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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

In the interests of full disclosure, I will state clearly that I do not paint for a living year round. I am a full time graduate student and run a small, simple housepainting business during the summer that typically takes 2-4 jobs and employs 2-4 people for a couple months. I take care to avoid lowballing the excellent local professionals in my area and I do not solicit work. I am fortunate enough to have enough work come to me that I can make a fair wage. I have tremendous respect for professionals like you all who make such a difficult job look so easy and support your families through hard work and a dedication to excellence. Any help you can offer me would be greatly appreciated.

That said, I have agreed to paint 50 TRUE DIVIDED LIGHT windows that were custom made and glazed by a local millwork shop. They are for a restoration on a c.1792 home recently gutted by fire. The finish is as follows:

1 Coat - BM Alkyd Primer
DAP Dynaflex 230 Elastomeric caulk (for staple holes etc.)
2 Coats - BM Moorgard/Moorlife Acrylic
1 Coat - Hide Glue (interior only, for crackle faux finish)
1 Coat - BM Regal Flat Finish (interior only, for crackle faux finish)

It takes me about 20 min to brush an unmasked 2 pane, 3050 storm window on both sides. I am obviously concerned about the time to brush finish the 15 pane vents on both sides. Any thoughts about the best way to mask or accelerate the painting process? I am being paid by the hour, but I would really like to save the H/O some dough after they lost everything to fire. I have the windows prior to install and am painting in a heated garage (and yes, I have a great respirator and use a hefty vent when applying oils.).

My best idea at present is to brush on liquid glass masking, then spray the windows with a 115 spray tip to minimize waste on the muntins and frame. A brush and a short roller might be just as fast and 1/10 as messy once I have the glass masking on though. Any thoughts? I would be happy to post any info I gather during the process (masking time, painting time, costs, etc.) in order to give something back. I can also put pictures up if you all like :)

Thanks again...
 

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Don'cha just love an honest guy? Either way will work, though if I were spraying I think I'd use something along the lines of 210-212 fine finish tip.

Seriously, appreciate your honesty on your first post.....(you'll learn to BS later;)) Hope it all works out well for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Wolfgang

I guess sometimes good guys do come out ahead :)

Thanks for the advice on the 210-212 FFT. My sprayer is a Graco Magnum X7 (3000 psi, approx .31 gpm) with a Graco SG20 gun and a RAC V tip guard. Looks like I would have to upgrade to the RAC X tip guard to get a FFT. I can't find the RAC V FFT's anywhere. Any suggestions about where I could find a compatible RAC V FFT? I was always a little wary about pushing exterior latex through anything less than a x15 tip. In your experience does it push through x10-x12 just fine? Would it be prudent to upgrade to a Fine (100 mesh) filter to mitigate clogging in the FFT?

Thanks again for your advice and help.
 

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Yep, liquid mask for sure. Several companies make it....I happen to carry the Prime & Peel from Graham, product # 850-30 and also the Jasco Mask & Seal.
 

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You dont need a Fine Finish Tip for a flat finish on those windows. Arent they getting crackled anyways? A X13 should do fine with that XR-7. Any smaller wont really benefit you, it will just burn the tip out quicker.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Putty it is...

Workaholic,

Good point. My brain was on autopilot from caulking trim and the butts of siding. Putty is the right solution there for sure. Thanks for the heads up.

NCPaint,

I am using Masking Liquid H2O from Associated Paint. Its a masking film/primer. My local shop recommended it, and I like supporting my local guys. I appreciate the 2nd opinion though. Makes me feel a lot better about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks NCPaint

The interiors of the fixed panel and vent are getting crackled, but the exteriors are going to be flat topcoat. Your point is a good one though, because the H/O wants the windows to complement the 200 y/o weathered siding. A super-smooth finish on the exterior would actually be a little too much. Looks like a 213 would be the way to go for what I am trying to do.
 

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I am using Masking Liquid H2O from Associated Paint. Its a masking film/primer. My local shop recommended it, and I like supporting my local guys. I appreciate the 2nd opinion though. Makes me feel a lot better about it.
You should be able to spray that too rather than brush and roll it :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Spray on masking = Selling Point

NCPaint,

I saw that I could spray it when I bought it. Huge plus :) Its expensive, but the labor savings is hefty. Glad to get some input from someone who has used it before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Mack

Nope...not Green Mtn Windows. Got them from Brandon Lumber and Millwork. Its a small operation with a gorgeous old shop. Most of the tools are nearing 100 years old (they are now converted to electric power) and you can still see all the old shafts and wheels from when everything was belt driven from a single source. They don't advertise and don't have a website. I should add that everything I have seen them do is single pane glazing. Its a good shop with good people and a fair price. Let me know if you want to know anything more.
 

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I know a lot of guys spray the liquid mask wood and all but I have always just brushed it, but then again I usually brush the muntins. The key to using it is you have to brush it in 1 super thick coat or 2 med. coats. There are companies that ship the doors with a film sandwiched in between the wood but it is rare to see. If you do use putty under latex you should do it before you prime so it won't bleed through the paint.
 

