Streaky paint job


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Old 12-15-09, 12:12 PM
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Streaky paint job

We are remodeling our home and after the drywall was finished, proceeded on to the painting. I did some online research and decided to use the Benjamin Moore, "Eco Spec" line for both primer and paint. The ceiling paint is a flat white and the walls are an eggshell tinted a pale peachy gray.

A professional painter started by spraying on the primer which smelled awful. The primer coat was streaky when it was applied, but I was told this is normal. It was not rolled out, nor did we pre-prime before the dry-wallers mudded. (How many contractors do that???) The painters were having a hard time breathing through the stench, and the next day, my house smelled like sewage, but the smell disappeared within 24 hours. They then applied the ceiling white, again from the Eco-Spec line and the tinted wall colors.

The paint job on all surfaces is a streaky mess. One ceiling now has 10 coats of paint on it, including at about the 5th or 6th coat, another type of BM primer. Last night, the owner of the local BM franchise came out and painted the ceiling himself with some sort of ultra-flat ceiling paint and we still have the same result.

This is a passive solar home with lots of light streaming in from our south and west exposure. I have had another passive solar, which we painted all surfaces with a semi-gloss paint and never experienced these issues.

The BM regional rep. was here yesterday, and trying to blame this disaster on the dry wall finishers (there are areas where the walls were not mudded out perfectly evenly), but there is terrible streaking where the walls are absolutely flat. They are also trying to tell me that it is variations in the knock-down texture, that can account for the streaking. To me and my other contractors, it looks like a perfectly adequate job on the knock down texture.

I have many thousands of dollars tied into a dreadful looking finished result. Please, what are your experiences with what must have been a bad lot of primer (as expressed in a no VOC paint that should not have smelled at all)? What if anything can be done to fix this other than ripping off the drywall, which I really cannot do?

BM waxes helpful and defensive about this mess. I trust that they will do the right thing, but I am feeling quite vulnerable.

I appreciate the input of your suggestions and expertise.

One thoroughly disgusted and weary remodeler.
 
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Old 12-15-09, 02:30 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

Sorry about how your paint job looks but I tend to agree with the BM rep. Whenever you have a lot of light on a wall/ceiling that you can get a long angle view of - there will be things that show. With 10 coats of paint, even if it wasn't applied skillfully, unless they left areas of real thick and real thin paint - the paint probably isn't the issue.

If the drywall [or framing] has any waves in it [even slight] it can show up after painting under the right conditions. Same thing for uneven texture. Has your drywall finisher been back to look at the job?

A good sanding and retexture may help. Flaws in the framing will be tough to fix

I've almost always sprayed the primer on new construction. While back rolling is best, it's acceptable to not roll the primer on flat drywall. The finish coat MUST be rolled.

I don't often use BM coatings so I'm not real familiar with their product line. Do you know what type of primer they used? Solvent based primers have a strong odor although a latex wall primer would have been preferred. Old latex paint/primer can spoil and have an odor similar to ammonia. I have occasionally used spoiled paint on some cheap jobs but I'm not aware of any issues other than the smell.
 
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Old 12-16-09, 06:59 AM
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Streaky paint job

Dear Mark,

Thanks for your reply. The streaks show up both where the walls are perfectly flat and also where there is some minor unevenness, leading me to believe that the bad primer is flashing through. We used a water based primer (BM Eco Spec) super low VOC, which should not have had any smell at all. (It stank to high heavens.) The paint has been applied very, very well, ( sprayed, back rolled, again and again) and the final coat was by the owner of the BM franchise. Something???? is causing this unevenness other than a less than perfect drywall job. Again, I can see a pattern in the streaking that resembles the pattern of how the primer was applied on walls that are not yet painted.

I have owned another passive solar (built in 1985), full of light, in which my inexperienced husband did the painting and we did not have this problem.
 
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Old 12-16-09, 12:25 PM
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Flaws in the primer application should disappear by the 2nd top coat. I can't imagine any flaws in the primer telegraphing thru multiple coats of paint. Can you see the 'streaks' from any angle or just the right angle under the right lighting conditions? Is it something that would show up in a pic?
http://forum.doityourself.com/electr...your-post.html

Any painting issues related to the texture can be resolved by rolling the paint on, at an opposing angle but still with that much paint applied, there shouldn't be any paint issues. Discrepancies in texture are hard to fix with paint. I have a hard time believing that it isn't a drywall issue

What did the BM rep say about the primer's extreme odor?
 
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Old 12-17-09, 07:39 AM
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Streaky paint job

Hi Mark,

I have to charge my camera battery, then I will post some pictures.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. Pam
 
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Old 12-17-09, 12:03 PM
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Pictures of streaky paint job

I hope that I am doing this correctly.
Please let me know if you can see the pictures and then the streaks:

Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket

They are most plain on the vaulted ceiling.

