interior floor paint emergency

raroAugust 16, 2011

We are renovating our house and had a 2d floor built on. I am a regular poster on the kitchen forum but now I have a big paint issue. Downstairs the floors are heart pine and yellow pine. Beautiful! We couldn't afford to put wood upstairs too and decided to paint the floors. Because it is a starkly modern addition we decided to have the hallway be cosmos blue, one son's room red, another son's room yellow and my office obstinate orange. The painter did not budget adequately for the floors to be painted as their final finish . He assumed, incorrectly, that we just wanted a coat of paint to keep the dust down or something. The gc convinced him to do two coats but we concluded that would not be adequate because there are some spots on the floor where the subflooring has writing,etc. So we agreed to pay extra $600 to have the floors primed first. The painters used a primer that was gray/blue. The cosmos part came out beautiful, naturally. The rest of the three floors are varying degrees of disaster. The red came out fairly red but with a purplish tint. The orange came out orange mud colored and the worst was the yellow. With two coats you still see that gray/blue plus yellow is greenish yellow. What to do now??? The painter said he would do another coat for the red, and orange plus another 2 coats for the yellow for another $350. He insists that the Sherwin Williams guy said that the gray/blue primer should be used for all the colors. I have a hard time believing that and have had a great loss of confidence in the project. What should I do? Will another coat (or two) make a difference? Or is that throwing good money after bad? We are not wedded to those colors so is there another color that would give us better coverage to use to paint over the yellow or the orange? The paint was a latex floor paint, I guess from SW. Do you need more info?

Should I undertake to do the next coats myself? I have done a lot of painting in my youth and I am good but don't have much technical knowledge.

Thanks in advance. We feel really stuck.

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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

Youre "painter" is a hack and is trying to take advantage of you, or else just plain stupid. I would bet good money that the SW guy said no such thing. We need to know what primer and paint was used, because normal paint on the floor is not a good idea and you may well alredy have a bad situation on youre hands. A GC was involved? + a "painter" who apparently does not know his trade, sounds like a disaster.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 4:51AM
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Sure, more coats will make a difference. Eventually, the new color will cover up the primer color completely and you will have the colors you are after.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 8:36PM
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the crux of the problem is in the word "eventually", paintguy. We need to get the the most economical resolution on the paint on the floor. Is that one or two coats of the same color or would we be able to get to a saturated color if we switched to a paint color that gives better coverage. For example, if the floor that is supposed to be yellow looks green because of the gray/blue primer, would green be a color that we could put on now that would make it be good to go in one more coat? And for the orange over gray/blue, would it be more successful to put red as the next coat and forget about trying to get a nice orange floor.

I found out today that the primer and floor paint were Glidden.

Here is what the architect learned from talking to the SW paint store manager "I discussed the situation with the manager there and told him that the topcoat is SW Tredplex (it actually was a Glidden product). I don't know what the primer is, but other than the question about its color, what it is really isn't important. He confirmed that the deep color bases that are used for oranges, reds and yellows are notorious for their lack of coverage. It is because the ratio of pigment to binder is so much greater than with lighter colors, that many more coats are required.
He also said that the reason white primers aren't used under colors like red and oranges is that the initial finish coats will be pink (as in the case of the filler we noticed). And the amount of red pigment one can "safely" put in white primer will still yield a pink primer that will require multiple coats to achieve red. There was no hesitation when he said that therefore, when dealing with strong hues, the advice is to use a grey-tinted primer. In the case of the yellow, he agreed with me that the primer under the yellow should have been white, but that it was proper for the primer under the red and orange to be gray.
He said the only solution is to continue to add coats to achieve saturation. He did say, however, that his experience is that the result from coat 2 to 3 is usually dramatic.
One thing he said that you need to know is that the full cure time for this paint is 21 days before it reaches its hardness. Until then, one should be careful about anything being dragged over it or slid, as it is still soft, especially with multiple coats."

What are your thoughts about moving into the house when the floors have not cured for 21 days? Should we stay completely out of those rooms? Not move the furniture in? Not walk in shoes? What do we need to do to protect.

We have pretty much decided not to have the painted do the additional coats. We are too angry with the way we have been treated. Instead, we will do the coats at a later date ourselves. At that time, because we will have lived in the rooms for a while, what will we need to do to prep the floors?

I have read on the web that painted floors should also get a couple of coats of polyurethane. What do you think about that?


    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 1:29AM
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No poly. Floor paints are designed to be durable by themselves. Plus, I don't like to switch products when I don't have to because I'm worried about bonding problems....poly bonding to paint, one companys floor paint bonding to another, etc. Just stick with the same product and apply as many coats as needed to obtain full coverage is what I would do. Even if you were to switch, you would still need to apply two coats of the new product, so what does that save you if you are applying two more coats of what is currently there? As for the cure time, I would say let it dry a week, then move in and be careful with shoes and twisting feet and dragging items across the floor for the first month. If it is feasible to stay out of there for 21 days, then you can do that, but when is that realistic?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 8:51AM
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Thank you paintguy. We will add two more coats ourselves. It is all prepped so it should not be too hard to do. We will follow directions from the forum. tape with frog tape. buy a good brush for cutting in and a good roller. Then stay off it for a week. Then when we move in, I will explain to the 2 1/2 yo and the 9 yo boys how they will have to be gentle with the best we can.

Why do so many say to cover the floor paint with a couple of layers of poly?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 1:59PM
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I suspect it is because floor paints were not as durable by themselves as they are today. Many people still do not believe that acrylic paint is as durable as oil based paints so they figure perhaps a coat of poly will help make the surface more durable.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 7:26PM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

Why do so many say to cover the floor paint with a couple of layers of poly?

Very bad idea, as already explained

I will explain to the 2 1/2 yo and the 9 yo boys how they will have to be gentle with the floor.........

Yea, right! :)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 5:50AM
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