should I fire my painter?


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Old 09-06-14, 04:49 PM
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should I fire my painter?

HELP!

This guy sprayed a coat of primer on my new drywall. Then sprayed a coat of paint. the paint has numerous sags and drips and horrid coverage, very spotty. There are rough spots where the drywall was rough (don't know if it's his fault for not cleaning it well enough or the drywall guy for sanding poorly) and really smooth spots where he laid the paint on thick with a brush (???)

He's promised me he will sand the drips and roll the last coat, but I can't imagine how he will sand out all the drips. The paint is really expensive and I don't want to waste it - I could do a MUCH better job myself and I'm really disappointed in this guy. On the other hand, I can't imagine sanding all this out myself, it's just too screwed up.

Do I have some faith in him or just cut my losses and kick him out? He's coming again early tomorrow morning.

Please give me your opinion - is it easy to sand out sags and drips or impossible? Every wall and ceiling (we are talking 5 rooms) has multiple sags and drips and every surface looks really uneven. SO DISAPPOINTED!!

PS: the paint is not to blame - Sherwin Williams Super Paint, I've used it before and it looks great, just not this time.
 
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Old 09-06-14, 05:06 PM
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the drywall guy
Are your walls (supposed) to be smooth or textured?
If you can see where the drywall joints are and the edges don't blend in, the drywall taping and mudding was poor.
Either way, there should be no drips or runs in paint. I would tell painter if runs are not fixed, no pay. If runs are gone and tell tale signs of drywall joints are still visible, I would go after drywall contractor. Hopefully he's insured and will have to make this right.
I wouldn't fire painter yet. He may be your hope if he's willing to go above and beyond and fix his mistakes and someone else's at the same time.
 
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Old 09-06-14, 05:14 PM
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You might be right about the drywall guy - but the main issues for me are the sags & horrid coverage of the wall. He sprayed it, and didn't back roll it, and you can tell that there's thick spots and thin spots where the sprayer was. A decent orange peel from a roller would take care of the difference between joint compound and drywall.

walls are supposed to be smooth - just normal orange peel - satin finish paint.

Here's what I'm thinking: have the painter sand out all the sags and drips FIRST. I then inspect and get him to sand out anything he misses. Then he rolls in the final coat and cuts in the corners. My biggest concern is that he will splash and dash leaving me with a bigger mess to clean up.

I'm trying to decide if I'm going to get completely screwed if he keeps painting (wasting paint) and I'll end up having to redo it myself.

I really wish I'd just painted it myself. I know I can do better.

PS: thank you for your advice, it's helping me calm down. I'm almost ready to jump off the roof right now.
 
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Old 09-06-14, 05:42 PM
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After your further input, I would consider firing the painter. But while legal issues are being resolved, you still need rooms painted. It's your call. I don't know NY law. For me I would want confidence that I will get money back for any payments made to this guy, reimbursed for paint, and reimbursed for new contractor.

I live in CA and I think if I did this to a customer, I would just plan to lose any battle. A painter should have the skill and knowledge to give you a perfect job. Cut in and roll, it's a talent that some may think they have but don't.
 
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Old 09-06-14, 05:50 PM
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I figure I'll give him some rope to sand out the sags. If he can't sand them out to my satisfaction, then I fire him. If he can, then I check up on him repeatedly while he rolls, if it is looking cruddy, I fire him. Seems stupid though, should have just done it myself if I have to babysit him. I'm not worried about the legal issues, his retainer was large enough that I can cut him loose. I know I won't get my money back for the paint or for what I've already paid him, but hopefully not waste any more money.
 
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Old 09-06-14, 06:00 PM
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Well, Let's hope he makes it right. If he's a professional painter I'm sure he'll know what to do to make it look better. Maybe he's just used to getting by and not having someone call him on his job performance. I take pride in my work and always try to do my best, but sometimes a customer is unhappy with a few details. What do I do? Fix it to their satisfaction. That's what it's all about.
 
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Old 09-06-14, 06:27 PM
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He says he'll fix until I'm happy. Fingers crossed.
 
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Old 09-07-14, 04:12 AM
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Runs happen BUT there is no excuse for not dealing with them while the paint is still wet! The gritty areas are where he either didn't remove the sanding dust from the wall or clean the floor well enough and blew dirt into the primer/paint. Sprayed on paint should be back rolled!

On new construction I sweep the walls/floors and use a duster to make sure I get the dirt out from under the drywall, then spray the primer. I'll use a pole sander on the walls before applying the finish coat. I normally wait until some of the other trades are done before applying the finish coat with a brush/roller.

Latex paint does not sand well! it tends to heat up and gum up the sandpaper. I suspect the best way to address the majority of the runs will be to scrape them, coat with joint compound, sand and retexture. The repairs would need to be primed.

I'd give him time to make it right but don't cut him a check until you're satisfied!
Did you check his references prior to hiring him?
 
