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Old 03-05-2012, 07:34 AM   #1
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Professional Paint Job Question


Hi All,
Need some advice.

Had my new construction interior painted. Feel like the price was a bit high for the size of house but that being said they were supposed to prime with 1 coat paint on trim. Prep with 2 coats on all windows. And, 2 coats finish paint on all walls (no prime I guess).

How can a non-painter know if they have done their job as specified??? Seems like they could say just about anything...how would I know?

Thanks!

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Old 03-05-2012, 08:50 AM   #2
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Go count the empty paint buckets!
I guess you weren't there to watch.
No way of knowing what they did without some forensics.

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Old 03-05-2012, 08:52 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by CheriAlli View Post
Hi All,
Need some advice.

Had my new construction interior painted. Feel like the price was a bit high for the size of house but that being said they were supposed to prime with 1 coat paint on trim. Prep with 2 coats on all windows. And, 2 coats finish paint on all walls (no prime I guess).

How can a non-painter know if they have done their job as specified??? Seems like they could say just about anything...how would I know?

Thanks!
Hi Cheri,

Unfortunately, the time to ask these questions was before the job actually started - 'cause the truth is, you don't/won't know. You kinda have to leave that up to the quality and integrity of the builder and his subs. Even if the painter followed spec and applied 1 prime and 2 finish, without being more specific as to what type or brands of prime and finish, he/she could easily cut corners (and perhaps cost) by using inferior products that won't perform in a manner consistent with a better product line applied in accordance to spec.

Many architects and spec-writers actually call for the prime, first finish coat and second finish coat to be of different colors so visual "proof" of an application spec can be observed during inspection of each phase of a project. Many specs also call for the paint film to be periodically measured, with a thickness gauge during application, to warrant that a consistent mil thickness has been applied so that maximum protection has been realized...Unfortunately, those types of observation and inspection practices may be a little over the top for the construction of single family residences.

I don't know what market you're in, but painting and homebuilding are very competitive industries. While there are way too many lousy, unscrupulous painters out there, there are also an awful lot of skilled and honest craftsman too. The honest ones work hard to protect their reputation by consistently providing a finish product that is up to the standards of their paying clients, and are then able to charge a rate that is fair for the professional services provided (even though they may seem a "bit high" at times).

I know that really didn't answer your question, but hopefully you were working with reputable tradesmen and can rest a little easier now.

Last edited by ric knows paint; 03-05-2012 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:34 AM   #4
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Professional Paint Job Question


Well, the only test I know that you could do would be a masking tape test on an inconspicuous area. Let the paint cure for at least 30 days. Apply some blue masking tape to the wall and then pull it off. If you pull paint off all the way down to the drywall, you likely did not get your walls primed. Another thing you can try after 30 days is to scrub an area with a soft wash cloth and warm water. If any color comes off onto the rag you likely got "Builder's Flat" as a finish coat which is a very cheap paint finish that GC's love to pawn off onto their unsuspecting homeowners.
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:25 AM   #5
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Thanks to all who answered my questions with such a speedy reply.
All very good info.
I do appreciate it!



p.s.
and i will try the paint "test"... but after 30 days they may be long gone.
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:48 AM   #6
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Any reputable painter will stand behind their work. If they're long gone, you have the wrong painters.

And you can swing by and ask them. There is a difference between being a nag and a concerned new homeowner. Be inquisitive and not confrontive, and i'm sure you will get a good response. And if nothing else- they will know you are thinking about this.
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:50 AM   #7
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I am curious why you are questioning them. Does the job not look proper to you?

What sheen was chosen for your walls? Flat? Satin? Egg? With flat you can get away with out priming but there more than likely will be problematic areas especially where natural light is concerned and adhesion issues can be a problem if the walls were were dusty but a primer is better all the way around imo. Anything other than flat would need to be primed for proper adhesion and appearance.

Did you use neutral wall colors? Bold? Dark?

How about some pics?
Open the windows with the natural light shining and take a picture of the wall that has the natural light on it, the longer the wall the better.

Hiring a professional is a contract of trust. Unless you were shopping for the lowest price there should of been confidence instilled in the paint contractor when you chose them. Of course with a new build you may not have chose them the builder did, if this is the case the builder is vouching for them and has his name on their work.

As far as the trim goes you should get an idea by the spray patterns on the sub floor if you visited the site prior to installation of flooring.

After reading this reply it is even more apparent that I am a paint geek.
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:05 PM   #8
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Professional Paint Job Question


and a smart one at that....
thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.
i think i am feeling a bit hesitant because we had been burned by our first builder.
this one is a good one so i guess i should trust that he hired a good professional.
thanks!
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:07 PM   #9
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Professional Paint Job Question


