emulsion as undercoat on wooden dresser

Discussion in 'Painters' Talk' started by amdalgety, Jun 9, 2016.

  1. amdalgety

    amdalgety New Member

    I hired a painter who had good reviews on ratedpeople. When he started job I was disappointed at finish on some of the woodwork-- paint runs on doors and bannisters rough. I asked him if he had rubbed down... and eventually he went over some of the areas again. I was also disheartened when he didn't know that quick-dry satinwood was not water-based. I had been worried as I found he was using quick-dry and tradional satinwood. He told me over the phone that I was wrong and both oilbased until he read out to me what was on the tin.
    Anyway, last room in the house to do was kitchen. We have an original builtin dresser finished in satinwood/eggshell and painted before we moved in 9 years ago. I really wanted to minimise the chances of the painter (who's trade seems to actually be tiling) getting this wrong so I bought some Little Greene intelligent eggshell. I checked prep in the shop and was told that should only need rubbing down and probably one coat. I told the painter this by text and came home to find the dresser covered in white emulsion. The next morning I asked him why as I had specifically asked him just to rub down and paint. He said that he always did it this was to get a key. I pointed out that rubbing down would have had same result but he said that you didn't get as good a finish.
    This evening he thought the job was finished but the dresser does not look nearly as good as I had hoped it would. The colour is not uniform. There are areas where the undercoat is showing through. We contacted the painter and he is going to come back to touch up.
    What do you think of this? Am I being unreasonable? Will the paint last on the dresser? I also realise that it is very hard to give people bad reviews on a website but I'm worried that if I don't leave a negative review others will be taken in by him.
  2. CraigMcK

    CraigMcK Screwfix Select

    At the end of the day, you, the customer, are not happy with the results.
    If you are perhaps being over critical, that is more challenging. The question on the dresser is, what was the condition like before he started on it. I would suspect that you never really looked at it in close detail for the last 9 years. But now it's been painted you are taking a much closer look at it. It's very difficult to hide old issues with a coat of paint, especially if that is not your profession. But again if its a rubbish job, it's reasonable to put that on a review, but get some photos as backup to your argument.

    The downside of any water based undercoat is if he did rub it down and cleaned up any screws or nails, the paint will make them rust and this will show through fairly quickly. Also if he did not follow the instructions on the tin, any future issues with the paint will not be covered by the manufacturer.

    I know this is too late, but personally if he had done some work for me and it was not up to my standards I would not have had him do anything else
  3. Astramax

    Astramax Super Member

    My understanding is any 'Quick Dry' paints such as the Dulux Diamond range, Crown Breath Easy are water based also the majority of satinwood and eggshell paints are self undercoating. Using emulsion as an undercoat on wood is not recommended, are you sure this was not a waterbased undercoat? The Little Greene Intelligent Eggshell is an excellent paint but would always apply two coats.
  4. Am, it's obviously hard for us on here to judge what the situation is - we only have your word for it.

    Having said that, if a 'Pro' is confused about paint bases (even I - a DIYer - knows that 'Quick-drying' = water-based) then that would give me cause to worry.

    The reason is, if he were a pro painter, these paints would be totally familiar to him and he'd almost certainly be using them too as the 'whites' stay white unlike with oil-based paints.

    Paint runs on doors? Quite simply - that shouldn't happen. Again, I wouldn't do that - so a Pro certainly shouldn't.

    Rough banisters? In what way 'rough'. Were they bare timber to start with and haven't been sanded before and after priming?

    And if you can really see the 'undercoat' through the dresser's finish, then that ain't good enough either.

    So, based on what you have told us, it ain't acceptable and I'd be looking to agree a hugely reduced bill - so you can either DIY it or get another - proper - Pro in.

    Should you leave a poor review? Well, if you rely on these websites yourself - and you clearly have - what would you like to see? Honest reviews?

    Of course.
  5. Websters Decorators

    Websters Decorators New Member

    Hi These schemes are designed to help people find a good honest tradesman/woman ( I have to be politically correct) but unfortunately some Muppets slip through the net. Sorry to hear about your bad experience with your "so called" decorator, as far as reviews go you should be honest and truthful about you experience and write your review so other people can decide if they want use this person or not.
    The scheme I am in is Derbyshire Trusted Trader which is a very similar scheme but they never show the customers name or address just their comment which protects the customer. My advice would be to contact Rated People and ask if your details will be published if you leave this guy a bad review? Also ask their advice on what to do next.
    Good luck and I hope you get this sorted.
    Websters Decorators

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