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Give the painting contractor a punch list of items to correct/improve and see what the response is. If I understand correctly you're the GC on the project so I wonder if the HO has been exceptionally critical of other work performed or just this work? There are some items in the images you provided that I couldn't live with and some things I would say meets a reasonable standard. And Cocomonkeynuts is correct. Nobody is going to touch up a high sheen, sprayed surface with a brush and have it look right. Heck, there will be a color diff with the spray vs brushed area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 · (Edited)
Give the painting contractor a punch list of items to correct/improve and see what the response is. If I understand correctly you're the GC on the project so I wonder if the HO has been exceptionally critical of other work performed or just this work? There are some items in the images you provided that I couldn't live with and some things I would say meets a reasonable standard. And Cocomonkeynuts is correct. Nobody is going to touch up a high sheen, sprayed surface with a brush and have it look right. Heck, there will be a color diff with the spray vs brushed area.
The HO noticed some holidays and paint on trim (during the wall portion of the job) and started losing trust in the prep work, QC, and standards. They became more vigilant as a result.
 

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There's definitely some cringeworthy stuff in those pics. The finger print in the paint right beside the door pull is awful. The drips and sags under the countertop definitely stick out.
It's not a good situation when customers start finding stuff they don't like and start becoming 'extra vigilant' as you can reach a point where nothing is going to make them happy. At that point, you're kind of screwed.
 

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No one is trying to be dismissive of your post. It’s just that more information concerning your situation would be helpful. If you are not a HO, then are you a decorator or GC?

As stated, this is a site for professional painters to assist others in the trade or to get advice themselves. However, with that said, when someone is having an issue with a painter there is sometimes a bit of leeway allowed. None of us like seeing a customer get charged a premium price for a sub standard or an even downright crappy job. But sometimes that’s all a customer has negotiated for.

The problem is that there are so many variables involved, especially on repaints, that it can be virtually impossible to determine what is acceptable or not based on the pictures you gave and the conditions of the contract (which are good - to a point).

This looks like a repaint of existing cabinets so what were your expectations and what did the painter promise? If the cabinets in question were pieces of crap when originally installed ( and many are), or became crap after years of heavy use or abuse, then this may be a case of the proverbial sow’s ear trying to be made into a silk purse. Or, to take another porcine example, was the painter being asked to put lipstick on a pig? In all of the contract language you provided, the phrasing is mainly about what should be done, not the level of quality that was expected. In other words, the painting contractor could have done most (or even all) of what the language called for, but still done a s****y job while thinking in their mind that they fulfilled their part of the contract.

Which brings us to price. If you are laying out $1200 for an entire kitchen cabinet job, compared to say $10,000, well you will get what you pay for.

Also,what is the experience level and reputation of the painter? Have they a good track record or did you just hire someone who could get the job done within a specific time frame or schedule? This is usually closely aligned with price.

I could go on, but you get my point. All of the things that might affect the outcome of a paint job are the same that would apply to anyone in any aspect of the trades whether they be framers, foundation guys, plumbers, electricians, and even the decorators or GCs themselves. Yes, one would hope you could negotiate in good faith expecting to get a quality job regardless of whomever you hire. And someday pigs may actually fly (what the hell is it with all the pig references in this post?).

Sounds like you are aware that professional standards (PCA) exist so all I could advise is to take those standards, fairly and reasonably apply them to the job in question, and then sit down and have a discussion with the painting contractor and see where you stand. Just be aware that you may need to temper your expectations based on some of the aspects of the job I listed above. Especially the price factor. IF you tried to get by on the cheap, especially since painting is one of the last items on a job and sometimes GCs (if that is what you are) are over budget or out of money when they get to it, then you will have no one to blame but yourself.

Out of professional courtesy (this time assuming you ARE a GC), I will temporarily leave this thread open in order for you to clarify the situation further and possibly get some additional feedback. But if you decline to provide us with some additional background info, then it will be be closed.

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Beautiful, just beautiful.
 

