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Paintshop: The Truth About Paint

“You get what you pay for” goes for paint and supplies as well.

 

For the painter, it is important to get the best value out of the products chosen. Painting materials must guarantee some degree of durability to retain their worth over time. You look for something else if they don’t.

 

What separates a quality paint product from one at the bottom of the barrel? One is a quality-formulated product; the other pretends to be one, particularly as they try to compete.

 

Typically, you can rely on a paint product which is a high-end brand name. And within that, the most expensive is normally the best. The reason is research and development.

 

When a company focuses on making a better, longer lasting product, the result should be a more durable product. At the same time, the manufacturers of all higher-end products do try to make improvements to even their lower-end, cheaper materials.

 

When it comes to paint, here’s what you should look for:

  1. amount of pigment.
  2. volume of solvent. CAUTION: Some paints have more water than they should.
  3. cost per gallon, versus the cost per five-gallon unit (not more than $15/$130.)
  4. paint is not manufactured by a foreign subsidiary of main brand.
  5. product has UV protection. TIP: If it doesn’t the surface may oxidize faster.
  6. binder percentages in paint are equivalent to similar priced and types of paint.
  7. viscosity test level information. TIP: My opinion: Paint is worthless if the material is too thin.
  8. Paint with primer” added is a misnomer. CAUTION: The chemistry of either cannot be combined to produce the same results as when the primer is applied by itself, then later the finish paint.

 

About Primers. A primer bonds to the surface. It provides a porous anchoring surface that the top coat to which it can bond effectively.

 

“Paint with primer” products skip one critical step. Be careful about this, especially if you’re an experienced painter. The time and money you think you are saving, along with the idea that your work has become easier, diminishes the actual quality of the job itself. You could be painting something twice in a year instead of once.

 

Now, who has the best Paint?

The two central choices are Glidden and Sherwin Williams. They have a long and valued reputation for making high quality, long lasting and moderately priced coatings. For the price, they are also the most diverse in their product types. Sherwin Williams, by far, has the best industrial line.

In its response to the residential market, the Behr paint line is exceptional, as well, although the pricing is somewhat higher than Glidden. For stains, Minwax and Olympic are without real competition. They also have a long history behind them. In the automotive industry, I would rate DuPont as the best option.

 

What are the most durable paints?

 

The three that I select the most are the following:

  1. Elastomeric compounds for exterior commercial masonry surfaces,
  2. Two-part Urethanes for automotive refinishing,
  3. Two-part Epoxy products for commercial/industrial corrosion and abrasion resistance.

 

Within reason and knowledge of these products, they may be purchased and applied by the general public.

 

A True On-Site Story…

 
I once painted a smoke stack with a silicon, heat resistant alkyd paint. The label said the product was resistant up to 600 degrees Farenheit.

After two days of curing, the smoke stack was put back into service. That same day the paint bubbled and peeled off, sending sheets of paint floating to the ground. It had been shown that the temperature of the metal heated to a consistent 625 degrees. Was it the paint product’s fault?
Several days later, I repainted the stack with another heat resistant product. This time it was a high-heat, aluminum fibered material. Once the stack became heated, everything turned out fine, no loose or peeling paint. In this case, I said it was the paint. Go figure.

 

Every experienced painter has a less than favorable on-site story to relate. Hopefully, yours had a positive ending, like mine did. Eventually.

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Best wishes from “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2017. Robert  D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painting It: The Driveway

Do you have a driveway? Probably, you drive over it nearly every day. The front of your house is beautiful, and your landscaping has a well-sculptured look.

 

But, your driveway? Well, it collects dirt well, and has some nice cracks.

 

There is a way to change your driveway’s appearance. And you can create a durable finish which will last for years.

 

Are you considering a face lift for your driveway?

 

Follow these steps to aid you in the process.

 

1. “Pressure wash” and clean the driveway’s entire surface with a 50-50 bleach and water solution.  Thoroughly rinse the area. Then let it dry.

 

2. Repair cracks and small holes with concrete patching compound. Let cure over night.

 

3. Spray the surface with Muriatic Acid. Then, brush vigorously to etch the concrete. Rinse the entire surface. Let dry.

 

4. On a dry day with low humidity, apply your selected paint using both a brush and roller. Apply in “one direction”. Let dry 8-24 hours.

 

5. Apply a second coat of paint. This time, roll the material on in the “opposite direction” used the day before. Let the finish dry 24 hours, or until the paint is hard. Test with finger nail, or a coin (preferred).

 

6. For added protection and durability, apply a clear coat finish. Select one which is compatible with the color paint coats. This, too, can be applied in multiple coats, if preferred.

