Primer over joint compound results and update

nap101May 7, 2013

So I used zinsser smart prime. Sanded, did a little touch up and vacuumed the walls. Then a second coat with fresh start. Then 2 coats of paint. Looks great. Went to take the tape off the window trim and it pulled the paint right off the wall along the edge of the paint--a ragged line, down to the joint compound.

I took a piece of blue tape to a low area of solid wall I know will be covered with furniture. Took it all off down to the joint compound.

So depressing.

I did vacuum walls and ceiling thoroughly twice before priming.

Do I need to use a different product for priming? What did I do wrong? And what do I do now? the walls look great other than that. Maybe I need to take an exacto knife to the edge of the paint to get a clean line before removing the rest of the tape.

And I have a second room to do next. I need to know what I did wrong before tackling the second room.

One note: I didn't stir the fresh can of smart prime before doing the first coat because I came straight from the paint store where they shook it. But upon the second coat I went to stir it and there were solids at the bottom. They replaced the pprimer and noticed the same thing in some of their product in the store. They substituted fresh start for what I brought back. But they said it shouldn't affect what I already put on the walls. Not sure if that is the culprit but felt I needed to put that up front.

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Another note: I have raw window and door trim that still needs to be primed and painted. How can I do that if I can't tape the walls? I can wait a couple months if that will make a difference.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 9:28PM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

First off there was no need to prime twice, none. Second, you need to remove the tape while it is still wet. If need be, run a blade of some sort along the edge of the tape and the sill to break the bond. The tape pulled off the primer because paint still takes weeks to cure. From what I can see you did nothing wrong.
One coat primer,2 coats finish paint, run a blade along the tape edge, move on.
Better yet, forget the tape and paint neatly.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 4:22AM
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I am going to suggest stuck-tape removal a little differently than christophern (as an alternative for you to try).

Loosen the tape very slowly from the loose/floppy edge (hopefully you left one) toward the stuck edge -- try do a whole segment or length at a time if you can. This should minimize what comes off at the edge line. For any tape splotches that are totally adhered, use a blade to loosen the far edge and pull off toward the wall edge. Flick off anything that is clealy a peel, sand that with fine grade paper, prime the splotches, paint the spots free hand.

In the future -- try priming and first coat of paint with no tape. A little trick is to deposit paint with a good, angled brush (1.5") at your edge line in a perpendicular fashion (yes, crosswise and short strokes for about two feet along your window edge or moulding). Then, gently swipe with the grain (now parallel) along the edge using the side of the brush and WITHOUT reloading your brush and WITHOUT touching the edge itself. This technique will first "deposit" the paint close to your edge via the 1.5" bristles, followed by smoothing the paint along the grain with a normal stroke. Repeat as needed. Never put a loaded brush (bristles or side of brush) close to an edge!

Even if you use tape with the above approach, you will rarely get paint on your tape ... if you do it will be light bristle touches during your cross-wise load .... or a swipe wisp with your parallel smooth-outs. In either case, you won't be putting any significant amount of paint onto your tape and the protected adjoining surface (which is usually the culprit for any sticking).

Finally, if/when laying tape, use two/three foot segments and run your fingertip LIGHTLY on the edge you are protecting (1/8" or 1/4" adhesion at the most) -- leave the rest flapping loose. The light touch will minimize any chance of the tape stickum penetrating an under coat (which is shouldn't anyway) and the little stuck line (1/8" or so) will minimize the tape edge available for paint-oopsies. Then -- like Christophern said, take the tape up when your top layer is still wet.

This post was edited by PinesEverywhere on Wed, May 8, 13 at 8:52

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 7:40AM
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Thanks for the feedback. Good to know I didn't completely ruin it.

I have tried the cutting in method a few times with mixed success. I used that technique on the ceiling edge and it looks really bad right now and took a really long time. Maybe I just need more practice.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 9:05AM
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Nap Wrote:
"I have tried the cutting in method a few times with mixed success. I used that technique on the ceiling edge and it looks really bad right now and took a really long time. Maybe I just need more practice."

You'll get it, don't be frustrated -- even try again on your bad spots. Cut cross-wise and then you can even use your roller (lightly loaded) to blend/fix (side-ways first getting close to the edge then short up & down rolls). When you're up on a ladder, you think nobody will see this way up here and in actuality the ceiling edge and corners are the MOST noticeable!

I'll leave you with a revised old adage: A stroke in time saves nine --

Hang in there - you'll fix these splotches just fine and the next room will be terrific. :)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 9:43AM
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