Posts Tagged ‘product testing’

Drywall primers… again!

December 20, 2008
DSC_3833aI receive countless emails asking when to use a drywall primer with all the talk today about self-priming wall paints. Many paint contractors commented on my videos on YouTube saying I should use a wall primer on bare drywall rather than applying wall paint directly over it. What do they know that I don’t? So let’s take a closer look at wall primers and their purpose. What is a wall primer supposed to do? (Click any photo for larger views).

Bare Drywall

IMG_0078The objective priming bare drywall is to seal the porous paper and drywall topping (mud) to provide a nice foundation for the paint to bond with. What this means is achieving an ultimate seal and bond with the paint to the porous fibers of the paper and the porosity of drywall mud. We also want the wall primer to produce a solid uniform sheen for the top coat of paint.

Our goal has four parts:

1) seal the porous paper surface
2) provide a surface the paint can bond with
3) seal the drywall mud
4) prevent top coat sheen degradation

What can go wrong using primer:

What if the top coat of paint did not bond with primer? What if the primer didn’t bond with the drywall? What if you had a nice bond to the drywall but not to the drywall mud? What do you do now? You primed right? The paint isn’t sticking that well is it? Did you try the tape test or maybe you tried washing it and the paint and primer came off back to bare drywall? Did you remove the masking tape from the baseboard and it tore the paint and primer off the wall exposing bare drywall?

The label on the paint can says to use a primer. The paint store rep said to use a primer. You read online, you read it in a magazine, you always heard – ‘use a primer’ and you did. You even used the paint manufactures recommended primer.

So now what? Is it too late; you already have a coat of paint over the primer? Was the surface clean? Did you remove all the drywall dust left behind from sanding? Did you shop vac the walls and the paint still didn’t stick? Did you try wiping down the drywall with a damp sponge? Yeah, so did we. Did the primer fail? Yeah, so did ours. Did you do something wrong?

Lucky for you, we have all the answers and before you get discouraged we also have a fix so you can achieve that finish and bond that you initially tried for.

We tested a total of 14 wall primers over bare drywall and not one of them performed as well as a drywall sealer such as Zinsser Gardz. Let’s take a look at why this is.

The Test

2paintYou perform the test yourself. Let’s say for example you have a piece of bare drywall sitting on your lap and 1 tablespoon of water and 1 tablespoon of any wall primer of your choice, there are tons of them out there, pick one. Now, take the tablespoon of water and slowly pour it on the drywall. The water dissipates into the drywall right? Now take the tablespoon of primer and do the same. Not exactly the same result huh?

If you want to dive deeper into testing, try this test over bare drywall mud, it will provide similar results with a completely different effect with the primer.

Do this small test too. Take a sanded drywall patch, clean it, dust it, vac it, damp sponge it if you want and run your finger over it when its dry. I suspect your finger will have a white dusty powder on it.

So what does this test tell us? No matter how well you clean up new board for paint there is only one thing that will prepare it to accept paint. Apply a sealer that will penetrate both the paper and the mud and bond all of it together. Thinner material penetrates better – right?

Click the photo above. Notice the first 24" inches from the corner doesn’t look as nice as the next 24", then you see another 24" that doesn’t look as nice as the 2nd area. That 2nd area that looks best in the photo is 2 coats of eggshell paint over bare drywall. The first 24" is primer plus one coat of eggshell paint.

Sheen degradation

One huge set-back you get from using a primer is top coat sheen degradation. Some primers are better than others but nonetheless, you will lose some sheen that will get absorbed in the primer coat. The loss of sheen is very apparent in the photo above.

proform004Here is a photo of a drywall sealer applied directly over the drywall mudded horizontal seam. You can clearly see how well the sealer absorbed into the mud. The next photo shows what the horizontal seam looks like when you apply one coat of an eggshell paint over it.
proform005Again, you can clearly see the sealed portion of the wall and what was not sealed.

 Primer vs. Paint

Img00970001Think back to a time you applied a coat of paint over bare wood. Do you remember what happens with the paint? Do you recall how much of that paint absorbed into bare wood? Do you remember applying a second coat of paint and it too absorbed into the bare wood, even your third coat looked questionable? (Click any photo for larger views)

Well check this out… the same thing happens when you apply paint over bare drywall. Exactly the same thing but with varied results depending on the paint you use.

