Some background: I have had my own paint contracting business for several years. I am also a set designer and painter for the past 17 years. These two things mean I have literally painted thousands of gallons of paint on every possible surface you can imagine. I should also mention I am very fast and accurate.
Yesterday I experienced something I have never experienced before. I painted a friends apartment. This is a fairly small apartment, about 1000 square feet. I fully expected I would have the entire thing painted with the first coat in 4 to 5 hours. That is a perfectly reasonable time allotment for that size and my normal speed.
After 5 1/2 hours, with 15 minutes for a break for my arm, I was only able to paint the main, largest living space. It is the living room/dining and hallway area. The smaller hallway and two bedrooms remain to be painted today. AND it took nearly 2 1/2 gallons of paint to do it.
The stuff on the walls, which are textured, is the most extraordinary stuff I’ve ever seen on any surface. I am assuming it is some sort of primer, but I can’t even swear to that…When I run my hand over the wall, a thick chalk residue comes off. I have never used a primer in my professional life which has this type of residue. Now, I’m sure the apartment complex uses the cheapest materials it can get, but still, there should never be this sort of thing with a primer.
And whatever it is sucks the paint in like a sponge. Normally, when you’re cutting in a room you can load your brush and the paint will flow off it until it is empty, usually 3 to 5 inches, depending on boring variables. You will then reload the brush, go back over the area where the paint is not as thickly applied as the rest and continue on. Simple. (Oh, and this is all done without taping anything. I never tape. It is an utter waste of my time, as I don’t get paint where I don’t want it.) Anyway, it does not take me long to cut in a room.
This stuff on the walls wont let the paint leave the brush in a line. It sucks it right in, which means I can only paint an inch or so before I have to reload. And I have to keep going over it again and again, because it sucks in but also leaves little spots where the paint does not adhere. The amount of paint and effort it took to cut in the space yesterday would normally be equal to six rooms of that size. This is not an exaggeration in any way. I worked harder on that small area than I have ever worked on any other painting project, which is saying something.
I have painted unprimed cement, wood palettes, kiln-dried ceramics, kids clay projects, furniture, outdoor everything, every possible type of wall and ceiling, unprimed drywall compound, plastic, stucco, old linoleum, ceramic cast iron bathtubs, wall paper, 150 year old houses, metal, professional race cars, anything and everything.
And I have never experienced anything like this.
I guess the reason I’m writing this is because it’s such a shock to find something so odd in what I do. I mean, I can paint your house with my eyes closed. There isn’t anything involving paint, stain, varnish, wallpaper, etc. that I am not an expert in. (This is merely from years and years of experience, not any unusually spectacular abilities on my part.) To find something so bizarre in an area where I thought I had seen and done it all is a bit unsettling.
It’s certainly one I’ll not forget in a hurry, I can tell you that.