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MRZ 05-06-2007 11:40 AM

Sheetrock nightmare
I'm general contractor/builder on Cape Cod and I'm baffled by a current sheetrock / painting issue.
My normal Sheetrock guy was unavailable for my current project and was left to hire a new one.
Him and his crew hung and finished the Sheetrock (about 6000 ft) on various ceilings and walls (house is a reno not new construction).
In two ceiling areas (living/ kitchen and masterbedroom) these ceilings are low (7'4) and are to be finished "smooth" these ceilings are where the problem lies.
Every attempt to paint these ceilings buy the sheetrocker or myself have resulted in disaster. Blotchy areas spray marks etc.
The following is a chronological list of the ceilings composition. Note: I was not present during most of these attempts by the sheetrocker.
1. Rock hung and taped by sheetrocker.
2. Joint compound skim coat applied to ensure nice smooth finish on these very low ceilings.
3. USG sandable primer applied. (Sprayed)
4. Finish coat of ceiling paint. (sprayed) Result: unacceptable.
5. Two more finish coats applied over two days. Result: unacceptable.
6. Coat of primer sealer applied and finish coat. Result: unacceptable fired sheetrocker, maybe two coats to late.
7. Contacted paint rep was told to check with moisture content meter and not to reapply until it has a very low or no moisture content.
8. After achieving this I sprayed a Pittsburgh's Speedhide primer sealer and let dry 24 hours.
9. Sprayed Pittsburgh's 17-45 Premium flat ceiling paint. All results are
the humidity and temp. in the house are OK. Proper pressure and nozzle size are OK. I'm just baffled.
I have been in the industry for over 26 years and have never seen this problem before.
Can anyone help.

Big Dave 05-06-2007 12:20 PM

Backroll. That's the only way I've ever seen a spray job look worth a hoot.

AtlanticWBConst. 05-06-2007 12:27 PM

Could there be a problem with the sheetrock itself? Factory problem, problem during transport, problem after delivery???
Just something to look at.

Problem with the compound? Something got accidently mixed with the compound that should not have?

joewho 05-07-2007 02:11 AM

I've seen things like this. Always too late to figure out what went wrong.

Sounds like something was on the rock before it was hung. Maybe someone at the supply house stepped in something and walked on it.
Silicone could be on it..... Oil from machines at the factory..

Could be anything, but sounds like something has soaked into the paper.

Solution: The first thing should have been to use an oil or shellac based primer. If any of the above mentioned material is on the drywall, no water based product will stop it.

At this point, you could still prime with kilz original, zinsser cover stain or any non-water based product. Since this is only happening in certain areas, I'm 99% sure there was something foriegn on a couple of sheets prior to hanging.

Silicone has always been a sneaky painters enemy, silicone caulk on shoes or hands prior to hanging drywall, would cause this problem.

slickshift 05-07-2007 08:25 AM

This is a toughie

It could be contamination of the sheetrock, joint compound, paint, or sprayer...spray app issues, product issues....this one's wide open

I'm not sure why the sandable primer was applied
It doesn't sound like there was a specific reason for it
Was it an added attempt to make the skim coat a level 5 finish?
Sandable primer can cause issues when not used properly

...regardless, after a few coats of finish paint, then the speedhide, any sandable primer issues should have been moot...

The speedhide primer/sealer is probably one of the more underrated primer/sealers, and very good
I consider it a premium product myself (despite it's "contractor/commercial" label)
It's not as potent as say oil or shellac, but your sheetrock/jointcompound contamination would have to be pretty bad (and most likely noticeable when it was installed) for P's SH not to seal it...

It bothers me (and perhaps it's personal that it was a rocker that was applying the paint
I know it "looks" easy, but it's not easy to get a good finish
It also doesn't help with the trouble shooting, as we can not assume he knew what he was doing (even if he's done it before...just because he did it a few times and it was OK, doesn't mean he knew what he was doing)


Was he using his paint sprayer, yours, or a rental?
You don't know what kind/make/model do you?

...wait, the problem is only in two areas?
And the whole house was done?

Man...this is a tough one...

Is the house on the Cape?
Would you like to PM me the address?
If I'm anywhere close by I'll put an eyeball on it for you
Well, for me too...I'm
A huge portion of my work in the last year has been troubleshooting for other companies
If it's not a hassle, I'll pop in there

No big deal if that's not do-able, but if I can help out let me know
Just send me a Private Message

NOTE TO ADMIN: Nathan, this is not a solicitation, it's an offer to help out a fellow contractor

J187 05-07-2007 09:59 AM

Was everything sprayed throughout the house, or just this area? Gun contamination is very common if people forget or do not adequately clean their equipment. Other than that, you really have to look at what things were used on this area that were not on the other areas...was it the same compound used to skim coat? Was the sandable primer applied to the other areas, etc. Failing all else, its the sheetrock.

J187 05-07-2007 10:02 AM

Also, how big of an area of the ceiling rock is giving you problems? Seems like the rock on the ceiling is way more likely to have had someones hands all over the face of it, than the rock that was put on the walls, maybe there was something on someone's hand.

MRZ 05-07-2007 07:00 PM

I BINed (shellac)the ceilings this morning and applied a top coat to one of the two rooms. I will spend the evening praying. Thanks all.

slickshift 05-07-2007 07:26 PM

Well there's nothing more potent then that for sealing

If that doesn't work, it's not bleed through
It's the product or application...use a roller for the next coat and/or a different paint

...I hope you wore a respirator
Whoo Hoo that stuff's stinky

joewho 05-07-2007 08:08 PM

Don't forget to tell us the ending.

slickshift 05-08-2007 05:10 PM

...did it work?


MRZ 05-25-2007 08:57 PM

Sheetrock nightmare Over!
Sorry it has taken so long to post this but I have been trying to make up lost time.
Thank you all so much that replied to my original post.
Bin and two more top coats (rolled with flotrol additive) have produced an acceptable remedy (still some imperfections but beats re-rocking).

Thanks again.


AtlanticWBConst. 05-25-2007 09:23 PM


Originally Posted by MRZ (Post 46282)
Sorry it has taken so long to post this but I have been trying to make up lost time.
Thank you all so much that replied to my original post.
Bin and two more top coats (rolled with flotrol additive) have produced an acceptable remedy (still some imperfections but beats re-rocking).

Thanks again.


Hi Michael,

I am very glad that you were able to solve the issues.

FWIW - I do not know if you had posted your question over at "Contractor Talk" or not. In case you are unfamiliar with the site. It is a 'sister forum' to this for ''Professional Contractors''.
In the future, you may find that site much more helpful and informative when posting about ''particular issues''..... in the industry...


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