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my thoughts are: The work obviously isn’t done yet You aren’t obligated to pay the contractor until they fix the touch ups that you point out (whether it be smoothing out texture, cleaning up lines, etc) And the contractor, by contrast, DOES have the right to fix (aka cure) the work in order to get paid. You cannot say “I don’t like it, so I’m not paying” and expect to just get a free job like that. You also can’t threaten him with complaints in order to try to prevent him from being able to fix the work (that would fall under criminal extortion). At the end of the day- you’re owed beautiful cabinets, and he’s owed the chance to do touch ups and fix/correct the work in order to get paid the money he is owed. Hope I helped!
 

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Any advice would be appreciated as final payment has not been made yet.

A little more context. This is for semigloss paint. Contract language is below.

"All surfaces of cabinets will be cleaned and sanded."

"Preparation

Surfaces will be prepped properly, they will also be re-inspected and patched as necessary before finalcoats are applied

All cracks in surfaces will be filled and nails will be
puttied as specified

Glossy surfaces and trim will be sanded and cleanedto assure proper paint adhesion

Scrape and sand rough areas when lead is not an
issue due to previous paint failure

All new and raw wood will be primed as needed

Apply a stain sealer to water stains and tannin wood stains"
Any advice would be appreciated as final payment has not been made yet.

A little more context. This is for semigloss paint. Contract language is below.

"All surfaces of cabinets will be cleaned and sanded."

"Preparation

Surfaces will be prepped properly, they will also be re-inspected and patched as necessary before finalcoats are applied

All cracks in surfaces will be filled and nails will be
puttied as specified

Glossy surfaces and trim will be sanded and cleanedto assure proper paint adhesion

Scrape and sand rough areas when lead is not an
issue due to previous paint failure

All new and raw wood will be primed as needed

Apply a stain sealer to water stains and tannin wood stains"
 

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Painter needs to come back and finish the job. It is not up to par. Because you are a fairly new GC, going forward, you need to explain to the homeowner that this is a repaint. If they want perfection then they need to buy new cabinets or reface them. Compare the cost of doing that with the cost of repainting. When the homeowner compares the prices and decides to go with paint, they need to be told to expect some minor imperfections. That being said, from what I see in the pictures I would not expect final payment until I did a better job. 5 grand seems a little low but it should look better than what the painter did. BTW don’t let the HO put tape all over newly painted cabinets! They could have caused some of those marks!
 

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Sometimes it is hard know for sure the exact cause from pictures to make a sweeping statement (sloppy job or good job) from pictures and also not knowing the exact agreement between contractor, HO and painter, it would be somewhat unfair to give a definite answer. There's also a differance between someone on a budget saying "I just want it to look decent and not a complete reck" and someone paying top dollar of a job that's 2nd to none.
The other limitation is, for instance, there is a nail or screw that was not spackled. That can be acceptable if the painter knew the was a good reason like the screw should be visible in case it's possible that it may come a time where it would be good for it to be accessible or, it's not somewhere easily noticeable.
I see crooked lines by rough wood and textured walls or where there appears to be crooked caulking. If someone wants a perfect line by crooked caulking I let them know I have to charge more since I will need to completely remove the caulking which can sometimes be easy, sometimes hard. I have to charge a lot more to remove caulking and recaulk. A few feet of that can take longer than painting a whole wall. Usually, I'm told by the customer don't worry about the unperfect line.
There appears to be orange peeling or blistering. This can happen for several reasons. One could be the painter put paint on too thick or a second coat too soon. But it also can be there was water damage not too long ago. I don't know too many painters that check for moisture level so in this case, I would lean toward that being the fault of anyone with that information and didn't have the place dried out properly and rechecked for moisture level.
Also, sometimes there can be a pipe that lost its "sleeve" and causing moisture to make contact with the opposite side of the wall.
So, I can't tell you if it is a bad job.
What I can tell you is make sure the painter is a real painter, pay a fair wage. Ask questions, like what primer and paint will be used and how long will you let each coat dry and research his or her answer.
Ask the home owner was there water damage and was a moisture check and if not, Ask the painter can they check before painting, if they don't have the ability to do so, have that done first.
Know that some find it perfectly acceptable to have a less the perfect job in some areas that aren't particularly in plain view such as inside a cabinet in a place you can't really see vs outside cabinet door smack in the middle of the door.
Crooked lines joining textured wall of rough cut wood is going to happen.
If not paid to completely strip a previous paint job, you are likely to see some of what I think I see (paint over chipped paint).
 

