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Thu, May 23

Ask the Contractor: Pick paint carefully; each finish has purpose

Not all paints are created equal — and the same goes for the finish or sheen they offer. Each has a different look and purpose. (Courier, file)

Not all paints are created equal — and the same goes for the finish or sheen they offer. Each has a different look and purpose. (Courier, file)

July stated off with a thump and a whack as they say.

Monday morning at 8:05, I received a call from a homeowner with a desperate cry for help. They were getting ready to put their home on the market; it was vacant as this was a second home and the family was leaving the area. The homeowners hired a “handyman” to paint the interior, giving him a key to come and go and paint the interior without being time pressured.

Colors were selected by the homeowner; however, at no time was the “best paint product” discussed for the rooms and walls. The “handyman” indicated he had been painting for many years and was well versed in paint coverage, product and application.

Phone call to the owners: “Painting is complete.” The homeowners previously paid for the product based on the “handyman’s” estimate of quantity needed and labor would be paid at the end of the project. Remember, no paint product to apply to the walls was discussed. Hearing from the “handyman” that the painting was complete, the homeowners made a trip to town to inspect the newly painted interior.

Shock and dismay as they say, the correct color combination had been applied to the appropriate walls, but the paint finish was a nightmare. The homeowners relied on the “painter” to select the appropriate paint finish and that did not happen. This was looking like a do-over project.

High Gloss paint had been purchased and was applied to the bedroom walls. Eggshell paint was applied to all door trim, Semi-Gloss was applied to the hallway and dining room and Matte was applied to the kitchen, and luckily the baths had the correct paint product applied of Semi-Gloss.

To make a long story short, there are appropriate paint products to use for certain rooms in your home. And here they are:

• High Gloss. This is the most durable and easiest to clean of all paint sheens, high-gloss paint is hard, ultra-shiny, and light-reflecting. High gloss is a good choice for areas that sticky fingers touch — cabinets, trim, and doors. High gloss has too much shine for interior walls. High gloss does show every bump and roll and curve so it is important that painters do not skimp on prep work. High gloss is extremely durable.

• Semi-Gloss. Is great for rooms where moisture is a challenge for walls and is also great for trim work that takes a lot of abuse. A practical application for semi-gloss paint would be kitchens, bathrooms, trim, chair rails, and it is also an extremely durable paint.

• Satin. This paint product has a very nice luster, easy to clean and it is a great paint for high-traffic areas. Satin paint is more difficult to apply since it shows roller marks and brush strokes and could make touch-ups tough. Satin seems to be predominantly applied in family rooms, foyers, hallways and is good for bedrooms. Satin paint has good durability.

• Eggshell. This is a paint product that is between satin and flat on the sheen and durability scale, and is called eggshell because it is relatively flat and a no shine paint just like egg shells. Eggshell covers wall imperfections well and is a great finish for areas that are not bumped, banged and in the scuff zone. Living rooms and dining rooms are great areas. The durability is good.

• Flat or Matte. These paint products are what they call a friend to walls that have something to hide because this paint does not reflect light. It has the most pigment and will provide the most coverage of the paint products. However, word of warning: it is a tough paint to clean without taking paint off. The areas of application should be in rooms that are not again roughed up, scuffed up or banged into. The durability is somewhat low.

Higher the sheen, the more defects will show.

The end of the story — the homeowners did not pay the “painter” for any labor. They have since hired a fully licensed painter to repaint the entire interior and with having to repurchase new paint product, additional preparation of some of the walls to accept the correct paint for the wall area they spent significant more money for corrective action. The price was too good to be true from the “handyman painter,” who said he knew what he was doing.

As I said, the first Monday in July started off with a splatter issue and then just went rising to a great week with super calls from homeowners, sweet emails, and not another catastrophe, crunch or calamity. Gosh, just 171 days to Christmas!

Remember to tune in to YCCA’s Hammer Time every Saturday and Sunday morning at 7 on KQNA 1130 AM, 99.9 FM, 95.5 FM or the web at Listen to Sandy to Mike talk about the construction industry, meet your local community partners, and so much more. What a great way to start your weekend.


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