I say 30 days to wait because paint really takes that long to properly cure, this is, if it's decent paint. In my opinion, you really could save yourself a lot of headaches by tracking down what paint they used. I mean, if it's Long Life paint from Big Lots you know you got screwed. If it's Benjamin Moore or Pratt and Lambert, well, you may be alright. This is one of those times where communication is so very important.
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:13 PM   #10
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Yes the wall paint was Pratt and Lambert...
not sure about the trim.
thanks.
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:52 PM   #11
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Once you get stung once, it's easy to become paranoid that all contractors are "con" tractors, trying to make a living in these hard times, needing to cut any corners they can, including using inferior/cheaper materials so they can make a few more dollars off of them.
More and more, consumers need to be vigilant and get every detail broken down on the contract, including brands of materials, number of coats, grades/dimentions/thicknesses of lumber, fasteners/hardware to be used,etc.
Most bids are broken down material vs. labor, but sometimes not much more information beyond that.
Laborers want more money these days, insurance and taxes are always going up, the cost of gas to get to the job, all need to be made up somewhere, yet the total bid needs to remain competitive with the other contractors trying to keep their guys busy and willing to make a little less profit to put back into the company, so they try to undercut the competition with low bidding, which the consumer pays for somehow in regards to the overall quality of the project.
Sometimes the only profit is a little money they can make off the material by going with inferior/less products.
(most contractors get a 10-15% contractors discount at the supply houses, which is the normal profit to be made off the materials).
But, on a positive note, you can find some quality work at a fair price, as a smart contractor will care more about building/sustaining a good reputation than making a bigger profit in these times when less people are spending money on home improvements, and therefore more contractors are looking for work.
He'll wait for the big job, that he got because of the good reputation he built up by doing a lot of smaller jobs for say, just wages, to make the bigger profit.
Go with someone that you know does quality work and people say good things about (maybe he was even a little high with his bid), not the new contractor in town that is offering "springtime specials" with some flashy business cards and a magnetic sign on his door that he can take off when his truck is parked in front of the bar.
If you know the contractor has a reputation as a quality builder,
(Angie's List+), accept that he may have the higher bid.
It means he needs enough money to afford the higher quality/quantity products that he won't sacrifice just to have the winning lower bid.
Just like anything, you usually get what you pay for.
I would never use a contractor that I didn't feel safe giving him the house keys and leaving to let him do his job.
And I need to know that the job will be done right without me being there watching his every move.

sorry to ramble on just trying out a new keyboard.

Last edited by titanoman; 03-05-2012 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by titanoman View Post
Once you get stung once, it's easy to become paranoid that all contractors are "con" tractors, trying to make a living in these hard times, needing to cut any corners they can, including using inferior/cheaper materials so they can make a few more dollars off of them.
More and more, consumers need to be vigilant and get every detail broken down on the contract, including brands of materials, number of coats, grades/dimentions/thicknesses of lumber, fasteners/hardware to be used,etc.
Most bids are broken down material vs. labor, but sometimes not much more information beyond that.
Laborers want more money these days, insurance and taxes are always going up, the cost of gas to get to the job, all need to be made up somewhere, yet the total bid needs to remain competitive with the other contractors trying to keep their guys busy and willing to make a little less profit to put back into the company, so they try to undercut the competition with low bidding, which the consumer pays for somehow in regards to the overall quality of the project.
Sometimes the only profit is a little money they can make off the material by going with inferior/less products.
(most contractors get a 10-15% contractors discount at the supply houses, which is the normal profit to be made off the materials).
But, on a positive note, you can find some quality work at a fair price, as a smart contractor will care more about building/sustaining a good reputation than making a bigger profit in these times when less people are spending money on home improvements, and therefore more contractors are looking for work.
He'll wait for the big job, that he got because of the good reputation he built up by doing a lot of smaller jobs for say, just wages, to make the bigger profit.
Go with someone that you know does quality work and people say good things about (maybe he was even a little high with his bid), not the new contractor in town that is offering "springtime specials" with some flashy business cards and a magnetic sign on his door that he can take off when his truck is parked in front of the bar.
If you know the contractor has a reputation as a quality builder,
(Angie's List+), accept that he may have the higher bid.
It means he needs enough money to afford the higher quality/quantity products that he won't sacrifice just to have the winning lower bid.
Just like anything, you usually get what you pay for.
I would never use a contractor that I didn't feel safe giving him the house keys and leaving to let him do his job.
And I need to know that the job will be done right without me being there watching his every move.

sorry to ramble on just trying out a new keyboard.
I have not written that much in 3 years total
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:01 PM   #13
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Professional Paint Job Question


I just picked a place to practice "swyping" and got into it.
I hardly think anybody will actually read it, which is okay, because after all that, it really says...nothing.
This swype thing is pretty darn cool.
Almost as fast as talk-to-text if you don't talk very fast...here I go again.
Bad finger, bad!!
Aauugg!!!.I can't stop...!

HELP!!

Ooo Oooo..finger cramping...NO!! Not nooo...
ooo...
o.....
......

Last edited by titanoman; 03-05-2012 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:08 PM   #14
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Something to Consider: There are "iffy" contractors, just as common as there are "iffy" home owners.

FWIW - I screen (in m own way) Home owners, because I got burnt by a sleaze-bag Home Owner years ago. I refuse to let myself, my company, or my hard working team - ever let be taken advantage of again.

On a related note: There are very Reputable Contractors out there. Please don't let 1 bad experience cause you to 2nd, 3rd, or 4th guess the genuine, honest, professional contractors that are working hard to do the best job that they can (Because they really do care, and stand behind their work).

.... They do exist
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:53 PM   #15
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And, don't forget, some paint contractors are forced to use what the general contractor buys. Sometimes that means applying Builder's Flat. I know I worked for a contractor that insisted on using Sears Easy Living paint. You gotta eat and you gotta pay bills so you do what the boss says and you try to make the best of it.

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