Editing the Trouble Out of Painting Specifications

From JPCL, July 2016

By Kenneth A. Trimber, KTA-Tator Inc.

Don’t let confusing, incomplete or technically incorrect painting specifications open the door to jobsite disputes, extra costs, coating failures and litigation. This article analyzes problematic language from actual building painting specifications....

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Tagged categories: ASTM D3359; Coating failure; Contracts; Disputes; Good Technical Practice; Kenneth A. Trimber; KTA-Tator; Lighting; Paint application; Paint defects; Product data sheet; Safety Data Sheets; Specification; Specification writing; Surface preparation; Surface preparation equipment; Warranties

Comment from Clifford Murakami, (8/8/2016, 1:45 PM)

You can specify whatever you wish, however, who knows the best about the product being applied? The Manufacturer! If I specify to follow the manufacturer's instructions and recommendations, you would think the application should be fine. However, how many painters read the manufacturer's application instructions? Someone needs to oversee that the painters know how to apply the product as well as know how to prep the surface being applied. Particularly with repainting projects. That someone needs to be the manufacturer. Paint manufacturers produce quality products, particularly for commercial applications. They also advertise and promote their products as quality products. However, they are so reluctant to make sure that their products are being installed properly. Go figure! I would say that more than 90% of paint failures are due to application. And I would venture to say that most is lack of reading the manufacturer's application instructions.

Comment from Tolga DIRAZ, (9/9/2016, 9:32 AM)

I totally agree the comments from Clifford Murakami. That's why there are operators-based i.e. painters&blasters certification programs like SSPC CAS or other international/national qualification programs (For example, in European Union there is EUROPASS for Industrial painters.) I believe the problem is the project owners and authorities preferring cheap workmanship, thereby choosing unqualified/uncertified painters. What do thinks folks?

Comment from john schultz, (10/7/2016, 9:47 AM)

Great Article Mr Trimber. The manufacturer's reps may or may not have the time or interest to follow up on repaint work and accept a certain amount of failure as a cost of doing business. As a an independent dealer working repaints on buildings around Miami I have to watch out for my store and find its difficult to enforce written specifications. Anger the contractor and don't get paid - allow them to do whatever and deal with the failures later, those seem like the choices much of the time. All I can do is bring it to everyone's attention and figure it out from there. I try to point out where they are going off script to prevent problems from happening. The trick is to make the contractors realize that quality prep and products are in their best interests too. Everybody seems to want something that costs less but that comes at a price too. To your point Diraz, Miami-Dade county has a contractor CEU program that doesn't have painting as part of the program. In spite of the number of new innovations in products most painters do not take it upon themselves to experiment or learn new techniques on their own, much less train their workers.

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