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Old 09-07-14, 04:20 AM
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Difficult to judge the job until he has had a chance to put on a finish coat. One coat of spray will always look crappy, as will only one coat of roll on. Two coats minimum before a decision is made. I think he knows your expectations. Give his short leash some slack. You've said that some brush stipple would make all the difference- well he hasn't even got to that stage. And let everything dry completely and him cut in the trim before passing final judgment.
 
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Old 09-07-14, 04:29 AM
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guy sprayed a coat of primer on my new drywall. Then sprayed a coat of paint.
I assume that means the intended finish coat was already applied! 1 coat primer, 1 coat finish is pretty much the norm for new construction ... 2 coats finish is always better but few want to pay for it
 
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Old 09-07-14, 05:23 AM
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I've hired him to do primer and 2 coats of finish paint. I can do a B+ job with one coat, but almost every time I'm going back with a second coat. In this case it will require a second coat because there are MANY spots where there is ZERO coverage right now, very splotchy.

I'm feeling a little better about it this morning. I found about 40 spots where there were major drips or sags. I like the suggestion for skim coating the problem areas, re-priming and re-painting.

I realized that one of the major problems is the "fur" on the drywall - is this a result of a bad drywall job, a bad sanding of the drywall or did the painter not prep properly? I don't want to blame the painter unless it's his fault. I'm not sure how to fix it - It's now clear to me that the drywall guy also did a cruddy job and I couldn't tell until the paint was on. I'm not sure if I should re-prime with a high build primer, or sand the "fur" or ??

It's still a mess, but I think maybe it can be fixed. I'm going to set the painter to fixing the sags and drips, and getting overspray off the windows (WTF?!?)

If it needs to be done w/a high build primer, then maybe I just cut the painter loose and DIY. Is high build primer a good idea or am I looking at skimcoating the entire wall(s)?

Argh. I didn't sleep last night, so worried and angry. Now it's almost 8:30 am and the painter hasn't even shown up - told me he'd be here early in the morning. For me, early is 5 am, I'm normally up and working by 6. Actually slept till 7 today because of my total inability to sleep last night because of this. Thanks guys for the advice, just talking about this helps me calm down.
 
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Old 09-07-14, 05:33 AM
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1 coat primer, 1 coat finish is pretty much the norm for new construction
Don't you usually use a flat paint for new construction, Marksr? Then you tint the primer and pretend that you get two coats. In this case, he is using a Satin finish which I think would be difficult to get a good finish with only one coat sprayed. I have a sprayer, but mostly only use it for popcorn ceilings. The few times that I did experiment with spraying walls, I always back rolled it. I found that you use too much paint trying to spray and it was more cost effective to just cut and roll.
 
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Old 09-07-14, 06:41 AM
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If the wall is rough to the touch, he probably needs to lightly sand the entire wall with a pole sander, just like a drywall finisher would do... to knock down any bits of rough stuff. I expect that if he's got runs, he's probably got lots of dusty stuff blown up into the paint... especially along the lower sections of every wall.
 
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Old 09-07-14, 10:10 AM
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He is sanding and scraping now. Lucky the rough spots in the drywall sand out easy. I am hoping I will end up w a B+ job on the paint...clearly the drywall guy is also to blame. Not sure if the sags and drips can go away completely but maybe he will get rid of some of them. So disappointed.
 
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Old 09-07-14, 11:30 AM
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Don't you usually use a flat paint for new construction, Marksr? ...... he is using a Satin finish
Correct, flat paint is the norm for new construction. I missed the reference on the satin finish It's difficult to get a decent job with satin enamel with just 1 coat primer and 1 coat finish, especially on long walls. I've almost always charged extra if the walls [other than bath rms] were to be painted with latex enamel. I've almost always sprayed the primer but brush/rolled the finish coat on new construction - it's the most efficient method. The spraying should be done right after the drywall is finished before the other trades get in there. Once the other trades get started, spraying ceases to be cost efficient.

Did the drywall finisher know that you were going to use satin enamel? Enamel isn't as forgiving as flat and the finish job needs to be right. Most finishers will try a little harder if they know the paint is apt to highlight any defects.

rough spots in the drywall sand out easy
That sounds like dust that was blown into the wet primer or paint because the walls and/or floor weren't clean. Fuzz on the walls is caused by over sanding. Generally primer and resanding will fix it.

Most high build primers need to be sprayed on. While I've sprayed a good bit of hi build, I don't recall ever spraying it over previously painted drywall - I don't know if that's a good idea. I'd talk with the paint rep at the store first.

I don't know how much you are paying for your paint job but if he charged the going rate or better - make him get the job done right! Your checkbook is the best way to get that accomplished. IF you hired him because he was the cheapest - then you have to share some of the blame
 
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Old 09-07-14, 12:37 PM
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he wasn't the cheapest or even the second cheapest. cheapest was the meth head who i figured wouldn't even do the job, just rob me. he wastn' the most expensive either. I should get an OK job for the price, not perfect but a bunch better. I set him back to work after my first inspection today, he has to wipe the walls down (all the sanding created new dust on the walls) and prime all the new drywall mud. I'll be lucky if I get one coat of actual coverage on these walls.

