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Why I love GARDZ

47739 Views 30 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  daArch
I'd like to explain why I dig Zinsser's Gardz primer so much. To do so, I must explain some things about hanging wallpaper.

When I install wallpaper, a primer must be used prior to hanging. As painters, we all know why it is important to prime. As a hanger, this might mean different things.

First off, a good primer will obviously help the wallcovering bond to the wall (provide 'tooth'). Second, it will help the wallcovering release from the wall when removal is performed. Third, it can provide 'slip' to a wall, helping a pasted sheet slide into place without it being stretched.

Most hangers use a water-based acrylic pre-wallcovering primer. The specs usually say to let it dry for 24 hours before initializing the next step. Hmm. How many of us apply the next coat when the primer is dry enough to touch or lightly sand. Yeah, me too.

Now this wouldn't be much of a problem for another coat of paint, but with wallcovering, it is a different scenario. Another coat of paint can be applied, and dry pretty quickly due to the evaporation of the vehicle. This doesn't strain the primer layer very much. But with a wallcovering, we are applying a much heavier/thicker layer coated with a thick, viscous paste that is water-based. On top of this, there is usually a vinyl layer hampering the drying/evaporation process. This causes the primer layer (which hasn't properly dried/cured) to basically reactivate, returning to a semi-liquid state. The paste inter-mingles with this broken-down primer, and becomes 'one'.

Add to this a little relative humidity, and a cheap builder's flat below the primer, and you got problems. We all know you can sneeze on builders flat, and it will rub off. Imagine layering on several mils of moisture, and allowing it to marinate for a day or two. Now you guys know why sometimes a 'properly prepped and primed' surface with a wallcovering can be a bear to remove.

So, to sum this up, a paperhanger looks for a fast drying primer, that won't re-wet or wet-out shortly after drying. Almost all paints or primers (acrylic or oil) will re-wet if applied to soon. I'm sure most of you have had this happen before. Not so with the new DRC's. Someone coined the phrase DRC a couple years ago referring to all the new Drywall Repair Clears. Taken from the old acrylic clear masonry primers (Benjamin Moore's comes to mind), Scotch Paints in CA developed a product called DrawTite. Several imitations appeared shortly afterwards. Sherwin sells it version of it, along with others. But Zinsser was the only one who could come up with something comparable to the original DrawTite, and overcome the distribution problems that Scotch had.

Gardz dries in half-hour or less, and won't re-wet itself. The moisture resistant surface makes it a dream to remove wallpaper from. It stinks a bit when applying, and has a learning curve in rolling a water-thin product without making a mess, but is worth it.

And to sum it up, and back up my claim, I brought pictures for proof.

This is a basic drywall patch, probably 1/8" thick blue-lid joint compound. I rolled some Gardz onto the bottom right corner, and let the roller edge draw a finger up the middle.

After drying for 15 minutes, I primed the rest of the patch. You can see the previously primed section did not re-wet, and remained solid.

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How to clean a gallon of spilled guardz from a concrete driveway:

1) use your favorite expletive, acknowledging your disbelief that there is gallon of high adhesion, fast drying primer in direct sun and on the concrete.

2) After the shock, which lasts a couple seconds, the fight or flight mechanism in your hypothalamus area of the brain should kick in, if not, you've used high voc paint too long and probably can't read an entire sentence anyway.

3) Assess what items you have available that will aid in the cleanup. If you have a brand new box of wiping rags, you'll just have to bite the bullet here. And, a couple bucks on rags is a lot cheaper than letting that stuff dry too long. Do you have access to water? A hose? A bucket to contain and carry water? Its no time to be picky, grab that old 5er and get some water in it.

4) Ok, get the excess primer soaked up with your rags, or a dirty shirt, towels, your socks, something. This is crucial. You can't have all that runoff going all over the place. Containment is the name of the game.

5) Once you're left with the primer slowly bonding to the concrete, get water on that stuff. This will help slow down the drying and bonding process, and will buy you some valuable time.

6) If you made it to this point, you're a survivor, and true paint warrior. But you're not done. Nope. This last step is what separates pros from wannabes. If you stopped now, your left with a big horrible spot on your customers beautiful driveway.

7) Here you must make a judgment call, based on the existing concrete and its condition. If its brand new or coated with a stain product you might be screwed, or at the least, you may be paying for a refinishing. If you are lucky and what is more typical is that the condition is decent, but has weathered a bit and probably has some rust, oil, or other stains that will help you out considerably.

8) You need something to rub that primer out of the grooves of the concrete. A deck cleaning brush might work, but I've found they don't perform too well. Some jerk told me to try a pressure washer, but then would have to take over an hour to get it and by that time the coating would be dried too much. I'd suggest a wire brush. Nothing will work as good to get in there and work that coating out of the concrete. And, if you keep the surface wet as you should, you won't create too many scratch marks. Scrubbing with the grain of the concrete will also help.H

9) Hopefully after all this, you will have the driveway fully cleaned up to where the customer will never know what horror occurred. If they are home at the time and they discover the situation while you are cleaning it up and feeling stupid, well, godspeed. Try to blame it on your helper if possible.

10) Never set a gallon of guardz or other coating on top of boxes high up in your extended cab so when you open the door it falls out.

Is this the voice of a recent experiance?
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