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Old 03-10-2015, 08:27 PM   #1
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Determining number of paint layers


Is there anyway to find out how many layers of paint are on wood thats already been painted? A friend of mine and I are contractors. He claims he has been putting 2 coats of exterior paint on wood projects we make, but I swear he is only putting on one. How can I tell for certain?

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Old 03-10-2015, 08:41 PM   #2
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Determining number of paint layers


A Tooke gauge could tell you for sure. One thing to keep in mind is that the word "coat" is somewhat subjective in residential painting. One painters "coat" may be twice as thick as another's.
Another way to get a sense of what kind of coating thickness your getting on future projects would be to track how much material is used and compare that to the square footage. Lot of variables in that calculation of course, texture of surface, method of application, etc.. But you should be able to get in the ballpark enough to determine if your getting one or two coats.

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Old 03-10-2015, 08:53 PM   #3
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Determining number of paint layers


We start with bare plywood. My friend feels if we use paint + primer paint that 1 coat is sufficient because the paint claims to be a 1 coat paint. According to the manufacturer that is wrong. The first coat is the primer coat, the 2nd is the paint coat. According to Behr and Valspar on bare wood you can either use a primer then 2 coats of paint or 2 coats of paint+primer paint.........but never only 1 coat of paint + primer paint. I can tell my friend this until I am blue in the face and he wont listen. He feels because its a paint+primer paint, and in his opinion its goes on thick enough in 1 coat that that will be sufficient. That 2 coats is overkill. Personally I dont think it will hold up in weather.
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Old 03-10-2015, 09:09 PM   #4
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Determining number of paint layers


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Originally Posted by draft34
He feels because its a paint+primer paint, and in his opinion its goes on thick enough in 1 coat that that will be sufficient. That 2 coats is overkill. Personally I dont think it will hold up in weather.

No, it likely won't. Another gross misuse of the phrase paint&primer.
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Old 03-10-2015, 09:14 PM   #5
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Determining number of paint layers


Your right draft and he's dead wrong.
Primer and paint may be fine for a precisely surface, not for bare wood.
This one's going to come back and bite someone on the butt.
Sure way to not get repeat customers.
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Old 03-11-2015, 08:05 AM   #6
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Determining number of paint layers


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Originally Posted by draft34 View Post
We start with bare plywood. My friend feels if we use paint + primer paint that 1 coat is sufficient because the paint claims to be a 1 coat paint. According to the manufacturer that is wrong. The first coat is the primer coat, the 2nd is the paint coat. According to Behr and Valspar on bare wood you can either use a primer then 2 coats of paint or 2 coats of paint+primer paint.........but never only 1 coat of paint + primer paint. I can tell my friend this until I am blue in the face and he wont listen. He feels because its a paint+primer paint, and in his opinion its goes on thick enough in 1 coat that that will be sufficient. That 2 coats is overkill. Personally I dont think it will hold up in weather.
Ask your friend if he is going to fix it when it fails. It will. And none of the Paint and primers claim to be one coat on anything but a previously painted, sound surface. And even then they say a second coat may be desired for best appearance. (a slight change from the old "second coat is required for best appearance", which is how they weasel out of warrantee claims against the P&P labelling.) The marketing is a downright lie. Some have started to claim that they seal common stains, but they never mention that it may take up to 6 coats to seal said stains. Try sealing coffee or stamp pad ink with one of them. And if you have children under the age of 5 you are well aware that stamp pad ink is a "common household stain".

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