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Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

April, 2008

My dark paint scratches easy!

Q: I hired a man to paint my entire house. It is 3,000 square feet. He charged $9,000. He is very detailed and organized, so I agreed. Well, we are using an espresso colored Sherwin Williams Oil based paint for all doors, woodwork, cabinets, and trim. He added PASO to it to make it a little less shiny. It scratches VERY easily. He did use primer before he painted, and he air-brushed everything to make it smooth. Is there a certain length of time before it cures? Is this normal? I love how everything looks, but hate how easy it scratches. Have I made a huge mistake!?

A: I'm not familiar with PASO, nor do I know what it is. It it a paste? How much did he add? Without knowing anything about the product I can give you a generic answer that might or might not apply. Oil based alkyd paints use chemical dryers to promote drying and curing. If the painter added too much of a non-drying chemical to lower the gloss, it is possible that this affected the drying properties of the oil based paint.

How long ago was the house painted? It is possible that the paint will get harder with time, but if you want to compare your paint with that of the original, unaltered product, I suggest that you purchase a pint or quart from your local paint store and apply it in the same way the painter did. If you can get some of the PASO product, add it to the original formulation and see if it makes a difference.

Good luck.

Ron Joseph

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