There are paints that penetrate bare drywall better than a primer and provide a better bond and also look great when you apply 2 coats over bare drywall. So here we have a classic case of Best, Better and Good options.

The photo above shows a coat of paint over bare drywall (the darker color). The window wall and into the corner is a tinted primer. So you can clearly see some finish paints perform nicely over bare drywall with coverage. The paint used in the above photo outperformed all 14 primers in coverage over bare drywall. How messed up is that? – paint performing better than a primer designed for bare drywall.

Looking at the photo above, would you honestly say a primer is needed over bare drywall if I can achieve both coverage and tight bond with a paint that is far better than if I used a primer? I’m saying… knock yourself out. If you feel that you have the desire to waste money and labor on a primer coat, then do it.

But let’s take a look at what is best because that’s what this site is all about.

Best

eggshellThe best product known to me for bare drywall is Zinsser Gardz and thankfully we have that product because it makes me never want to use a wall primer again. I say this because I see primers fail all the time, hence the abundance of people writing me about primers. Apply Gardz directly over bare drywall and then for best results – 2 coats of paint. Remember this is new board and you need to build a foundation so use 2 coats of paint. Think about this, even with one coat of Gardz, and 2 coats of paint, your total dried mil thickness is still minimal at best.
gardz2Gardz is a thin clear sealer and most of the product will dissipate into the fibers of the board and mud. This product is similar to injecting glue into the drywall and mud. This is why in the photo above you see a very nice uniform finish with one coat of Gardz and one of finish.

Better

UH1412_01aBecause there are paints that I know adhere better than all 14 primers we tested I am going to say straight quality paint is better over bare drywall. The only problem you may experience is a need for a 3rd coat – prime plus 2 coats is a total of three coats anyway but you can achieve better stick this way. Ok, to be fair the other argument to this method is achieving a uniform finish with paint like an eggshell or semi gloss. But think about this, 1 primer and 2 finish is 3 coats too.

In the photo above the long wall is split half way with two different wall paints and the photo was taken after they dried. Notice in the front most left portion how one product covered and dried much nicer than the other closer to the window.

Good

barrington 24 027aThe cheap and less expensive route is using a primer over bare drywall. You have an advantage utilizing this method but it also disadvantages. The advantages are – you can do one tinted coat of primer and one coat of finish but you lose the stick or bond some of us need to tape off walls, hang wallpaper over and even wash or scrub depending on what your paint allows.

Remember when you got the job, she told you she was hanging wallpaper at a later time. So, do you shortcut her at this point or prepare the job for what is to come? What if its you hanging that paper? Too many guys are doing the "right-for-now" work instead of what is best for down-the-road work.

Primer is generally less expensive than paint. So if your intent is to never wash or touch the walls then do this method but what you might find is what you see in the photo. It looks like it needs another coat of paint.

Primer also requires MORE attention to rolling than wall paint. If you roll primer on any old way – you will never get the finish to look right no matter how many coats you stick on it. Here is a clip on rolling. Utilizing the last stroke down method will provide a level of finish that is consistent. The finish in the Best Method was done with last stroke down.

Something to think about

Here is something else to think about for those of you shooting commercial work. Think about how much you can save on materials utilizing a better method. What is that high-build primer suppose to be shot at??? 20 mil thick? That is crazy!!! Actually its ridiculous. If you are shooting walls – you are already wasting materials and damn near twice as much vs rolling it on.

Here is an interesting tid bit. Same two houses done two different ways. One guy sprayed the walls with 60 gallons and the other rolled it with 15. The guy spraying had a guy back rolling too. What a huge waste of time and money and an extra guy. Guy spraying spent $1,380 on materials and the guy who rolled it spent $345 There was no difference in workmanship.

Funny how a certain manufacturer makes an executive decision to create a primer that requires such a heavy layer of it to cover bare drywall. But that same question also begs the question, was a product like that designed because guys don’t know how to paint or does the manufacturer not know how to make a product that works without laying it on so heavy. If you apply anything at 20 mil, it better look good!

The argument

440i My argument with using a wall primer is the lack of a fail-safe method and I need that in my business. While I enjoy the 440i I received from a paint store due to primer failing, I am not going to have another homeowner come back to me complaining she washed the paint and primer off the wall and obviously this has happened to me otherwise I wouldn’t be posting a fix to this problem online. I have a ton of information and previous test on wall primers. Do a Google search on jackpauhl+wall primers or click this link.