To repeat: After the drywall job was thoroughly dry, the ceiling was primed with BM Eco-Spec, that stunk to high heavens and did not go on very evenly. Then a coat of flat BM Eco Spec (no VOC) ceiling flat paint was applied with a sprayer in a cross-hatch pattern. The streaks only show up in the same direction that the primer went on. The paint did not smell bad.

The owner of the local BM franchise put a level on the ceiling and it is perfectly even, so the streaking is not shadows.

If you still suspect the drywall, please, what could possibly have gone wrong with it? It was American made, from Lowe's as were all of the mudding materials.

Thanks once again, Pam
 
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Old 12-17-09, 12:38 PM
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I'm not familiar with Eco-Spec but their Pearl finish streaks also. The building owner & myself went back to the BM store & they did exactly what I thought they were going to do, sell me a different roller. I called the BM 800 # & they told me that "what you see is what you get with Pearl finish.

You might try some Zinzer primer in one section to see if it covers the streaks. If it does, try BM super hide paint or try a different line completely. Hint: not Glidden.
 
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Old 12-17-09, 01:06 PM
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My vision isn't as good as it used to be and a bigger monitor might help but after enlarging the pics, I think I see the problem areas.

It almost looks like not quite enough paint but you said multiple coats and back rolling If they only sprayed in a cross pattern and didn't back roll - that could cause the problem. If rolling the paint in opposing directions [1 coat length ways, 2nd coat the short direction] doesn't fix it, then it has to be in the drywall.

How long of a level or straightedge was used to determine that the ceiling is flat/even? 4' would be minimum but 8' would be a lot better!

When I said drywall, I didn't mean like the chinese drywall in the news but rather how the drywall was hung, finished and textured. It appears to have been done decently. Sometimes texture [knock down is sprayed and then troweled] can be a little irregular and make the paint job look not as good. That is one of the reasons it's important to back roll. Spraying can do a good job of applying the paint but at least 1 coat must be rolled to push the paint into all the little 'nooks and crannies' in the texture.

per Pulpo's response;
A streak free finish can be achieved with most any coating if it's applied correctly and thick enough [cheap coatings might require more coats] Assuming that the "pearl' is an enamel - enamels will highlight any/all defects in the substrate. You can put a mirror finish on the hood of a car but if the hood has any dents or wrinkles..........

IMO one of the worst things Glidden has done to their reputation is sell their cheapest coatings at a big box. Glidden like most paint manufactures have multiple lines of paint with their cheapest coatings [imo] not fit for use. Glidden sells many quality coatings but you won't find them at a big box where most coatings are stocked based on price not quality.

Zinnser makes many quality primers. Most any of their latex based primers will work for this job. The latex version of 'bullseye' would probably be the best choice in the zinnser line of primers.
 

Last edited by marksr; 12-17-09 at 01:26 PM. Reason: add info
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Old 12-18-09, 10:42 PM
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Primer applied Waaaaayyy too thin...

This is SO classic...

That primer is waaaayyy too thin.
Simple as that.
>>> Your noting that the streaking matches the "sprayed primer" patterns tell the whole story right there.
>>> Subsequent coats of paint will just "disappear" into that drywall without a solid primer layer.
>>> Eco-Spec isn't the best paint out there by far...but it ain't the worst either...It's all just applied too thin, and suffers from a "barely there" prime-coat.

No way is this even remotely related to the drywall/finishing!
* Even if the actual sheetrock is noticeably wavy, your streaking doesn't have that pattern.
* A properly primed ceiling should need only TWO COATS of ceiling-paint.
* Those painters should be embarrased to call themselves "professionals".
* Anything more than 3 coats is pure incompetence.
* The actual ceiling paint looks much too thin as well.

Separately...
* A paints VOC's and "perceived odor" have nothing to do with each other.
* There are some low-VOC paints out there that don't smell good!
* I'm at a paint store that ony handles top-notch stuff (ACE-Royal, Ralph-Lauren, & C2), no "contractor-line" paints. We make DARN sure people know what they're doing...even if they don't want to hear it!
* PS:
I've got C2's LOVO Ceiling-paint, L8150, on our vaulted ceiling...looks flawless. I made sure though that the painters were a good outfit.
(would've done it myself, but the roofer was footin' the billBeer 4U2!)

Faron
 
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Old 12-19-09, 05:30 AM
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Pam; "The paint job on all surfaces is a streaky mess. One ceiling now has 10 coats of paint on it, including at about the 5th or 6th coat, another type of BM primer. Last night, the owner of the local BM franchise came out and painted the ceiling himself with some sort of ultra-flat ceiling paint and we still have the same result"

That's a lot of coats of paint and should have remedied the original poor primer coat.

