Need help from professional painters!!!

nc_cowgirlApril 26, 2010

We are building a new home...should be in it by now, but have had terrible issues with sheetrock work and then the paint. Every room in the house has seams showing. They are finished I forgot to mention. We have 18 foot tall walls as you enter the foyer and over the kitchen area. First, they said they would only use Valspar paint..primed, painted using their much loved paint and all you see is roller marks every where! Not to mention terrible places in sheetrock. So we tried to get the builder to "STOP" and get sheetrock guys back in..Let's try a different finish he said...first eggshell, now flat in Valspar. Same thing..then they try Sherwin Williams flat..same thing. Roller marks everywhere. Now the builder brings in the sheetrock guys...skim coated these walls and sanded..painters return primed using white primer..used gray before as it's a dark gold color being used on these walls. We decided to ask builder to use another painter as there were other paint issues going on in the house. Brought in new painter (crew of 3). Mudded places in walls, sanded spot primed and are using Benjamin Moore paint...what do you know...same problem..roller marks everywhere! Somebody please tell me what in the world the problem is and what needs to be done to get these walls right? This has been going on since Feb. Our builder is very honest and keeps saying he wants us to be satisfied. We feel terrible that this is costing him so much in labor and paint, but want it right. To make us feel even worse, his wife has stage 3 breast cancer and is fighting for her life! We almost feel that we should just accept the ugly walls and deal with it later because he is dealing with so much right now! Can someone please help! Thanks so much for any guidance! UPDATE! The new painter has noticed bubbling of the can actually peel away sheets of I guess paint. He feels that the last painters did not get dust off the walls as you can feel it on the back side of the sheets that have come off the walls and see white powder in your hands. Ben Moore rep to come out tomorrow morning..hope he can shed some light on this nightmare!!

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First of all, what do you mean by 'roller marks'? It could mean the painters used uneven pressure with the roller and actually left beads of paint on the walls that look like ropes. It could also mean stop and go marks from where they changed direction with the roller. It could mean lap lines because they did not roll in one direction with the roller. It could mean that not enough paint was used or the nap size was wrong or it could also mean that the painters were just not that good at rolling fast drying paints.

Of course, this is drywall and this is a problem in itself when you are painting high walls with critical light (a window at one end that casts light down the wall) which can be further complicated by using a dark color that is shiny. Bad drywall seams may look great with flat white paint, but can end up looking horrible with a dark color in eggshell.

If you really want walls to look good, you need a good drywaller and a good painter. I doubt this is an actual problem with the paint itself....most likely, this is an application issue. Paint bubbling off walls means dust was painted over or the primer used was just simply cheap, which is very possible since builders are usually all about saving money. Which Benjamin Moore paint is being used now?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 9:15PM
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paintguy...thank you. the roller marks look like stop and go marks or lap lines or both. Kinda blotchy looking. We do have lots of natural light and all colors in my house are dark except one. Without taking the time to go back and look at a post I read, the paint they are using is one that you mentioned is your favorite. The primer, also, BM was tinted to almost the exact gold color the finish color will be. I can check tomorrow and find out exact names of each. I agree that it is not a problem with the paint, but application and lack of prep by first painters. Since there is the "bubbling" problem, what steps should be taken at this point to correct? What should I look for them to do? I read where you stated you could go to utube and view pros painting....guess I need to go there and learn some things for myself. Thanks for your help and anything additional that I might watch out for/suggest I would appreciate.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 11:32PM
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Lori A. Sawaya

Big walls, lots of light, cheap/no primer, cheap paint, cheap painters -- each of those or any combination of such can be a b!tch.

Know what I'd do just to get it over with and move on? First, I'd make sure a qualified painter fixed anything that needed fixed regarding the substrate. Then I'd insist - yep insist - that they put one coat of GARDZ over everything and repaint.

