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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was recently asked by a friend of mine to paint some bathroom stalls for an office building owner that he works for. I have also done a couple jobs for this building owner. There are 2 floors to an office building with 2 wings to the building. Each wing (4 in total) has both a men's and a women's bathroom. Each men's bathroom has one toilet stall in a corner (meaning that there is no stall panel against the wall.) and one urinal panel between the sink and the urinal. Each women's bathroom has a double toilet stall in the corner with no stall panel against the corner wall (see photos below).

Building Fixture Bathroom Flooring House
Building Property Fixture Plumbing fixture Cabinetry


The owner wants them all prepped and painted. My friend took the panels for one of the bathrooms to an auto body shop where they were professionally done. The building owner asked if my friend could have all the rest of the remaining 7 bathrooms' panels done the same way. My friend told the building owner that he had the one bathroom's panels as a favor, but to do all the rest of them would be way too much work for what he would have to charge the owner.

I have never painted bathroom stall panels, but I have done enough similar stuff over the years that I would not be afraid to tackle this, just that I would brush and roll instead of spray. Before speaking with the building owner I called a local bathroom stall contractor and described the situation. He said that to replace the stalls and urinal divider in one men's and one women's bathroom would be $3300.00 ballpark. I am guessing that by the time I clean, sand, prime and 2 coat everything in the 2 bathrooms above my labor will come close to 3300.00 with nowhere as good a finish as new powder coated panels would have. I haven't yet figured out if I should prep and paint the panels in place or remove them and set up shop in some vacant office in the building. The owner has started to remodel a couple bathrooms and is trying to have his carpenter dismantle the stalls. The owner asked me if I know how to remove the one-way screws that hold these panels to the frames. I don't know how this is done and I suppose I could find out how, but I am guessing that this would increase the labor taking them all apart.

My friend just wants me to go ahead and paint them. I recently had a phone call with the owner and described all my misgivings with prepping and painting vs replacing. I gave him the name and # of the fellow I spoke with who replaces stalls after he inquired of such info. I also emailed him to encourage him to get a few more estimates.

My best guess is that replacing the stalls (which are about 35 years old) will look much better than if I did them by brush and roll. I also think that if I took n this job I might lose the will to live! :O Any thoughts?

futtyos
 

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You had me concerned at "My Friend"! It's always high risk to work for friends. Have you done work for this friend in the past? "I might lose the will to live!", really, there are other jobs! Don't do things you know you will regret getting into, if you can possibly avoid it.
 

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Always tricky working for friends. Sounds like you've made a pretty good case for them to not have them painted. If still insist you paint them but you don't want to do it, you could always tell them you're too busy of course.

If you do end up painting them, I'm sure you could get a nice result with a 3/8 microfiber and a product like Advance or Emerald trim urethane. Might not be a bad idea to just do one panel first so they can have a look, if you're worried about the finish quality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think that if I do the right prep work and use the right primer and paint I can get a nice finish, but it will not look like brand new. I might also have problems painting it as is without taking it apart. My friend who referred me is a very good friend and has confidence in me. We have thrown work to each other for years.

I just think that if the price for painting is close to the price for replacing, the building owner is better off replacing them as the contractor who does it will easily be able to remove and dispose of the old stall parts. Also, the building owner says that some of the partitions are not securely fastened to the walls and that would be something for the contractor/installer to remedy.

Another aspect of this job is that I would probably end up using fairly toxic products in an enclosed area and am not too thrilled about that. I have seen some posts here that talk about painting stalls and what to use, but my gut feeling is to encourage the owner to replace rather than paint.

futtyos
 

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Give him your numbers and he’ll have an estimate for replacing with new and then it’s his call - you don’t need to worry about it. Assuming you are comfortable with your price and the precess you feel you’ll need to follow.

