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WTF...didn't they think we'd notice...
Old 06-06-2016, 10:29 PM   #1
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WTF...didn't they think we'd notice...

To get to the point, my recommended painter is an idiot. He doesn't check his crew's work among other shortfalls. GC had him paint a bathroom that was gutted. So, basically, after drywall complete, he primed/sealed, then 2 coats of paint. After the 2nd coat of paint on the casings, when the blue tape was removed, a good portion of the wall paint went with it. The remaining paint is very gummy rather than dry.

Any thoughts as to what caused this? My concern is that the walls themselves, which seem to be fine, may have failing paint after the reno is complete and everyone has been paid.

Am hoping for some insights before the GC and painter come by tomorrow.
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Old 06-06-2016, 10:37 PM   #2
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Photograph everything. Document document document.

Hopefully the GC will agree to fix it at his cost.
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Old 06-06-2016, 10:39 PM   #3
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Have they been paid. Hopefully not.

if not, you show them the problems, tell them you need it remedied. until it is remedied, the job is not complete. They don't get paid until the job is competed to your satisfaction.

You aren't the painter, you don't need to know why it happened. That is their job. That and to make it right.

Good Luck.

edit: and what rodi said. and it doesn't hurt to let them see the pictures, just so they know you took them.
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Old 06-06-2016, 10:58 PM   #4
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A bit complicated. GC recommended this painter. Part of the work, the bathroom, is under GC contract and I expect the problems to be remedied. GC says he has paid the painter, but that's his problem if he paid him before the work was complete. I want to know what could be causing this because I don't want to get snowed, have them 'fix' it and it turns out, a year later, the bathroom paint is peeling off the walls. I want to understand the possible cause as well as the proper remedy for this problem.

We hired this painter, outside of the GC contract, to paint the interior of the house, the other casings, and strip and stain our doors. They messed up and the ceilings need to be touched up and cut in properly as well as some other minor hiccups. He hasn't been paid a dime and won't be until the job is completed to our satisfaction. He has requested a draw, but as far as I'm concerned, he'll be paid in full when the job is completed to our satisfaction. He certainly seems contrite when we discussed this and we'll see.
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Old 06-07-2016, 06:51 AM   #5
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It sounds as if they left the tape on too long. It should be removed very shortly after the job is completed or else the paint dries over top of the edge of the tape and takes some of the adjacent paint with it when removed. I know, it has happened to me.

As for the gummy paint, I have no idea.
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Old 06-07-2016, 07:30 AM   #6
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Might also be that paint was not properly mixed and/or applied too thickly.
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Old 06-07-2016, 08:23 AM   #7
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Painters!! I've had more then a few people in the contracting business tell me that painters are the most unreliable and inconsistent workers in the business. They either don't show up when they are supposed to, do a poor messy job, don't respond to you calls, etc.

I think it's because with some cheap equipment and very little training and or licensing any one can call themselves a painter.

MT DD and SIL hired a painter recommended by a friend of theirs who does high end finish work. The bid was for 2 coats, they did one coat and packed up and left. They only used 1/3 of the paint and they thought no one would notice that? Contractor friend applied pressure . they finally made their way back and put on the second coat in such a sloppy hurry you could see paint streaks on the walls. SIL and friend just re-did what they needed to make things look good.

Now this makes no sense does it, anyone who had ever painted and who hasn't, knows that set up and tear down and first coat and cutting in ceiling and doors is probably about 80% of the work. This contractor told the painters to their face you blew it, I won't recommend you to anybody again and I'll tell my work buddies not to use you either.

As for the original problem sounds like there could have been a problem with the prime coats maybe too think or they didn't leave the proper amount of drying time on the primer. Did you use the water resistant sheetrock like "mold tough" in the bathroom,I've painted on that and it can be tricky.
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Old 06-07-2016, 08:37 AM   #8
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Paint takes about a month to fully cure. I don't think you can put painter's tape on freshly painted surfaces.

I've found an excellent painter with fair/low rates. No shortcuts.

I also had a crew do some remodeling, and they took every short cut. When I called from work to check the progress, DW was so happy the job was done. I said, what do mean 'done', done with the taping, maybe the primer? No, she said 'done', final coat of paint was up! They taped, plastered, primed and painted in one day!