Faron; "Your noting that the streaking matches the "sprayed primer" patterns tell the whole story right there.
>>> Subsequent coats of paint will just "disappear" into that drywall without a solid primer layer"


Years ago I was an employee of an outfit that mostly did new construction. They never primed ceilings but 1 coat of flat latex over texture or a double coat over slick finish [sprayed, back rolled and sprayed again] almost always produced an acceptable job. Not that I'm condoning this method.

Given these facts, it's confusing as to why the paint hasn't covered the ceiling. The only things that make sense to me is either there wasn't that much paint applied or possibly the wrong paint base was used. A tint base [without tint added] will have virtually no hiding properties.

If 1-2 more coats of decent paint, properly applied doesn't fix the paint job - then it has to be in the drywall [probably texture]. I'd like to see how a good coat of rolled paint will look.
 

Last edited by marksr; 12-19-09 at 07:37 AM. Reason: clarity
  #11  
Old 12-19-09, 07:28 AM
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Benjamin Moore paint:

Best paint:
Collection series/Aura

Middle line paint:
Moorestyle

Bottom of the line:
Ecospec

Ecospec isn't good paint in my opinion. Despite the fact it's BM, which I personally always recommend. Like others have said on this forum many times, even the big paint producers have bottom line paint that doesn't perform well. I've used it a few times and after two coats it still tends to look terrible.
 
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Old 12-19-09, 08:17 AM
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A texture like knock down covers enough of the drywall where sanding the primer isn't a big issue.

I don't often use BM coatings so I'm not real familiar with their product line, but wildbill says the paint used is one of their poorer coatings. Coverage with cheap coatings is almost always an issue. Something is fishy though with the number of coats claimed to be applied.
 
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Old 12-19-09, 08:03 PM
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Let's try this....pick a small ceiling exhibiting the problems and prime it with oil baes underbody, any brand, I like Moore. Then paint over it with oil or latex flat paint and see what we get, my guess will be problem solved. Sounds to me like the paint was bad and I'm not a fan of Pearl anyway. Post the results...

Bill
 
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Old 12-21-09, 09:12 AM
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Steaky paint job

Thanks for all of your imput. I am out of here for Christmas week, but would definitely like to take this up again next week. My head is spinning due to all of the different opinions and would definitely like to hear from more experienced painters and contractors. Thanks to all and Happy Holidays, Pam
 
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Old 12-30-09, 09:26 PM
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Working within the confines of a low VOC or no VOC specification may require some compromises. Not all paints are alike, some have good flow and leveling properties, some dry slowly and others too quickly. Some paints have no or low VOC content. You have to choose what is most important to you. You may not get everything you desire in any one paint.

To do a flawless paint job with perfect sheen uniformity on a high wall/ceiling foyer with strong lighting is not an easy thing to do. Anyone who thinks it is - hasn’t done it before. Good sheen uniformity requires a superbly sealed surface and a slow drying, good leveling paint. Good sheen uniformity on the walls may require painting from the ceiling to the floor - without painting the wall in upper and lower sections, which may cause lapping.

Some paints set up too quickly and don’t level very well. These paints will show directional roller pattern when applied by a roller. That is, they will look different where the paint was rolled “up” from where the paint was rolled “down”. Paints that dry too quickly will always look patchy and streaky.

You can try the paint additives intended to improve flow, leveling and wet edge time, but these usually contain glycol and would not be considered a low or no VOC additive.

Painting a latex paint over a latex paint (or primer) is not the best way to get good sheen uniformity in a difficult-to-paint situation either. The finish paint will re-wet the uncured, underlying latex paint causing it to set up quickly. You will always get longer wet edge time and better sheen uniformity with a latex paint over an oil or shellac primer than you would over a latex primer or paint.

In your situation, I think that the ceiling is an easy fix though. You need to use a dead flat paint on the ceiling. Many flat paints have a low angular sheen which will show directional roller pattern and lapping under strong lighting.. A dead flat paint is beautifully uniform.

The walls are going to be tougher to do well. A shellac primer with careful application of a slow drying, low sheen, oil based eggshell finish paint would work well, but that would be a long way from a low VOC paint job. Reducing the sheen will help within the confines of a poor leveling , quick drying paint system though.

Working within the confines of a no or low VOC specification may require some compromises - all paints are not the same. You may have to live the weaknesses of the paint system in order to benefit from it‘s strengths..
 

Last edited by Slatz; 12-30-09 at 09:49 PM.
 

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