You have to realize that even after the rep comes out, it is entirely possible no one will be able to say for sure what happened. So while looking back at what happened IS important, you also need a plan to go forward that is different from, and more aggressive than, what's already been tried  because you're out of time and working on borrowed patience and can't mess with this any more.

GARDZ will seal it up, even it out, and smooth it over so it's ready for two coats of final finish color. It's your best bet at this point to get the walls to look like what you expect.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 12:14AM
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It sounds like it is probably Aura then, or Regal. I was just asking because Benjamin Moore does make a cheap paint called Super Hide that probably doesn't look that good even if applied perfectly. The reason paint bubbles is because some underlying layer is not this case, it sounds like it is the primer. It may be stuck to some degree and will look fine until you add the weight of the new paint and the moisture of the new paint will help the areas that are not stuck completely break free. In order to fix this, all areas that are bubbling or peeling have to be removed. These areas will likely need to be patched now, but before patching you will want to make sure those areas are dust free so that this doesn't happen again. After that, reprime and paint. A problem like this can be a real nightmare to fix sometimes because you may not know which spots are problem areas until you apply new paint...hopefully it's not widespread.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 12:39AM
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Sorry you're having these difficulties!!

Yep...roller-lines AREN'T caused by the paint itself!!

99.5% of the time, it's purely "Painter error"!
* Poor technique/equipment...
* Overworking the primer & paint...
* Pushing coats too thin.

"Builders' painters" are used (USUALLY) solely for speed...NOT quality. Many couldn't produce a flawless wall if they were offered a new Ferrari!

I'm not a pro painter, but work at an upscale Paint/Hdwr. store. The walls I've done at home are flawless.
* I use only the best Roller-covers (Purdy White-Doves or Wooster Pro-Doozs).
* Nice stiff-necked roller-frames ) Wooster green-handled Sherlock GT's, with the GT Pole.
* Paints: I'm spoiled here! I tint my own C2, ACE-Royal, or Ralph-Lauren, with C2-One primer as my FAVE!
* I've even used an FPE color.

>>> I'm very careful with technique & prep!
* On cleaned/primed walls, I paint a 2.5' wide column, using 4 roller-loads per 8' height.
* After doing these 4 vertical "blocks", I bring my unloaded roller to the top of this column & do 3 REAL LIGHT downward "sweeps"...ceiling-to-floor-motion.
* This "lays-off" the paint so all stipple is leaning the same direction, and thin-spots/roller-turns are smoothed out.
* Repeat this "column-work" around the room.
* Keeping your column width to ~ 2.5' ensures you're getting enough paint on the wall!!
* Seriously...I cannot find a roller-line or sheen-variation in my jobs at home!


    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 1:29AM
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Thank you all very much! paintguy..the primer being used right now is Frest Start by Benjamin Moore and the paint is Super Spec by B. Moore. Funcolors?? What is Guardz and where do you get it? I know everyone is trying to get these walls right, but there has to be a way to roll without leaving these marks...I would think! The B. Moore rep stated that they should cut out the bubbles, which by the way is due to dust being left on the walls, mud, etc. and begin again. I have never in my life!!! We have lived in a house that is over 100 years old and looked at crappy walls for many years and it makes me sick that we are building a new home and paying dearly and I will still have to look at crappy walls! Oh well, I guess things could be worse.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 10:17PM
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Lori A. Sawaya

GARDZ is easily overkill in this situation. But overkill is what I'd want because you are out of time to fart around with any more opinions or guesses. GARDZ will bury whatever mess is underneath it. That is, of course, once you fix what needs fixed. i.e. the bubbles. GARDZ isn't a magic wand that penetrates and heals whatever ails a wall -- the wall still has to be sound and ready for product.

Have them roll a coat of GARDZ and buy something better than Super Spec. I dislike Super Spec - a lot. However, I'm surprised you're seeing anything but a consistent, diffuse surface with Super Spec. SS, especially in flat usually hides a multitude of wall blemishes and sins. Weird situation.