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Another thought, if you or concerned about saving the owners $, why? Does not their insurance pay? That is what we pay insurance premiums our whole lives for.I would not worry at all about how long it would take, especially in restoration of a 1792 home, time should not be a factor.In fact for true restoration I would not even spray them, but that's just me.:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Following up...

IHATE_HD and ChrisN,

Thanks for the thoughts and insight. I am brushing it on the storms using 2 coats to ensure an easy peel. I am also brush painting the storms. With only 2 large panes, it makes a lot more sense.

The reason I am trying to save the guy money is that the last insurance appraisal was prior to an additional 200K in improvements. The simple fact is that the insurance is paying out a lump sum and will not cover replacement. Is this the H/O's fault? Of course, but I have known the guy for over 20 years and he put his blood sweat and tears into this place. I want to help him out without giving my time away for free and this is a good way to do it.

I tested the Mask 'n Seal by brushing it onto a storm. Learned some lessons about the mil thickness which will pay off later. I then sprayed the Mask 'n Seal on the 40 3x3 and 2x3 windows and it went on beautifully. Used a 517 tip which gave me just the right coverage for each row of panes. I got about 260-275 sqft out of a gallon. I averaged about 3 min/window to set up, spray both sides, and then stand to dry. I am happy with the production rate and it should improve slightly with the prime and top coats.

I'll keep everyone posted.

PS: ChrisN...in a true restoration I agree: No Spraying. However, the H/O's wants and needs, the extent of the damage, and the fact that the windows are brand new and being faux finished on the inside have guided me toward this solution. If I were doing a museum-quality restoration I would be giving an experienced pro like you a call :) I'll put some pics up of the house when I get the windows in. It should give you a better idea for what the place is like.
 

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Be careful using an Oil Primer with a Liquid Masking. I have heard really, really bad results will follow. we use a Latex primer and we brush two coats of Liquid to the windows. It is fast and you don't run the risk of poor adhesion. Sounds like your a good guy to be "helping out".
All the best of luck to ya.
 

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Nope...not Green Mtn Windows. Got them from Brandon Lumber and Millwork. Its a small operation with a gorgeous old shop. Most of the tools are nearing 100 years old (they are now converted to electric power) and you can still see all the old shafts and wheels from when everything was belt driven from a single source. They don't advertise and don't have a website. I should add that everything I have seen them do is single pane glazing. Its a good shop with good people and a fair price. Let me know if you want to know anything more.
Sounds very cool, BoardingHouse. Thanks . . .
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Pics :)

Here are a couple pics. The first 2 show the sashes during the painting process. The 3rd shows a painted and reassembled unit and the 4th is a shot of the house they are going into.

The house looks a little rough at the moment, but to give you all an idea of what aesthetic the H/O is going for the siding is NOT getting painted. All of the siding on the home dates to the mid-1800's and is beautifully weather worn with traces of old paint jobs. It makes the entire house look like an antique, which makes sense.

My process ended up working out pretty well for me. I did modify my material a little bit and work only with water-based coatings. The Jasco Liquid Mask was an exceptional product. Coatings were as follows:

Jasco Liquid Mask (sprayed, 517)
BM Fresh Start Acrylic Primer (sprayed, 515)
BM Moorgard (2 coats exterior, sprayed 515)
Old Village Acrylic Crackling Vehicle (Interior, brushed)
BM Regal (1 coat Interior, brushed)

I tried brushing, rolling, and spraying the liquid mask and I achieved the best performance in a sprayed coating. The product definitely performs best as a thicker mil coating. A 517 tip worked perfectly for me. The beauty of this product is how it bonds to wood but releases from glass. I think it actually performs better the more you spray over it because it builds up a thicker membrane with more paint on it while still releasing easily from glass. It was a beautiful feeling to cut around the opening with a utility knife and peel it off like it was a static cling sticker. It leaves the window virtually free of paint shavings or dust and makes cleaning the glass very easy.

Here are some numbers for you. Bear in mind that as experienced professionals you may be able to do much better.

Materials: approx $5/window
Time: 60 min/sash (give or take 2 min)

I tracked my time and productivity closely, measuring time/sash or time/pane by marking start and finish time and dividing the duration by the number of windows I did. The time estimate includes moving the windows around, setting them up to dry, and all organization time. I had 5 spray setups/cleanups, each of which takes me 1 hour when all is said and done.

Given the volume of windows, I was able to charge $30/sash to my client and make a respectable wage. My client was very happy with that price and would happily have paid more. I suspect that with the right explanation of the process a client could be persueded that $50/sash ($100/window unit) represents a lot of value while offering the contractor a respectable profit margin.

Thanks to all of you for your advice and assistance. It was a huge help. If you have any further questions I will be happy to provide more detailed info or help in any way I can.
 
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