazy?


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There's basically no way they're going to remove the old caulk. You might not even want that - he'll be tearing your drywall. Just get them to caulk back over it with a low shrink, higher quality caulk. I suppose he doesn't have to - he could recaulk with the same caulk and it would look better.
The cracks are so bizarre-looking. If I knew how to post a picture on here I would…it's legitimately hard to tell if the caulk is cracked or if someone smoothed it with a hairy rag, it looks like tons of tiny dark hairs all up in there. It's happening the most on windows (as opposed to the crown molding on interior walls for example), so I wonder if it's because it's cold outside? Or because the window frame is vinyl and the trim is wood? In any case, it looks bad and needs to get fixed somehow.
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Old 12-28-2013, 04:51 PM   #22
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Am I being OCD/too demanding, or is the painter lazy?


It's possible you're seeing something below the caulk. That is, when the caulk was applied with the gun or smoothed with their finger, it was pressed down to the point where that stuff is showing through. If so and there's no cracking, simply painting should fix it.
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:26 PM   #23
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Am I being OCD/too demanding, or is the painter lazy?


Maybe, but that would mean that whatever it is is throughout the house. I really think it's a caulk issue; guess I'll find out when I ask them about it!
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:55 AM   #24
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Am I being OCD/too demanding, or is the painter lazy?


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To fix a cracking caulk issue, they would have to first remove the old caulk and then re-do the area with new caulk, correct? I suspect when I point this out to him, he'll try to have his guys simply caulk over the existing stuff.
I only use Sherwin Williams 850A Acrylic Latex or Sherwin Williams 950A Siliconized paintable Acrylic Latex Caulk for applications such as yours. There are so many other junk caulks out there I don't even bother with anything else now. Cripe sakes, I have in the past tried caulks the disappeared almost entirely overnight on me from shrinkage. The shrinkage or cracking issues just don't happen with the SW caulks. And they don't discolor as many cheap caulks do.
Cheap insurance for me. It adds a few dollars to a project but saves a ton of dollars in headaches.

Any areas which have problems should be entirely removed and re-caulked correctly, with a good caulk., not just gone over. Especially not done over with a different caulk brand. Adhesion will become your next issue if you do that. And the caulk will not match, you will see the new stuff differently from the old stuff.
I would do each "run" over, removing the old caulk. By "run" I mean an entire length of a surface. Example: say you have a 3 inch bad area on the left side of a window or door, I would remove the caulk on the entire left side to redo it properly.
It certainly IS easy enough to remove the junk he used, contrary to what someone else said here, it just takes the knowledge of how to remove it without creating bigger problems.

Now many here may say it is overkill to do things my way and it may be, to them.
However, I built my business on doing things the right way, and my business has been good to me for just that reason. When I got into it many years ago, I decided at that time the way to become successful, truly successful, was to be different than the rest. So much so, that people would recognize me for that alone. And the rest is history.
Speaking of history, my company has been awarded many contracts in five cities in NY state to do historical preservation and restoration work on some pretty exclusive properties. These properties are all on the National Registry. I am now bidding in NYC. These awarded contracts do not come easily. The contracts are so detailed and hard to fulfill, most paint companies don't even want them. Why? Because typically you have a board that does a final inspection and approval. And your work better be perfect to get paid in any manner of time, or without going to court.


Last edited by HighGlossPL38; 01-01-2014 at 06:12 AM.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:27 AM   #25
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Am I being OCD/too demanding, or is the painter lazy?


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I only use Sherwin Williams 850A Acrylic Latex or Sherwin Williams 950A Siliconized paintable Acrylic Latex Caulk for applications such as yours. There are so many other junk caulks out there I don't even bother with anything else now.
Dynaflex 230/Alex Ultra 230 are siliconized latex caulks.

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It certainly IS easy enough to remove the junk he used, contrary to what someone else said here, it just takes the knowledge of how to remove it without creating bigger problems.
Anyone who can't create straight paint lines is most likely going to create more problems by scraping off old caulk.

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So much so, that people would recognize me for that alone. And the rest is history. Speaking of history, my company...
Unnecessary remarks removed.

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If you need more help regarding the right way to remove the caulk, PM me. I do not give this kind of info out generically.
Unnecessary remarks removed.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:50 AM   #26
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Am I being OCD/too demanding, or is the painter lazy?


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Dynaflex 230/Alex Ultra 230 are siliconized latex caulks.



Anyone who can't create straight paint lines is most likely going to create more problems by scraping off old caulk.



Unnecessary remarks removed from quote.


Unnecessary remarks removed from quote.
She "shouldn't" remove the bad caulk?
That's what you said.
And I am sorry but that is just wrong, flat out wrong.

As far as your statement: Anyone who can't create straight paint lines is most likely going to create more problems by scraping off old caulk.

You would NOT "scrape" off the old caulk. That is not how it is done.

Last edited by HighGlossPL38; 01-02-2014 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:52 AM   #27
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Dynaflex 230/Alex Ultra 230 are siliconized latex caulks.
Both products are pure garbage. I hope you don't use them.

Last edited by HighGlossPL38; 12-29-2013 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:57 AM   #28
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If you already know you aren't going to pay him the balance, why don't you just stop him now instead of waiting for him to do more work.
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:19 AM   #29
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Unnecessary remarks removed.

Special? No, I am not special. Just a hard working guy that knows what he is doing.

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Old 12-29-2013, 09:48 AM   #30
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If you already know you aren't going to pay him the balance, why don't you just stop him now instead of waiting for him to do more work.
I don't already know that I won't pay him the balance; if he fixes these issues to my satisfaction then I'll have no problem paying him. I just want it to be done right. I don't want to stop him now because I've already paid him 50% of the project cost and don't have the cash on hand to turn around and pay another painter to redo everything.

Since he has been so insistent on simply doing a walk-through at project completion despite the fact that I've tried to bring up my concerns, then that's what we'll do. I'll let him finish painting all the rooms, then go through with him at the end and point out all the things I've attempted to point out thus far and been ignored. If he doesn't fix them, he won't get paid, plain and simple. I am a little confused about how I should expect him to fix the caulk problems (removing and reapplying or just applying over existing cracked stuff), due to the differing opinions here.

The advantage for me is that pretty much all of the issues going on can be resolved by re-doing the trim work correctly. I don't have enough cash to pay another painter to do the entire paint job, but I would have enough to pay someone else to do the trim only.

JackoD, I'll PM you as soon as I get the requisite 15 posts. This forum won't even let me reply to PMs sent to me until I hit the magic number 15.

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