The Sound and Fury of Interior Paint Failure

Written by on April 9, 2016 in Interior Paints with 0 Comments

paint failureIt’s pretty easy to cause a stir about paint. Just say “paint failure” in a group of painters and watch for quickly hatching and sometimes odd theories about paint manufacturer motives.

You may even hear conspiracy theories about manufacturers reserving their “good” formulation ingredients for top ($60+/gal) lines of paint product.

Painters…hooked and manipulated by paint makers – the dark underworld of a dirty home improvement supply chain.

Really, we just want to paint.

And we should still be able to get a reliable performer for $40/gal-ish.

It’s not gold, after all.

Sometimes a decline in product happens right along side increased expectations of paint capabilities.

When Paint Disappoints: What, How, Why?

paint failureSet aside the frustration of lost time and money, and take an honest look at what happened.

MOST importantly, figure out how and why: without assigning blame.

Once the blame game starts, painter compasses are calibrated to point at paint. The older the needle, the more likely that is. Paint in the present.

Say we use a product for years because it fits our application style. Then we decide that it doesn’t anymore…has the product failed us?

Survival of the Fittest

Interior paint failures are relatively rare in comparison with their exterior product counterparts (which is another discussion).

Use “paint failure” responsibly.

If you apply paint too heavily and find out the next day that it sagged, who or what failed?

If blue tape pulls paint off the wall the day after it was applied, is tape or paint to blame?

Painter behaviors can lead to product problems.

paint failure

Do painters who don’t charge enough have self-imposed paint problems?

Aside from obvious building envelope concerns (roof leaks, pipe leaks, vapor barrier issues, etc), interior paint failure is not that easy to create. Still, problems happen.

Is it the Product or the Way We Work?

Painters are comfortable blaming product (and manufacturer) when things don’t go as hoped, even if they have pushed product beyond its recommended use.

Simple greed can cause painters to make basic mistakes such as skipping proper prep steps or over applying paint.

It’s human/painter nature to want to do things faster, and when moving 20 mils of coating thickness in one round, thats about as fast (greedy) as you can be while hoping the paint will hang on. There may be no more exciting roll of the dice in the paint game.

If you thought over-applied paint was challenged to hold on well-prepared surfaces, watch it try to stick vertically to…its wet self on top of its wet self on top of its wet self.

Painters who cut corners and rely on the speed of heavy application might consider better customer markets to charge appropriately for work done correctly. Or continue pushing product too far and live with costly callbacks.

[Related: Pros Share their Top Interior Paint choices]

Painters choose products based on availability, convenience, performance and results. Align well and build supplier relationships so that you know what’s up with the products you apply in people’s homes.

Communication and relationship skills eliminate risk for painters. Without these skills, painters sometimes end up pounding keyboards online searching for colleagues with similar tales.

That is a type of company that even misery could get tired of loving.

 

Scott Burt

Scott Burt is a contractor and freelance writer whose column "From the Field" has appeared in American Painting Contractor magazine (www.paintmag.com) since 2008. His writing and projects also appear in other print and digital venues. This site is an extension of Scott's publication work, and he encourages readers to leave comments and questions about articles published here. Hope to hear from you!

Latest posts by Scott Burt (see all)

Tags:

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on Instagram Connect on LinkedIn Connect on YouTube

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Top