When I got home, I could see the paint was bubbling up all over the place. I had them back about 4 times before it was 'good enough' that I got tired of fighting them.

-ERD50
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Old 06-07-2016, 08:40 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by TrvlBug View Post
A bit complicated. GC recommended this painter. Part of the work, the bathroom, is under GC contract and I expect the problems to be remedied. GC says he has paid the painter, but that's his problem if he paid him before the work was complete. I want to know what could be causing this because I don't want to get snowed, have them 'fix' it and it turns out, a year later, the bathroom paint is peeling off the walls. I want to understand the possible cause as well as the proper remedy for this problem.

We hired this painter, outside of the GC contract, to paint the interior of the house, the other casings, and strip and stain our doors. They messed up and the ceilings need to be touched up and cut in properly as well as some other minor hiccups. He hasn't been paid a dime and won't be until the job is completed to our satisfaction. He has requested a draw, but as far as I'm concerned, he'll be paid in full when the job is completed to our satisfaction. He certainly seems contrite when we discussed this and we'll see.
of course, you are right to try to understand why it has failed. I would want to know as well. I throw that "I don't need to understand why it failed" line at people who are trying to make excuses about why there work is failing.
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Old 06-07-2016, 08:52 AM   #10
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I know more about floor finish than I do about paint but they share some properties. I would expect two possible issues based upon your description of the curing problem. My first guess would be the wall surface was not prepared properly (cleaning solution left behind or some other cause for adhesion). Second guess is mixing or some foreign substance in the paint that interfered with the curing process.

In either case, if you did not do something such as use a fan directed at the wall to change the curing process, it would seem to be a product/application issue.
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:05 AM   #11
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When I do bathrooms for our rentals I try and add a mold treatment to the paint. Done properly it helps a great deal I think. Have heard of folks adding too much of this to the paint and it can cause troubles with paint setting. Possible in your case?
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:12 AM   #12
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... ...
In either case, if you did not do something such as use a fan directed at the wall to change the curing process, it would seem to be a product/application issue.
Come to think of it, IIRC, they did use a fan to hurry up the drying in the bathroom, but am not sure as the walls were painted at least a month ago. They forgot to put a second coat on the casings, so when they did my part of the painting, I reminded them that they still had to finish the bathroom casings...which they did, THE WRONG COLOR! Like I said, my painter is an IDIOT and that's the kindest word I can think of. I just looked at the paint again, and when I say 'gummy' I mean that when I try to peel back a little paint, it acts like a thin piece of rubber than brittle paint.
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:17 AM   #13
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When I do bathrooms for our rentals I try and add a mold treatment to the paint. Done properly it helps a great deal I think. Have heard of folks adding too much of this to the paint and it can cause troubles with paint setting. Possible in your case?
No mold treatment added and the paint was over new drywall as the bathroom was gutted. I need to talk to him again today (he was out of town over the weekend) and have him come out and fix everything before the floors get installed. don't ask me how, but his painters got paint over everything, even though everything was covered .
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:17 AM   #14
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The biggest problem with painters/paint contractors is paying them before the work is completed properly.
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Old 06-07-2016, 10:05 AM   #15
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A bit complicated. GC recommended this painter. Part of the work, the bathroom, is under GC contract and I expect the problems to be remedied. GC says he has paid the painter, but that's his problem if he paid him before the work was complete.
I think this is telling you something about the GC. If you need a GC again at some time in the future, you might want to consider ditching this GC and looking for one who knows more capable tradesmen of various types and responsibly oversees the quality of their work. That's his job, not yours (IMO).
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Old 06-07-2016, 10:14 AM   #16
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If I had to guess, I'd suspect the walls weren't thoroughly dry/cured when the tape was applied (which is bad) and/or the tape was left on too long. The allowable time varies by the tape type and brand (the adhesive actually changes as it stays on).

If the GC paid the painter, then the GC didn't "recommend" the painter, he hired them. This is your GC's problem, you should be dealing with him, not the painters.
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Old 06-07-2016, 10:54 AM   #17
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I just looked at the paint again, and when I say 'gummy' I mean that when I try to peel back a little paint, it acts like a thin piece of rubber than brittle paint.


