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Old 02-02-2007, 05:35 PM   #1
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Semi-Gloss costs more to apply than Flat??


Hello,
I just asked my builder to have Semi-gloss paint used in my new house. He said that they normally use Flat paint as the default and when I gave him my request he said that was fine but that there would be an upcharge for painting using Semi-Gloss.

When I asked why he said that it takes more effort to ensure a good uniform result with Semi-Gloss. That care had to be taken because overlaps could result in areas being more glossy than others.

Is this true?

Do painters normally charge more for putting up Semi-Gloss rather than Flat?

Your expertise and input is desired!!

Thanks

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Old 02-02-2007, 06:20 PM   #2
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Semi-Gloss costs more to apply than Flat??


There are several reasons. First, semi-gloss costs more per gallon, and on a whole house it adds up. Second, flat paint is used on new construction because there are a lot of touch-ups that need to be done. There are many flat paints specifically for new construction that can be touched up. Semi-gloss cannot be touched up without it showing. To touch up Semi, you'd have to repaint the whole wall.

Another consideration is that flat evens out imperfections that may show with semi gloss, particularly on the drywall joints. yet another is that his painter has already bid and prepared to use flat paint. He may have to upgrade his primer and do other preparations to accept semi-gloss. Another is that it does take a bit more expertise to work with semi on a new home. Even before you consider touching up, there are going to be some small details, like patching with joint compound to smooth out details. Flat will cover small patches in one coat where as semi won't and...see below.

When you have carpet layers, electricians, plumbers, tile setters, AV installers, alarm installers, cabinet installers, you can count on touching up a lot. Right down to the final walk through there are people coming and going and IMO the painter should be the very last person in the house to touch up.

Hope this helps.


Last edited by joewho; 02-02-2007 at 06:25 PM. Reason: I always edit
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Old 02-02-2007, 06:43 PM   #3
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Semi-Gloss costs more to apply than Flat??


Technically, yes, the builder is correct...in a fashion

1) Any drywall imperfections show up more under glossy paint
2) When rolling eggshells and semis, you should always end with the same directions pass (usually up and down)
3) It's nearly impossible to get one coat of eggshell/semi with no flashing (sheen changes)
4) Some sheens cost more

But no, I don't charge more for sheens because
1) My prep is the same high quality, whether for flat or shiny paint
2) My application technique is the same high quality, whether it's for flat or shiny paint
3) My application of two coats will always insure proper coverage with no flashing, and I do two coats whether it's flat or shiny
4) The actual percentage increase of the product price, if any, is very small

So, technically he is correct
It's "harder" to get shiny paint up there because you can't "get away with" (shortcut) as much as you can with flats

It shouldn't matter-a smooth surface, a coat primer, and two coats quality paint and it wouldn't
But if the builder was planning on cutting corners it would cut into his plan

Not seeing your contract, I can't tell if you are paying for a level 4 drywall finish and a coat primer and two coats quality paint
You might want to go over that section
A sheen could be considered a "change order" if the contract calls for flat
If it says one coat paint then yeah, you'll have to pay more (another coat) for a sheen
He would be correct that it would flash
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Old 02-06-2007, 08:01 PM   #4
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Semi-Gloss costs more to apply than Flat??


Thanks, your explanation makes sense to me.

The builder didn't seem to be giving me a song and dance but it is always good to get a second opinion.

It it truly takes more effort to do the job I do not have a problem paying the extra $$$. I just didn't want to be taken for a chump.

Thanks again for the feedback!
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