The Fix

So let’s say you too fell sucker to the “use a primer” method and you are in that same situation where the paint washes off the wall or you had to apply masking tape to do some wild painting scheme you found on TV. There is a fix and leave it to no other than Zinsser to have your back! Zinsser Gardz can be used to apply over a paint that was previously undercoated with primer utilizing the Good method above. Gardz will assist with penetrating the paint and the primer and help with bonding them to the drywall beneath and not only that but moving forward with a new coat of paint will give you the ultimate finish you see in the Best method above.

Painting highly visible walls

Let’s say you get a call and their house is a few years old with builder grade flat paint on the walls and they want you to paint the 16′ high foyer wall that extends to the back of the house (windows on both ends). You go to the basement and see the left over paint and know putting an eggshell over that flat paint might require a certain degree of finesse to make a highly visible wall look right. Your best bet here is to apply Zinsser Gardz over that flat and proceed with one or two coats of eggshell paint.

It’s on! Purdy vs. Wooster

November 8, 2008

purdy vs wooster002a

They’re Purdy and Wooster; they must be good, right?

One look at these two brushes will shatter your conceptions about what you hate about painting.

Purdy CLEARCUT vs. WOOSTER PRO CLASSIC Easyflo. Put on your happy face, because if Purdy’s CLEARCUT and Wooster’s Easyflo doesn’t make you want to paint something, then… well… you’re either a hopeless painter or dead.

Review in the works and there will be a winner! Bring it!

REVIEW RESULTS

OK. Had some time – but little time to throw together a tiny review on the results of these two brushes. Before I go and spew out the winner I have to say this was a tough decision. Both brushes have very similar characteristics and their own advantages on their differences but if I had to pack one brush to fly over to an island to do some panting I would take the Purdy Clearcut. Yep, I said it and never thought I would on a Purdy brush for acrylics.

I have to admit, Purdy did their homework on building this brush. I remember having words with Bruce about it and here it is readily available at any Sherwin Williams store, (I’m told).

The Wooster Brush is a bit more firm and while firmness has advantages, firmness can hold you back from doing amazing things with a brush. The Wooster Easy flo held more paint and has a wider footprint while cutting which is a huge advantage for keeping the brush straight cutting freehand.

With all the cutting I did with each brush, the Purdy Clearcut outperformed the Easy flo but not by much. I found the Easy flo to be a slight handicap in comparison but I’m talking from a progressive painting aspect. The average joe wouldn’t know the difference.

Spraying & Racking

November 8, 2008

 
Spraying Balusters Down
Spraying Trim & Doors
Baluster Spray Rack
Setup Doors to Spray
Split Spindle System
HVLP Dialing in
HVLP Maintenance
HVLP Transfer Efficiency
Clean-n-dip Review
Racking 5 1/2" Baseboard
Racking Trim
Full Sheen Ahead
Corrective Finishes

trim rack

Rolling, Frames & Covers

November 8, 2008

BSH_paintroller

Selecting Roller Covers
Roller Covers Explained
Paint with a roller
Pan vs. Bucket Rolling
Trimming Roller Covers
End Cap Trick
Roller Cover Care
Not So Fabulous
Wooster Super Fab
Stop Hitting the Ceiling
Rolling Eggshell Paint
Cover Keeper
When Touch-ups go bad
Poor Mans Cover Keeper
Wooster Polar Bear
Rolling Techniques
Wooster Pro Classic Covers
Rolling Duration Home 
2007 Worst Product Nominee

Also see Brushes

Brushes

November 8, 2008

j0387072[1]

Selecting Paint Brushes
Suck Less at Painting #101 
Brush Hype
Brushes Close up
Brushes Close up UPDATED
Purdy Pro-Extra Glide 
Testing Brushes
Flaxen vs. Oregon
Loading a Brush
Wooster ProClassic Plus
Be Faster Cutting Ceilings
Cutting 8′ vs. 16′
Purdy CLEARCUT
Wooster Pro Classic Easyflo
Purdy Black China
Benjamin Moore 65125
Zibra grip-n-glide
Synthetics with Oil
Brush Handle Mod
How do they do it that fast? 