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I will put my 2cents in, as I do plenty of these cabinet repaints. I have gone to 2k polys just for the sheer durability over time. I used pre-cat solvent lacquer, but they just suck now. I may get clobbered but there is a clear difference between cabinet refinish contractors who spray everything and those who spray doors and drawers, then brush and roll the cabinets!! Spraying everything requires more precision and care. Most guys do the later because the doors and drawers cover most of the surface, but it takes skill to brush & roll those little frames and not have it come out like those pictures. That color also does the painter no favors. Even a little skill will be nulled by that dark color. That would be a 25-50% upcharge.

As far as a fix? Its a bad spot to be in. There is so much small stuff that it is probably better to just respray those things than touch them up with a brush or roller. It's pretty poor masking and execution from this contractor too. Like on the back of the drawers, the little white dots. Those were from the old felt bumbers that they didn't take off right?? Its the old white color. I also see tape on the entry door across the cabinets, so it looks like the HO has gone to town with the blue tape.

Here are my master bath cabinets that I finished last weekend. We totally did them way faster then I would normally do at a clients home. I stack coated front's and back, primer and finish, to get them done in two days rather than three. The frog tape didn't pull clean so I brushed in the sides and it was a slightly lighter color, but the wife is happy they are finally done. We caulked in the seams and around the false fronts, filled the old handle holes on the false fronts as well
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
I will put my 2cents in, as I do plenty of these cabinet repaints. I have gone to 2k polys just for the sheer durability over time. I used pre-cat solvent lacquer, but they just suck now. I may get clobbered but there is a clear difference between cabinet refinish contractors who spray everything and those who spray doors and drawers, then brush and roll the cabinets!! Spraying everything requires more precision and care. Most guys do the later because the doors and drawers cover most of the surface, but it takes skill to brush & roll those little frames and not have it come out like those pictures. That color also does the painter no favors. Even a little skill will be nulled by that dark color. That would be a 25-50% upcharge.

As far as a fix? Its a bad spot to be in. There is so much small stuff that it is probably better to just respray those things than touch them up with a brush or roller. It's pretty poor masking and execution from this contractor too. Like on the back of the drawers, the little white dots. Those were from the old felt bumbers that they didn't take off right?? Its the old white color. I also see tape on the entry door across the cabinets, so it looks like the HO has gone to town with the blue tape.
Correct the bumpers weren't removed. PC attempted a fix and added new bumpers but...
Rectangle Wood Grey Box Font
 

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Correct the bumpers weren't removed. PC attempted a fix and added new bumpers but...
View attachment 114510
The fact that he didn't remove the bumpers prior to repainting is a HUGE red flag. Amateur hour. Actually there is a lot of red flags there. imo. You can also tell that they tried to get away with 1 coat. How do you miss spraying over the same spot twice? Garbage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
The fact that he didn't remove the bumpers prior to repainting is a HUGE red flag. Amateur hour. Actually there is a lot of red flags there. imo. You can also tell that they tried to get away with 1 coat. How do you miss spraying over the same spot twice? Garbage.
Great point! My assumption is the PC sprayed over the bumpers twice not realizing they were on there. The HO removed the initial bumpers revealing the circles. PC manually painted the bumper areas, didn't do proper prep, painted manually with 1 coat, and the. placed the new bumpers in the area hoping the HO wouldn't notice. The HO ripped them off the new bumpers to reveal the issue.

Or the PC only did one coat on the entire drawer as you suggested.

Either way fun times as I am meeting with the owner of the painting company on Tuesday to discuss.
 

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Correct the bumpers weren't removed. PC attempted a fix and added new bumpers but...
View attachment 114510
Unfortunately, you are the GC here and this is your work, unless the HO hired this guy? Anyways, I think you are in a tough spot as there is not fixing these without a total strip, the adhesion is super poor, as the bumpers pull the paint right off. But maybe not so much the sanding but the adhesion from the topcoat, as again this blue is super hard to get right. You might be looking at finding a new contractor and having to replace the drawer fronts if those are really the main issue.
 
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