(Putting on my old "paint chemist" hat)

That rubbery feel to the paint film is actually quite common, especially with the lower VOC paints that are commonly sold now. The component of paint that forms the film is emulsion polymers. Think of them as little bowls of spaghetti floating around in water. As the paint dries, the water evaporates and the strands of spaghetti come into contact with each other. In order to get a nice tight film, the strands need to flow and interdisperse with each other.

There is an ingredient in most paints called a coalescent. Coalescents aid in film formation by softening the film-forming polymers so they can flow together more readily at room temp. Coalescents evaporate more slowly than water, so the paint film will continue to cure for 7-30 days after the water evaporates. That "freshly painted" smell that lingers in a room is mostly due to the coalescent leaving the film.

But most coalescents, and the most effective ones, count as VOC. So as regulations have changed to limit the VOC levels of paint, formulations had to change. Now instead of starting with a relatively hard polymer and using coalescent to form the film (which in turn would be harder/ more brittle after the coalescent evaporated), paints have relatively softer polymers. They have to be softer in order to get decent film formation at room temp with lower levels of coalescent. Thus the final paint film is softer.

It's always a tough balance between film formation and tackiness. We need good film formation but don't want your walls to feel tacky or sticky.

(Whew! That's the most I've thought about paint chemistry since I ER'd)
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Old 06-07-2016, 12:15 PM   #18
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I think this is telling you something about the GC. If you need a GC again at some time in the future, you might want to consider ditching this GC and looking for one who knows more capable tradesmen of various types and responsibly oversees the quality of their work. That's his job, not yours (IMO).
Agree. GC is highly recommended and I have seen his work. Phase I went perfectly. His problem I believe, is he is having some problems with another project he's working on as well as some very serious family issues. He seems much distant in Phase II, but that's where we're having issues. I also checked out the painter and he has great reviews & the GC is now working with another painter. We're at the tail end of the project and it doesn't make sense to get another GC. Remodeling in our area is at breakneck speed and we'd have to wait until fall or winter to get on someone else's schedule. To get good, competent tradespeople is almost impossible right now.

The bathroom is the GC's problem not mine. My problem is with the work the painter did for us. He's coming by tomorrow and we'll schedule to correct. As we've only paid him a deposit, we're in the driver's seat.

This actually works out perfectly...he can make the corrections as project is now on hold until we determine the extent of drywall termite damage which was discovered yesterday when they ripped up the old hardwood .
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Old 06-07-2016, 12:18 PM   #19
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... ...
If the GC paid the painter, then the GC didn't "recommend" the painter, he hired them. This is your GC's problem, you should be dealing with him, not the painters.
Yes, the bathroom is the GC's problem, the rest of the house, mine. I'm interjecting myself because I want the bathroom fixed properly. I don't want failing paint a year down the road, when everybody has been paid and gone.
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Old 06-07-2016, 12:22 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Philliefan33 View Post
(Putting on my old "paint chemist" hat)

That rubbery feel to the paint film is actually quite common, especially with the lower VOC paints that are commonly sold now. The component of paint that forms the film is emulsion polymers. Think of them as little bowls of spaghetti floating around in water. As the paint dries, the water evaporates and the strands of spaghetti come into contact with each other. In order to get a nice tight film, the strands need to flow and interdisperse with each other.

There is an ingredient in most paints called a coalescent. Coalescents aid in film formation by softening the film-forming polymers so they can flow together more readily at room temp. Coalescents evaporate more slowly than water, so the paint film will continue to cure for 7-30 days after the water evaporates. That "freshly painted" smell that lingers in a room is mostly due to the coalescent leaving the film.

But most coalescents, and the most effective ones, count as VOC. So as regulations have changed to limit the VOC levels of paint, formulations had to change. Now instead of starting with a relatively hard polymer and using coalescent to form the film (which in turn would be harder/ more brittle after the coalescent evaporated), paints have relatively softer polymers. They have to be softer in order to get decent film formation at room temp with lower levels of coalescent. Thus the final paint film is softer.

It's always a tough balance between film formation and tackiness. We need good film formation but don't want your walls to feel tacky or sticky.

(Whew! That's the most I've thought about paint chemistry since I ER'd)
Thank you for the lesson. At least I don't have to worry about that part of it!
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