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Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

August, 2006

Painting vs. Priming

Q: There are a number of counties in Florida that require a painting specialty license when one contracts to do "painting work."  If a sandblaster contracts to sandblast and apply primer to the blasted metal, but he is not contracted to do the painting (another contractor is), would you consider applying the primer as part of his sandblasting job "painting work?"  Believe it or not a number of counties in Florida simply cannot answer that question.  What do you think? Have you come across any examples of this situation?

A: In my opinion the word "painting" is a mosnomer, and whether you apply a "primer" or a "topcoat", you are performing a "painting" operation.

Now to your question.  Again, in my opinion whoever performs the surface preparation should also apply the primer. In  most cases one wants the primer to be applied within hours after the surface prep, but if another contractor is to be used for this purpose days might go by. In Florida of all places corrosion in the form of flash rusting can often occur with hours after the substrate has been cleaned.

If you would like to use my answer in your correspondence with Florida officials you have my permission.  I can understand, however, that this might affect labor unions that would like to see a differentiation between sand blasting and painting.

Best wishes,

Ron Joseph

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