Also see Rolling, Frames & Covers

Scotch #2015 3 Day

November 7, 2008

IMG_0734b

Here we take a quick look at Scotch #2015 3 Day removal masking tape. This product works fine for the job that takes a few days to complete. I used it for masking off the baseboard for second coat and left the tape on for two days. I used Glidden EVERMORE Super Washable Flat paint and scored the tape prior to pulling it which is necessary when using EVERMORE Super Washable Flat due to its fast curing armor-like finish.

IMG_0722a

I taped a room 20×16 and removed the tape fine, mostly in one piece and left a clean painted edge. I would describe the adhesion as medium to high tack and the tape is rather thin. I did however have some trouble with tearing while pulling the tape off the roll, a common characteristic with thin tapes. The edges were fine and no damage or dents on the side of the roll found.

Do it Best Sanding Sealer

November 7, 2008

IMG_0738bMade by the Sherwin Williams Company, the Do it Best sanding sealer is NOT the same as WOOD CLASSICS FASTDRY SANDING SEALER from Sherwin Williams. While very similar, the Do it Best brand is thinner and not fast dry but dries quickly. Both sand the same.

IMG_0739bLooks the same as WOOD CLASSICS FASTDRY SANDING SEALER but smells different. Between the two sanding sealers, I prefer to spread Do it Best  vs. WOOD CLASSICS FASTDRY because you have more working time. I don’t believe the performance of the sealer was degraded even though it is thinner.

IMG_0736aThe baseboard on the left has Do it Best Sanding Sealer on it and sanded nice and smooth with a 3M Pro-Pad.

I recommend it! It basically performs the same as any other sanding sealer except Minwax Sanding Sealer.

UPDATE: November 12, 2008
I recently used two gallons of this sanding sealer on poplar trim and I have to admit I like it better than, Sherwin Williams FastDry, Benjamin Moore SuperSpec, ICI Wood Pride Sanding Sealer to name a few. It did not excessively raise the grain and sanded very easily in comparison to other sealers. This sealer is the thinnest of the bunch but performed best overall.

Do it Best Masking Tape

November 7, 2008

IMG_0688c

Lets take a look at the performance of Do it Best brand masking tape.

The application here is simple, to mask-off the baseboard for second coat of wall paint. The tape was applied over poplar trim finished with a varnish. I cut twice over the tape, once the first day, let dry and a second cut the next morning, let dry 2 hours and pulled the tape. The wall paint used was Glidden EVERMORE Super Washable Flat.

IMG_0745a

Thankfully I only used this tape in a few areas to try it out. As you can see on this short piece of trim I was unable to cleanly pull the masking tape without it tearing. The bridging was scored with a blade and still the tape tore easily on both attempts to pull from both ends. The tape did however seal down tight providing a very sharp clean painted edge. This tape has extreme tack and I paid $1.88 for this misery. The mil thickness is not known but I can say you can practically see through it.

CHEAP SPEED, ROUND 2, BE MOVED!

November 6, 2008

Have you ever been experienced?

65125a

We’re acknowledged trade snobs, so we readily admit it takes something special to make us take a step back and say “Wow”. We’ll also admit that Benjamin Moore’s 65125 nylon brush made us do just that. Just when we thought we’d seen all there is to see from brushes, along comes this hidden treasure which by the way we kept to ourselves for years. We can’t remember the last time we heard someone say, “What the world needs now is a good paint brush,” but we’re glad this apparent lack of demand didn’t stop Benjamin Moore from designing the best paint brush we ever tested.

In pimp-speak, the 65125 spanks all other brushes we’ve tried (all of Wooster’s, Purdy’s, Sherwin Williams, Bestt Liebco and really countless others). Benjamin Moore’s 65125 Nylon brush is so-sweet because of its unique blend of filaments to spread all paints and its ability to keep form in humid conditions. This brush feels firm and balanced in the hand yet spreads coatings soft and smooth with brushless finishes. The brush stays together giving us a sharp precision edge to cut with. Cutting in wood cased edges to the wall has never been easier. We never once experienced the brush folding up or flip flopping off an edge. The brush performs well even on the skinniest of edges. The 65125 is so finely tuned that we can cut the ¼” side fillet edges of double hung windows quickly and flawlessly.

