A painting primer

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No matter what’s under the floors or above the ceilings, the first thing your clients and their friends will see when your job is complete is the finish.

February 01, 2002

No matter what’s under the floors or above the ceilings, the first thing your clients and their friends will see when your job is complete is the finish. Any paint you recommend should be durable and washable, bond well with previous coatings, and provide uniformity of color and surface finish. Exterior finishes need to resist ultraviolet rays and pollutants, and have enough elasticity to accommodate temperature and humidity changes, as well as expansion and contraction of the substrate.

Things to look for before presenting the finished product, according to the benchmarks set forth by the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America, include:

  • uniformity in appearance, color and sheen.
  • no foreign material, lumps, skins, runs, sags, holidays, misses, strike-throughs or insufficient coverage.
  • no drips, spatters, spills or overspray.

This assumes normal design and natural lighting conditions and a normal viewing position.

Gloss level

Yet another consideration is gloss level. Use the following guide, provided by R.S. Means’ Residential & Light Commercial Construction Standards:

  •  High gloss (70+ on a 60-degree gloss meter) is suitable for kitchen and bathroom walls, kitchen cabinets, banisters and railings, trim, furniture, doorjambs and windowsills. It’s durable, stain-resistant, easy to wash and helps reflect light, but surface imperfections are noticeable.
  •  Semigloss (35 to 70 on a 60-degree gloss meter) is suitable for kitchen and bathroom walls, hallways, children’s rooms, playrooms, doors and trim. Its stain resistance makes it easy to clean and well-suited for high-traffic areas.
  •  Eggshell (20 to 30 on a 60-degree gloss meter) is suitable for wall surfaces in halls, bathrooms and playrooms, or trim for a less shiny appearance than semigloss. It resists stains better than flat paint and gives a lustrous appearance. (Satin and silk share similar characteristics.)
  •  Flat/matte (less than 15 on a 60-degree gloss meter) is suitable for walls and ceilings as well as low-traffic areas. While it hides surface imperfections well, stain removal can be difficult.

 

Characteristics of various roof insulation materials
Roof insulation not only acts as a heat barrier for the home, it also serves as a stable, uniform substrate for the roof membrane. Check the following table provided by R.S. Means Co. to make sure you’re choosing the right product.
Type of insulating board
Characteristics
Polyisocyanurate Foam
Polyurethane Foam
Extruded Polystyrene
Molded Polystyrene
Cellular Glass
Mineral Fiber
Phenolic Foam
Wood Fiber
Glass Fiber
Impact-resistant
G
G
G
F
G
E
G
E
F
Moisture-resistant
E
G
E
G
E
G
E
 
 
Fire-resistant
E
 
 
 
E
E
E
 
E
Compatible with bitumens
E
G
F
F
E
E
E
E
G
Durable
E
E
E
E
E
G
F
E
E
Stable “k” value
 
 
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
Dimensionally Stable
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
G
High thermal resistance
E
E
E
G
F
F
E
F
G
Available tapered slabs
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
“R” value per inch thickness
7.20
6.25
4.76
3.85-4.35
2.86
2.78
8.30
1.75-2.00
4.00
Thicknesses available
1"-3"
1"-4"
1"-3 ½"
½"-24"
1 ½"-4"
¾"-3"
1"-4"
1"-3"
¾"-2 ½"
Density (lb./ft³)
2.0
1.5
1.8-3.5
1.0-2.0
8.5
16-17
1.5
22-27
49
Remarks
Prone to “thermal drift.”
Prone to “thermal drift.”
Somewhat sensitive to hot bitumen & adhesive vapors.
Somewhat sensitive to hot bitumen & adhesive vapors.
 
 
Prone to “thermal drift.” Relatively new and untested.
Expands w/ moisture. Holds moisture.
Prone to damage from moisture infiltration.

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