If you still see inconsistency after sealing it over with GARDZ and using a better quality and grade of paint, then you have to wonder if it's not an actual pattern inherent to the sheetrock and not the paint -- and no matter what you paint it with, it's going to telegraph thru.

And, yeah, there are worse things that happen, but might as well try to get it right if you can.

As far as what is GARDZ, here's a Squidoo article about how it works sealing out adhesive post-wallpaper. Tim's pix do a good job showing what GARDZ can do.

Here is a link that might be useful: GARDZ on Squidoo

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 11:14PM
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Ever thought about having the Gardz and the next coat sprayed on. Most of the paint crews here use a spray gun.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 11:52PM
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Apparently they did not vacuum or blow off the dust prior to painting so it's good that the rollers showed this. Here, a three man paint crew would be two guys tape off the job and one guy sprays. If someone came into my house to paint the interior, and they showed up with a bunch of rollers, I would send them home. A room that size. You got to be kidding.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 12:07AM
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Super Spec in what sheen? If it's flat and the painters can't get that to look good, then the painters really need to go back to painters school. If it is eggshell, then I understand. Something is wrong with that paint in some bases...can't remember which, but I painted a kitchen a while back with that stuff and I couldn't get it lay down. Still, skill of the painter is very important and even more so if they are using a crappy product. At this point I see no real reason to use BM's lower lines anymore for any of my jobs...perhaps this is what BM wants. If the focus all their attention on Aura, and cheapen Super Spec, they make more money...just another one of my conspiracy theories that all BM reps will of course deny.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 12:09AM
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someone, I paint two story foyers and huge living room/family room combos all the time without a sprayer. Most pro paitners do not bring a sprayer into someones home for general wall painting....there is just too much prep invoved for it to be worth it. It's not hard to keep a wet edge rolling out of a bucket if you have 15 years or more of experience doing that sort of thing.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 8:12PM
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Sorry, I thought she was having new construction painted. I'm no pro at house painting but have seen teams when I've done cabinets or installed trim. The bubble areas could be from too much paint (my guess) plus not vacuuming the wall after sanding prior to painting. I think the GC should repair the bubble area, sand, vacuum, wipe with a rag, spray, then backroll or not. The only way (I think) to roll something like this is with a power roller. I know paintguy has a way he would do it but the problem is that neither of these teams sound like trained painters. My guess is they are day labor. The problen is getting the job done right absent paint guy. IMO, spray.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 11:08PM
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I just used Benjamin Moore Aura for the second time and this time was as bad as the first. I bought the satin for exterior slab doors. First of all their satin looks like a semi-gloss to me. It has a lot of shine which is fine for exterior doors so it will last longer but the more shine the harder to blend roller marks. The stickiness is a huge issue.
The first time I tried it on a threshold and so much dust stuck to it and shoe prints transferred I had to repaint it. The Dunn Edwards I put on top worked like a dream. So the doors I'm agonizing over have been painted and sanded down 3 times already. The paint leaves lap marks from weenie rollers so fast no matter how light a feathering we try or how fast we paint. We finally tried a 2 roller method with a regular roller for application and foam roller to flatten out paint with flow additive. It worked a little better but not good enough. I have almost used up 2 quarts of aura at $25 a quart. Biggest waste of time and money. I'm going to go buy another brand I had good luck with last time that actually looks like satin finish and does not leave lap marks or a sticky residue. I left the doors in the hot sun for a day and they are just as tacky after "drying". Same problem as the threshold I painted. I did the first two coats and a professional painter tried another and he didn't have any better luck. I will never buy this sticky hard to use paint again. Lesson learned.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 12:45PM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

Personally, I don't see using Gardz here as solving any of the problems mentioned. It will not hide crappy painting( ie, roller marks). It is a great product for what it is intender for but hiding stuff, it will not do.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 5:50PM
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