65125

We’re not sure what your current brush is capable of but the 65125 can accurately do 7’ of wall to trim in under 8 seconds flat and 14’ of wall to ceiling in under 60 secs. We had our cameras rolling because we could not believe our eyes. No matter when we zoomed in or snapped random footage, the 65125 was always in sharp form. The 65125 never let us down.

What we liked the most about this brush is its ability to save time and I mean really save time AND gain quality. Achieving a balance of high-end finishes at production rates is purely a science and this brush is part of that mathematical equation.

If you consider yourself a professional paint contractor and are content with your so called store bought pro brush then you have no need to find Guido in the ally selling these from under his coat. But, it you want to launch yourself into the next generation of proism then I suggest finding Guido in the back ally and get yourself one. See for yourself in this video.

 SPECIFICATIONS:

Model: Benjamin Moore Nylon Brush 65125 (code named Champ)

Model tested (MSRP): $13.95

Standard Equipment: Solid contoured hardwood handle, stainless steel ferrule, angled sash, unique nylon & polyester blend for stiffness retention.

Street Price: $10 bucks plus a forty (brown bagged of course)

Usefulness: All paints, proven performer with acrylics, heavy oils and it’ll lay down varnish and sealer like nobodies business.

Grade: For professional use only. Stop pretending you are and get one!

Layout: Flat or angular sash. We still don’t know why flat brushes exist. It’s angular everything for us.

Size: 2 ½”

Length out: 2 15/16”

Thickness: 5/8”

Stiffness: Firm but soft, not flimsy or limp.

Colors avail: Champagne

Dry weight: 4.2 oz.

Load capacity: 2.1 oz.

Loaded weight: 6.3 oz. can you say volume? One dip, one long 7’ stroke of genius

Speed: 0 -7’: 7.8 secs waterborne / 18.9 secs solvent base

Error Correction: none as tested, consistent accuracy and wet edge, won’t fold up under pressure.

STN clearance: Substrate-to-nose: 12”, sawed off version not yet available but easily achieved with hack saw

Trace Evidence: brushless capable

Accuracy: Sharp 90º +/-25 filaments

WOC: Width of cut – 3 ½” to a narrow ¼’ wide (tipd)

Warranty: If you cannot achieve a brushless finish with this brush then you might want to reconsider what you’re spreading.

Lengths cut: casing 540’, baseboard, 798’, ceiling 798’

Total length cut: 2,136’

Verdict: PROS: The accuracy and balance of this brush is purely unique. We don’t know who the guy was that pushed for perfection on this brush but we are sure glad he did.

CONS: Hard to find Guido.

We’ve been using these brushes for years day in and day out. If you clean, comb and keep these brushes you too will get years of use out of them. We had the opportunity to play Guido and have other paint contractors use this brush and the overall response was an overwhelming, “damn, that’s a nice brush”. Amen my fellow bruthas.

Our Top Pick for Latex Brushes is Benjamin Moore’s Nylon 65125”. – Paintreview.com March, 2004

This review as well as all or our reviews are provided for you to review the comments and experiences by an independent paint contractor to assist you in what to expect with new or existing products.

MINWAX Sanding Sealer Pt 2

November 5, 2008

IMG_0556 - Copy

I recently posted on the MINWAX Sanding Sealer in October but after preparing for a review on sanding sealers I thought I better leave this one out. This product is not at all like the sanding sealers you are probably used to. I’m not certain I would call this product sanding sealer at all in comparison to all the others.

Here is what you should know about this applying this product.

Number one, you need to have smooth bare wood to start because this sealer will not allow you to sand off anything but lint and I’m not joking. The sealer itself doesn’t allow you to cut through it but rather sand off anything on the surface and barely at that. So if you have slight rough wood under the sealer, you wont be able to get to it.

IMG_0736a Number two, If you apply this product to poplar trim for example, not only will the poplar soak up the sealer like a sponge but there is no way in hell you will get it baby ass smooth like you can with any other sealer out there. If you ever sanded polyurethane, this is far worst.

The photo above shows Do It Best brand sanding sealer on the baseboard and Minwax sanding sealer on the casing, both sanded. Notice how the baseboard clearly sanded smooth and to a powder where the casing was not.

Number three, call me Caption Obvious but there is something about calling a product "sanding" sealer when you cant sand it.