 

A CREATIVE TIP

In addition to painting the surface, also consider using some type of stenciled pattern. To do so, first design a drawing. In it, show the exact details that you wish to incorporate into your driveway.

 

CHOOSING YOUR COATINGS

 

A select number of specialized products are available for coating driveways, and related areas. The price may vary anywhere from $30.00 to $50.00 a gallon, or more.

 

1. Concrete sealer.

— Applied before any finish coating.

Approximate cost: $41.00 a gallon. Sherwin-Williams.

 

2. Exterior oil based paint.

— Recommended for walkways and concrete steps.

— Advantages: the most affordable, easy to work with.

Approximate cost: $22.00 a gallon.

 

3. “Catalyzed” finishing product.

— A few optimum examples: Urethane, Polyurethane, or Epoxy.

— Advantages: Exterior durability, extremely hard finishes, hold up well when exposed to moisture and the sun’s rays.

— Added advantage: They can be pressure washed without peeling the paint from the surface.

Approximate cost: $30.00-$50.00 a gallon, or more.

 

4. Acrylic resin.*

— Water-based.*

— Resistant to environmental elements.*

— Durable, dries fast -Area can be “useable” in 60-90 minutes.*

— Available in many colors and tints.*

TIP: Stick with top coating manufacturers when selecting this product.

— Approximate cost: $49.99-$65.00 a gallon, or more.

 

* IMPORTANT NOTE: Acrylic resin is a newer coating product.

— It has some great potential!

— It still has to prove itself.

— Claims by all manufacturers should be weighed carefully.

— Choose this type product, over others, as an experienced and informed professional application specialist – or DIY-er.

 

THREE KEYS TO RETAINING A BEAUTIFULLY PAINTED DRIVEWAY

 

1. Regularly, clean the driveway’s entire surface.

 

2. Lay down one or more dropcloths before you service a vehicle, paint a bike, refinish furniture, etc.

 

3. Don’t squeal those tires!

 

Remember: First impressions can start outside of your front door. At your driveway!

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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

PAINTING THEM: HOTEL AND RESORT POOLS AND SPAS

There is no better place to be on a hot day then in the soothing water of a pool or spa. As a form of outdoor recreation there is little that hotel guests can do that matches the level of relaxation experienced in these environments.

However, when a pool’s or spa’s appearance and/or condition begins to fade, guests and visitors may focus their attention elsewhere.

IT IS ESSENTIAL TO MAINTAIN THE POOLS AND SPA AREAS.

 

How to maintain the appearance and durability of a pool or spa

1. Repair or replace the grout around tiles in pool skirt or spa deck area.

2. Clean all necessary ceramic tile.

3. Repair loose or cracked masonry around the pool skirt area.

4. Prime and paint with recommended Epoxy or Acrylic finish with a high abrasion resistance.

5. Repair loose or cracked surface of pool basin with appropriate waterproof patching compound.

6. Prime and finish with recommended Epoxy pool coating. (Of course, the pool must be emptied and thoroughly dry.)

7. A surface and/or finish can fail – eg. paint peeling, sheen loss, finish wear, questionable adherence.

The entire pool bed may need to be abrasive blasted to remove all paint and create an anchor to which the new finish can adhere.

8. Apply the Epoxy finish in a two-step process, using a brush and roller, or airless spray, method.

A. Apply first coat using a mixture adding 1 quart solvent to 5 gallons of paint, or 1 pint to a gallon. Allow to cure for 12-24 hours.

B. Apply final coat of finish using standard 50/50 epoxy mix catalyst and base.

9. ALWAYS use a proper breathing apparatus, while applying various coats of finish. Epoxy fumes can be extremely hazardous to your health. Take the necessary precautions.

10. Once the base color has cured for 24 hours, the associated stripes can be measured, laid out and painted. The stripes are painted normally with Epoxy, done in “black” and applied using a brush and roller system.

Painting a spa involves much of the same preparation and finishing methods as does a pool.

Some other variables that must be considered when refinishing a spa.

1. When repairing the surface, remove all loose areas and cracks.

2. Use appropriate patching compound to fill in and feather edges to the surrounding surface.

3. When applying Epoxy type paint, add an aggregate (silica sand) to the mix to promote traction and slip resistance.

4. If the spa is to be painted with an acrylic polyurethane, thin the first coat to allow for greater penetration and bonding of final coat.

5. If the spa incorporates ceramic tile, make sure they are clean and polished, have no exposed sharpedges, are not loose, and are grouted tightly. Replace broken tiles.

A swimming pool or a spa can bring many hours of fun and relaxation. It is especially appreciated when a pool or spa’s appearance and condition are well maintained. And, the pool or spa is safe to swim in.

