Finding the Right Paint for the Job
I have been a painting contractor painting in south jersey for over 30 years. Over that 30 years I have hired hundreds of painters and used thousands of different paint products. Some worked well as they were supposed to and some did not. Every few years the paint manufactures would develop a new primer to block out staining. Every few years their sales representatives would also push them out telling all the local painting contractors to try the new great product… Time and time again we would have our painters try it out on a job and the system would fail… we would get frustrated and have to redo the job, or at least parts of it.
This caused us to become very skeptical of the new coatings systems that were being developed. Being a skeptic is not at all in my nature or a trait I want to acquire. It could cause us to fall behind by not growing and providing the latest and greatest paints and systems to our clients.
How to Fix This Problem?
So the question remained, what to do about using the new paints primers and painting systems? Well as part of a large multiyear painting project with McDonalds, painting buildings which included painting shingle & metal roofs we ran into this again. There was an issue getting the paint to stay bonded to the metal roofs of some buildings. The paint manufactures recommended a pressure wash with 2 coats of a DTM or Direct to metal acrylic paint. This is designed to bond directly to metal. The problem was the system worked some places but not others. Having thousands of these metal roofs to paint across the entire nation made this a situation that needed fixed fast.
I elevated the problem to the top of the Duron Paint company (which was bought by Sherwin Williams in 2004). They in turn invited me into their lab to work with the coatings development team. We did a bunch of tests to find out what’s causing the failure, and more importantly, how to fix it. We determined by testing many kinds of metal that is used on the roofs with them DTM that one metal manufacture used a kynar powder coat finish. This finish proved to be the main issue causing a damp adhesion issue for the DTM that we were applying. What that means is the pre-finished metal would not allow a complete bond when the DTM would get wet. Every time it rains the paint would peel in a few spots.
Once we determined the cause of the failure we could look to find a solution. The solutions the paint lab techs were coming up with were not realistic in the real world. We had to work around people in a open McDonald’s restaurant and those solutions were just not plausible. They found that an acid enticing primer solved the problem perfectly, but it smelled terrible and even worse would burn into everything it touched including people and cars. After a few days of testing many systems, we finally came up with one that would work in the real world.
We have worked like this with many manufactures on many systems since then. Turns out, with the knowledge acquired by working in the Duron lab combined with the real world skills acquired over 30 plus years of running a painting company, we have the unique ability to do good and valid shop test of the new coating systems. We can make sure they work before we put them on real projects.