Probably don't need hi build primer now that I can see the walls are sanding fairly smooth. But I may have to do some spot work myself and possibly even do another final coat myself before I'm happy.

Like I said, I'm also disappointed in the drywall guy. I'm usually fairly good at picking guys, but this time I've failed. Probably because the market is heating up and the guys who came recommended were too busy to do the job.
 
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Old 09-07-14, 01:13 PM
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I've decided I'll cut him loose after he finishes sanding. I can't trust anyone who actually suggests he starts painting over dusty walls before wiping them down. So, I would be throwing good money after bad if I let him finish. I'll pay him 2/3 of the money (2 coats "done") which is very generous on my part since I'll have to do a bunch of further prep and then final paint myself. And probably have to buy more paint to do a second coat where he really didn't do the first coat. At least I won't waste money on a complete re-buy of paint though. I bought SW Superpaint, which I like and it costs good money. Probably $500 of paint is still remaining, so I don't want to waste it.
 
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Old 09-07-14, 02:25 PM
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I've decided I'll cut him loose after he finishes sanding. I can't trust anyone who actually suggests he starts painting over dusty walls before wiping them down
Doesn't sound like much of a painter to me either. I can't say that I've never painted over sanding dust but the few times that I had - it was an oversight. You generally wind up sanding off that section and repriming it. I brush the walls down with my push broom and use a duster in the corners prior to priming. I also take a pole sander and sand the primer mostly to insure any boogers that might be there get removed. Normally that doesn't create enough dust to be concerned with but anytime that joint compound is sanded - there is dust that needs to be removed!

I bought SW Superpaint, which I like and it costs good money
Any special reason you bought the paint and not the painting contractor? Generally a contractor can get the paint at a better price. I've always shied away from jobs where the customer supplied the paint because often they don't buy enough and I like to finish the job without having to come back or wait on the paint to get there. If the contractor doesn't have an account at your local paint store - that's a red flag!
 
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Old 09-07-14, 02:55 PM
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Huh, I never thought about it - price of paint being cheaper through the painter. I guess I just am a DIY kind of guy. At least SW was having a 30% sale when I bought it, so I probably got it at a good price anyway.

After working at it all day - prep only, I took the paint away until I was happy - jerk move, I know, but I was scared he'd paint over more bad prep...

...I'd say he's fixed a lot, but not all of the problem areas. He wants to paint and be done, but I am not ready for it to be done. I can see there's more prep - and it's not too hard, but will take some serious time to get it right. I decided to think about it a bit more before cutting him loose, but I think I'll probably email him later tonight & tell him that I'm just too retentive for him and this will end in disappointment for both of us if he keeps going, pay him and finish myself. I figure I'll probably have to buy 1 or 2 more gallons, but it's not the end of the world. I can sand, fill, prep until I'm happy, then roll on the last coat or 2 until it looks like it should.

Like I said, I blame the drywall guy too - just so many areas that have half-a$$ed drywall joints - I might call him back for the worst of these areas, and live with some of them. Or maybe I just fix them, I can do little bits of drywall myself, I'm just too slow to do large areas.

I think what I've learned is that I should probably stick to DIY for finish work (painting, tile, trim) and hire the pros for things that don't show as much. OR be willing to pay a premium to highly recommended guys. I'm not naturally very trusting, and it's hard for me to hire anyone, so when a guys lets me down like this, it's really very crushing.
 
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Old 09-08-14, 03:13 AM
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If you shine a bright light on the wall and look at it from an angle you can usually spot defects in the drywall finish. They will also show up while the primer is wet and shiny, just remember where those areas are and go back to repair them after the primer dries.

There is no substitute for an experienced conscientious tradesman with a good work ethic! but they can be hard to find and are rarely cheap. But there is nothing wrong with diy and with all the experts on this site it makes it a lot easier for a motivated diyer to get a decent job
 
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Old 10-03-14, 01:24 PM
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UPDATE: after working at it for 3 weekends straight, I'm almost happy with it - took me a weekend to finish the prep, another weekend to do most of the paint, and last weekend I worked on finishing the wall paint and starting the trim paint. I'm not done but I am feeling a lot better about the results. There are still spots where I can see his screwups, but no one else can see them - so that makes me happy and I'll probably forget about him eventually.

I have to finish soon, because I have an apartment I'm renovating and I'm going to prep and paint it myself too. I don't trust anyone I can afford anymore

What's that old joke - I wouldn't date anyone who would date me? LOL
 
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Old 10-03-14, 02:37 PM
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Time coupled with busying your mind with other projects will make the defects less noticeable. Also once the curtains and pictures are hung along with furniture placement they are harder to spot.
The best thing is the satisfaction and bragging rites that come from diy
 
 

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