Painting interior steel door

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  #1  
Old 02-05-16, 06:24 PM
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Painting interior steel door

Hi, this my first post. I have read many posts here over the past few years. I can typically get enough info to get things done, but I'm in special need for direction on this job. I'll provide as much information as possible.

I've been hired by a residential facility to do painting. Some of that painting includes about 10 interior steel doors and their steel door frames.

There are about 20 doors in all and 10 of those doors are an excellent paint job and the paint is strongly and flawlessly adhered to the door.

I don't know if they changed painters and paint techniques halfway through or what, but one of the administrators to this facility had hired his daughter to paint the remaining doors (the 10 I'm to paint.) She had primed the doors and that's as far as she made it before they canned her for lying about her hours.

I painted two of her primed doors with the high gloss enamel paint they gave me to paint them with. A week later I came back (I can only work a day or two a week on this project) and I noticed they had raked a piece of furniture or something across one of the doors and it had gouged the paint right off the door, primer and all down to the original paint job. I then went and tested another primed door with a thumbnail and that came right off as well. So, the primer used on these 10 doors will easily come off, even with a coat of paint on them. I told the lady who hired me that I would try to get more information about the situation, because I told her it would be unethical for me to paint the rest of them, knowing how easily the paint would come off if residents nicked or scratched the doors.

Can anyone tell me what my options are and how I should approach this job in the most timely fashion?

Don't be coy, if I absolutely need to strip it down to the metal to get results, just tell me. I of course will lose the job because they won't pay my labor costs for the time involved, but at least I will know what I'm working with.
 
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  #2  
Old 02-05-16, 06:41 PM
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Any steel door I've ever seen comes preprimed.
#1, Door needed to be degreased before painting, if not any hand prints and surface dirt and it's not going to stick.
Any quality latex paint should work.
If she tried painting over a glossy finish it's not going to stick without a light sanding and cleaning.
 
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Old 02-05-16, 06:45 PM
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There was an original paint job she primed over. Due to the nature of the primer/paint peeling off every place I tried it (and not peeling off at all on the better painted doors), I don't personally believe it had anything to do with grease or the sanding/cleaning process.
 
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Old 02-05-16, 06:51 PM
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If it was already painted, then why did she prime over it?
Unless there was a major color change or damage there was no need to prime it.
Just going to add time and materials.
 
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Old 02-05-16, 07:02 PM
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Yea, they changed color schemes. She primed over an original coat of paint.

Now I've got a situation where this primer didn't bond to the paint and it comes off too easily. Do I have to strip all the primer off and restart at the original paint, or do I have to strip the original paint as well, or can I paint some type of top coat that will protect all the layers from being scraped up? (I doubt the last one, but I want to add it in case some one knows something I don't)
 
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Old 02-05-16, 08:45 PM
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Short answer is you have to remove any and all coats which are not well adhered. If I'm reading right, that's only the primer coat put on by your predecessor and any paint you've put on top of it.
 
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Old 02-05-16, 10:57 PM
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I agree with stickshift, the problem is not the original factory applied paint but the additional primer. You will need to strip off that primer and then following the proper cleaning procedure first, repaint the doors. An additional coat of primer shouldn't be, but may be necessary depending on several factors including the type of original paint and how extreme a color change from the original paint to the new desired color. I personally do not like anything but an oil-based paint for metal, regardless of primer, but neither am I a painter, that was my daddy's career.

I suggest waiting for marksr's response to see if he agrees with stickshift. Both of these men are/were professional painters.
 
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Old 02-06-16, 03:12 AM
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If I understand correctly she primed over existing finish paint. It sounds like the original paint was oil base enamel and she used a latex primer [probably without sanding] Latex primers/paints don't adhere well to oil base enamel. Whenever switching from oil base enamel to latex you need to use a solvent based primer first..... http://www.doityourself.com/forum/pa...latex-oil.html

I'd aggressively sand the doors as that should remove any poorly adhered paint. After all that sanding, latex might adhere ok but I'd still apply an oil base primer just to play it safe. You can then top coat with latex enamel.

almost forgot welcome to the forums!
 
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Old 02-06-16, 06:57 AM
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Okay. Thanks for all the responses. I will do a few test spots for each of the suggestions and see what turns out to work.

It sounds as if the primer will definitely have to come off then. Any suggestions on removing that primer coat without stripping the original paint as well?
 
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Old 02-06-16, 07:21 AM
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Sanding is about the only way to remove the primer only. Chemical strippers would remove all the paint although denatured alcohol will dissolve latex paint but leave oil base paint intact - but I'm not sure that is a viable way to remove the primer.
 
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Old 02-06-16, 07:40 AM
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Okay. Thank you so much for the info. What kind of grit would it take to remove primed latex?

Sorry, I seem so uninformed. I do handyman work and although I've done a lot of painting and interior work, it usually consists of, "paint this wall this color please." This is all new to me. I also couldn't find any info on a situation like this anywhere on the internet either.
 
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Old 02-06-16, 09:29 AM
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I'd start with 80 grit as that would be aggressive enough to remove any suspect primer. Since that will leave unsightly scratches you'll need to follow up with 120 or 150 grit to remove the worst of the sanding scratches. After you reprime, sand lightly with 150 or 180 grit and the finish paint should come out looking nice.


Sorry, I seem so uninformed
Not a problem, that is what we are here for. It's better to have proper instructions than to just wing it
 
  #13  
Old 02-06-16, 10:40 AM
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Excellent! Thanks again for the helpful advice!
 
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