I agree with FTNW and think you will get a surprisingly nice result using a microfiber roller. Also, I would strongly advise against removing the units and taking them anywhere. Doing so will significantly add to the labor cost and if anything were to go sideways on a job like this (at least for me) it would be in the removing of the components and then putting them back. And it’s that putting back part (like cabinet doors) that always seemed to take longer than the dismantling - and often resulted in some damage to my paint job.
 

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There's no way it's gonna cost $3300 to hand paint those stalls. You think?! I'm thinking no more than 20 -25hrs labour.
My thinking is $1000-$1500 (Of course, that's based on the rates I'd charge. :D ) Also, I'd paint them in place, no taking apart and reassembling. On the other hand, $3300 is an excellent way to avoid the headache!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Assuming I were to paint them in place I would probably do the following:

1. Take a close look at all restrooms where stalls are to be painted and see what condition they are in.
2. Come to Paint Talk and ask the following:
A. What product to wash the panels with.
B. What primer to use. There are some rusty spots on the urinal partition and a few spots on the stall partitions. The primer should work over rust.
C. What paint to use that will roll out nicely AND withstand urine and repeated washing.

I have used brush and roller in the past to get a sprayed look, from an exterior storm door to 5' x 5' medicine cabinets at Marina Towers in Chicago. I actually enjoy this type of painting, but only when I know the products I am using and how to apply them.

My main concern is with A, B and C above. I don't know what the best products are for each part of the process.

I broached the subject with the GC I work for at Marina Towers. He is very meticulous and is a good painter himself. He has prep'd and painted numerous baseboard electric heaters at Marina Towers using Rustoleum white gloss enamel that turned . He seems to think that Rustoleum Gloss Enamel will withstand the chemical hazards of public bathroom stalls, primarily because of the word "enamel." Having had a janitorial business for 20 years and doing cleaning jobs out of the ordinary that required research, I have my doubts about Rustoleum Gloss Enamel being able to fend off the biochemicals produced in bathroom environments, but I don't know, so I am asking.

futtyos
 

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Assuming I were to paint them in place I would probably do the following:

1. Take a close look at all restrooms where stalls are to be painted and see what condition they are in.
2. Come to Paint Talk and ask the following:
A. What product to wash the panels with.
B. What primer to use. There are some rusty spots on the urinal partition and a few spots on the stall partitions. The primer should work over rust.
C. What paint to use that will roll out nicely AND withstand urine and repeated washing.

I have used brush and roller in the past to get a sprayed look, from an exterior storm door to 5' x 5' medicine cabinets at Marina Towers in Chicago. I
My approach would be to give them all a good sanding, (Maybe even wet sanding), grinding off any rust, mask all the hardware, prime with INSUL-X All Multi-Surface Primer, paint with PPG's REVOLUTION using a velour roller sleeve. (PPG products are the ones I am most familiar with) Others may have other preferred methods. This is just my take on the issue.
 

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Assuming I were to paint them in place I would probably do the following:

1. Take a close look at all restrooms where stalls are to be painted and see what condition they are in.
2. Come to Paint Talk and ask the following:
A. What product to wash the panels with.
B. What primer to use. There are some rusty spots on the urinal partition and a few spots on the stall partitions. The primer should work over rust.
C. What paint to use that will roll out nicely AND withstand urine and repeated washing.

I have used brush and roller in the past to get a sprayed look, from an exterior storm door to 5' x 5' medicine cabinets at Marina Towers in Chicago. I actually enjoy this type of painting, but only when I know the products I am using and how to apply them.

My main concern is with A, B and C above. I don't know what the best products are for each part of the process.