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Have a splashing week!  Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painting It: “BARN RED” Barns: Surviving Great Depression, Wars and Hardships

My great-grandfather painted two and three story barns and built furniture to recover after the Great Depression, and World War II. He used “Barn Red” thick, smelly oil-based paint and large, cumbersome brushes.

 

He worked from heavy, hand-made wooden ladders, and self-made plank scaffolding. According to a family biography, it took over a week to paint one barn.

 

Starting after the Korean War, my other great-grandfather turned over the painting of his three massive barns to a group of young Amish – that “moved like lightning.” They used the “Barn Red” paint.

 

They worked from heavy wood planks hung by ropes and pulleys from the roof’s edge. Also, they worked from 12-foot wooden stepladders, placed on the flatbeds of hay wagons.

 

My grandfather repaired tires, tuned pianos, and tested soil for the State of Indiana to supplement the farm income during lean, low-yield years in the 1940s. Also, he painted large two and three story barns. Many had attached “worksheds.”

 

He used an upgraded “Barn Red” oil-based paint. He stood on three or four sectioned, wooden extension ladders. Sometimes, he rigged his own scaffolding: 12-foot stepladders, 18 to 24 foot extension ladders, wide wooden planks.

 

He operated a “weighted down spray gun, that clogged up and stuck half the time.” He said it had to be flushed out and cleaned every two hours. “If I was lucky,” he told me. “That’s why I invested in a second one.” Hundreds of feet of gray or red rubber hose trailed from the spray gun, down to the tank compressor/engine on the ground.

 

My grandfather said that it took him two days to spray out one large, three-story barn. It took an additional day to trim out the structure, using a three or four-inch brush. “That’s from dawn-to-dark…with fifteen minutes on the ground eating the lunch your grandma packed me…”

 

My father painted groupings of wood or steel barns and other outbuildings on large commercial farms. He applied top-quality “Barn red” or white semi-gloss epoxy – or a special metal paint.

 

He used one or more of over a dozen precision spray gun systems that he owned outright. He used two-inch to six-inch wide brushes, and four-inch to 12-inch rollers. He maneuvered around on industrial pipe scaffolding systems, or inside hydraulic lift bucket and spider systems.

 

Also, he used six-foot to 24-foot wood and aluminum ladder systems.
On the average, it took him two days to spray out two huge barns. Usually, it took two more days to paint the trim and frames, using brushes and rollers.

 

I helped my father paint a few huge steel buildings. Each of us used a state-of-the-art airless spray system, with an adjustable nozzle, to apply two coats of special metal coating.

 

Each spray system was powered by a variable speed compressor, that could be controlled from a custom button, built into the spray gun’s handle. (For more about airless spraying, read the January 2015 blog: “Painting It: The Advantages of Airless Spray Systems.”)

 

We used brushes, with 2 to 6-inch wide bristles, to cut-in corners and edges. Both brushes and rollers were used to paint trim, window and door frames, gutters, soffetts, etc. We worked from industrial steel scaffolding, erected by hand.

 

Florida does not have many big barns left. In 2012, however, barns owned by a fourth-generation ranch family, in northwest Florida, needed extensive repairs and repainting. A team of carpenters and masons repaired the structures, inside and out.

 

A crew of four, including the rancher’s two sons, sprayed out the barns with white high gloss, weather-resistant exterior paint. They worked from rented hydraulic snorkel lifts.

 

It took two days to spray out the three barns, each two stories in height, and over 500 feet in length. It took another two days to spray, brush and roll out the trim, frames, gutter systems, etcetera in the same custom forest green used throughout the large property, and in the ranch’s logo.

 

Today, the outside of a barn is reasonably easy to paint or finish. “Barn Red” and “Barn White” paints are still around. Also popular are heavy-duty coatings, in a spectrum of colors: rusts, greens, blues, tans; even eye-catchers such as yellow, orange, purple, pink. Special exterior wood stains and clear coats are used, too.

 

Barn painting/finishing products are formulated to spray on easily, with minimal hassle. They’re much safer and much more durable than ever.

 

Spray system equipment is well-made, very adjustable, easy to operate, and reasonably simple to clean and maintain. Scaffolding and hydraulic lift and scissor systems come in different sizes, appropriate to the size of the job – and the site. (Check out Kropp Equipment, www.kropp.com.)

 

One thing remains the same: Barn painting is a specialty. It’s a unique craft in its own way. It’s suited to a special breed of exterior painters that carry a special respect and nostalgic fondness for those huge structures. All of them utilitarian in design, and purpose.

 

Built to serve, built to last!

 

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Is a big, old “RED BARN” barn visible in your horizon, or rear view mirror, as you drive between cities and towns?  You might know someone that played there as a child.

 

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Have a restful week. Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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