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Talking Dreams 05-20-2013 06:11 PM

Who pays for botched paint job?
One side of my Anchorage home has wood siding and needed to be repainted. The rest of the house is aluminum and it looked fine, but I let the painter talk me into painting the whole house. He pressure washed, primed, and put on two coats of paint. I don't know exactly what products he used.

A few months later, paint started peeling from all of the aluminum areas, which are chalky. There are 3" x 5" sections of paint all over my yard. It has been 18 months now. The wooden siding is fine.

The contractor says that what happened is just one of those one's fault. He recommends power washing the peeling areas, priming those spots and repainting them. He says the parts that are not loose at this point will be fine. The repairs are to be done at my expense. :eek:

There are no moisture issues. No trees or anything else near house. Just the Alaskan air and sun.

He is licensed (I verified that) and his card says he is bonded. Any thoughts on what I should do next? Thank you in advance for any information! :huh:

oh'mike 05-20-2013 06:43 PM

Find out what product he used and then call the technical help line for that company---

Aluminum siding is successfully painted all the time----some key step in the preparation was missed.

How you handle this fellow is between the two of you---I back my work ,so, unless you chose the paint,I would fix this on my dime.

Paying the same guy to fix something he does not know how to do in the first place??????
That is foolish.---Mike---

Jmayspaint 05-20-2013 07:15 PM

Often heavy chalk cannot be removed by pressure washing alone. I've seen many examples of this. Heavy chalk has to be agitated( scrubbed) along with washing. Also adding a bonding agent designed to adhere to chalky surfaces is a good idea as well. "Emulsabond and 'seal krete original, both help paint bond to chalky surfaces.

Jmayspaint 05-20-2013 07:22 PM

From your description is sounds like the chalk was not removed completely.

You could check this by rubbing your hand over the siding in a place where the paint recently cane off ( needs to be recent as even a little sun exposure could have re-chalked the surface) if your hand gets whitish powder on it, the chalk was not completely removed. Painting over chalk causes the paint to bond to the chalk instead of the surface. That's why it will peel so fast, it was never bonded to the surface at all.
Possibly the chalk did get removed in some areas, if so these areas will probably continue to hold. If not, pressure washing or scraping would likely remove nearly all of the paint.

user1007 05-20-2013 07:38 PM

It is really hard to comment without knowing what he used as a cleaner in the pressure washer to prep the aluminum siding surfaces, whether he neutralized it when done (if required), what primer he put on and over what (was it a painted surface or some electrofinish), and finally what finish he used. It does not really matter what happened.

Whatever casued it, and even in Alaska, a paint failure laying in sheets on your lawn and after only 18 months over a surface that was not causing problems before "it wasn't broke but got fixed anyhow" is not just one of those things! The guy goofed unless you forced specific materials on him.

He will not like it but it seems to me, unless he can prove act of God or something, he should stand by his work and fix it. If it is due to product failure he can chase that down and get what remedy he can. Stand firm on this. Make sure you document the situation with pictures.

If he will not come out and fix it? And the materials themselves did not fail themselves but were just wrong for the situation? You will have chase him down to get the money to pay someonone else. Depending on the limits in your state this may involve small claims or regular civil court action. When you win it then means enforcing the judgment if he scoffs at it and is still in business. So let's hope it does not come to that.

jagans 05-20-2013 08:16 PM

Improper preparation. I don't see how it could be a material failure if it worked in some areas and not others. Sounds like he painted over oxidized, unadhered material. Pilot Error. Shout be for his account, not yours.

Gymschu 05-20-2013 08:57 PM

Like we have said many times on here before, aluminum siding can be the easiest substrate to paint, IF IT HAS BEEN PREPPED PROPERLY. As Jmay stated, he obviously DID NOT get all the chalkiness off. Maybe he was inexperienced with a pressure washer. I have seen great painters do a poor cleaning job or maybe he subbed the work out to another contractor. It's possible a cheap paint was any event, I agree with the posters above.......he should come and make it right.

joecaption 05-20-2013 09:19 PM

If he used oil based paint that can also happen.

ric knows paint 05-20-2013 09:58 PM


Originally Posted by joecaption (Post 1183706)
If he used oil based paint that can also happen.

That doesn't make any sense at all..

chrisn 05-21-2013 05:07 AM


Originally Posted by ric knows paint (Post 1183756)
That doesn't make any sense at all..

really? Joe? :wink:

Gymschu 05-21-2013 07:09 AM

Yeah, Joe, once again we gotta shoot down your "Contractoritis." Oil is actually a nice finish on aluminum. In fact, you had to use it in the old days on aluminum because the latexes were so poor in quality that they left a splotchy finish on metal and you had to apply 3 or 4 coats to get good coverage.

ToolSeeker 05-21-2013 07:30 AM

I agree with Mike he missed a step in the prep or did it poorly or did not know how to prep alum. since the wood held up fine. And his comment "just one of those things" makes his knowledge and ability suspect, to me at least.

jagans 05-21-2013 09:10 AM

Aluminum Boat
Hi Guys,

I have an old aluminum boat. It was built back when they made them right, deep V hull, a lot a freeboard. Built in 1957. The problem with it is that it has some pretty sever pitting of the hull, and I would like to prime and paint it to arrest this. I have HVLP, Airless, and of course, roller and brush. I know that Aluminum can be a PIA to work with because it starts to oxidize immediately. Can anyone recommend a successful method and the best materials for painting an aluminum boat that will be subject to salt water?

Thank You.

OOps, Sorry, OP, I moved this to a new thread. I cant seem to remove a post after I make it. :(

Talking Dreams 06-25-2013 12:44 PM

Follow up:
After the wonderful people here gave me some direction, I called the painter who answered your questions as follows:

Did he put chemicals in the power wash and if so, what did he use? No.
Did he do any hand washing/scraping, or just the power wash? Just power wash with water.
What kind of paint and primer did he use? He doesn't remember.
Does he have receipts for the materials? No.
If you peel back and area of paint that is not loose and feel behind it right away, is it chalky? YES!

Sooo, when I contact him to tell him I want him to fix everything on his dime, I'd like to be able to give him precise information on what he SHOULD have done.

Was he supposed to put chemicals in the power washer?
Was he supposed to hand wash or scrape?

Thanks for any further information. I feel so much better about asking him to make it right, having all of your posts to back up what I thought to begin with!

Gymschu 06-25-2013 02:48 PM

Personally, I avoid putting chemical cleaners in my PW. I usually count on the pressure and the water to do the cleaning. Unless there is ground in dirt and stubborn mildew, chemical cleaners really aren't necessary. If the pressure washing only got a portion of the chalkiness off, yes, he should have hand washed to finish off the cleaning process.

My thinking on this particular situation is that he either DID NOT pressure wash as he said or he used such a low PSI that it was ineffective at cleaning off the chalk. Without really seeing it firsthand, I can only make an educated guess.

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