I broached the subject with the GC I work for at Marina Towers. He is very meticulous and is a good painter himself. He has prep'd and painted numerous baseboard electric heaters at Marina Towers using Rustoleum white gloss enamel that turned . He seems to think that Rustoleum Gloss Enamel will withstand the chemical hazards of public bathroom stalls, primarily because of the word "enamel." Having had a janitorial business for 20 years and doing cleaning jobs out of the ordinary that required research, I have my doubts about Rustoleum Gloss Enamel being able to fend off the biochemicals produced in bathroom environments, but I don't know, so I am asking.

futtyos
I personally would agree with simply using Rustoleum primer and enamel myself. It works outdoors on cars and with birds crapping on it, so I'd be fairly confident it would work well in a rest room, and also more confident in its use than any combination of latex primers and paints on the market really. Only thing to charge extra for is the smell/hazard aspect, but if that wasn't a factor, 100% Rustoleum all the way imo. If you can sand the rust well, use the "clean metal primer" and if you can't, use the "Rusty Metal Primer." I think for rollers and brushes if you really want a sprayed look try Wooster Red Feather mini-rollers.
 

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I personally would agree with simply using Rustoleum primer and enamel myself. It works outdoors on cars and with birds crapping on it, so I'd be fairly confident it would work well in a rest room, and also more confident in its use than any combination of latex primers and paints on the market really. Only thing to charge extra for is the smell/hazard aspect, but if that wasn't a factor, 100% Rustoleum all the way imo. If you can sand the rust well, use the "clean metal primer" and if you can't, use the "Rusty Metal Primer." I think for rollers and brushes if you really want a sprayed look try Wooster Red Feather mini-rollers.
Rusty metal primer works for me but given the nature of the stalls and people's tendency to pee on everything, I'd want the revolution as the finish paint for the following reasons:
Extreme Stain Resistance
Easy stain removal reduces need for abrasive cleaners
Exceptionally durable in low-sheen finishes and all colors
Unmatched washability for easy upkeep in high-traffic areas
Premium hide, smooth finish and easy application
Dried film is resistant to stains and deterioration caused by mildew
Wooster Red Feather rollers are velour rollers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
id try and talk them out of it and fight another battle in the same building. tell them to save the cash for a full reno, the whole space is horrendous
I believe the owner said that he is in the process of remodeling each bathroom, but to what extent I do not know. One thing he did discover when taking down the stalls in one bathroom was that they were attached to the walls with mollies right into the drywall and not into any studs, something that he would like to remedy.

To everyone else, thank you for your input so far. Now I am going to have lunch with my "friend" today. I know that if he finds out I tried to convince the building owner to replace the stalls instead of me painting them he is going to have a fit!

futtyos
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I believe the owner said that he is in the process of remodeling each bathroom, but to what extent I do not know. One thing he did discover when taking down the stalls in one bathroom was that they were attached to the walls with mollies right into the drywall and not into any studs, something that he would like to remedy.

To everyone else, thank you for your input so far. Now I am going to have lunch with my "friend" today. I know that if he finds out I tried to convince the building owner to replace the stalls instead of me painting them he is going to have a fit!

futtyos
We had breakfast/lunch at a nearby restaurant new to me and it was very good!

fullyos
 

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Lots of great advice already given. The only thing I'd add is to make sure your agreement calls for the cleaning of all surfaces to be done before you get there. Pinkeye is real. Respectfully insist that all surfaces, (both paintable and non), are to be professionally cleaned, with no waxes or anything of that nature used, no residuals, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Lots of great advice already given. The only thing I'd add is to make sure your agreement calls for the cleaning of all surfaces to be done before you get there. Pinkeye is real. Respectfully insist that all surfaces, (both paintable and non), are to be professionally cleaned, with no waxes or anything of that nature used, no residuals, etc.
If I did take on this job I would be the one doing the cleaning. How would those here approach the cleaning and what tools and cleaning solutions would you use? I read in a recent thread on painting bathroom stalls that failed that the reason for the failure might have been due to sanding first and then cleaning.

futtyos
 

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If I did take on this job I would be the one doing the cleaning. How would those here approach the cleaning and what tools and cleaning solutions would you use? I read in a recent thread on painting bathroom stalls that failed that the reason for the failure might have been due to sanding first and then cleaning.

futtyos
eco tsp and dawn.
 
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