Standards for Shop Priming

What are reasonable specs when you pre-prime cabinets for a builder? May 17, 2005

I want to get a consensus on what everyone considers to be *shop primed*. We are doing a commercial job with a lot of paint grade moulding, pilasters, and MDF cabinets and all products must be primed before they are delivered. I was thinking of just one heavy coat (I would usually put 2 if I was going to spray lacquer over it myself, but this will most likely be brush painted) of primer and rubbing off the nubs a bit. If you have ever seen moulding from the depot or local lumber yard you can often see the finger joints right through the primer, and my one coat (sprayed with the .09 tip on the Kremlin) is heavier than that. Your thoughts?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor A:
I spray with a Kremlin MVX with the same .09 tip and one coat provides an opaque look; two coats would be better and most moulding that I see primed at Lowe's or Home Depot looks as though it has more than one. You may want to use a mil thickness gauge and see if you are applying 4 or 5 mil thick. I use MLC primers and Coronado's and two coats yield a good flat white finish. Clawlock will fill almost anything from MDF to Oak.

From contributor B:
If the bid includes the pre-primed moulding as being specíd out then we would typically ease the edges prime front and back sides, and edges. Then it got to the point that the painters in the field were complaining that the primer wasn't sanded.

From contributor A:
Primed means primed, unless the contract or bid includes the word *sand* in which case you drag some sandpaper over the primer. Have any of you guys heard of KCMA specs or WIC standards? Do any work that someone asks of you but make sure you charge for whatever work goes above and beyond your original bid or quote.

From contributor C:
For primed jobs I will usually use one heavy coat of BM Super Spec Alkyd Primer, I don't sand because it should be freshly sanded before the paint goes on. If they want me to sand it I will usually put on a second coat which goes on very smooth. I have had clients ask if this was a finished product because my primer looked so good, but of course itís only primer and will leave dust on your fingers if you wipe across it. If they want you to sand it make them pay and then tell them it must be painted within 48 hours or there is no warranty on the paint that goes on top of it.

From contributor D:
For us primed means 1 coat on the back 2 coats on the front, sanded between coats. Primer is determined by checking with the painting contractor if possible to assure a compatible primer otherwise we use lacquer undercoat.

From contributor B:
Why not just stick with a lacquer undercoat? Any waterbased paint will go over the top of it, right? Personally if it wasn't for the fact that I'm trying to protect my moulding from warping out I'd tell the painting contractors to take care of their own compatibility issues.

From contributor D:
There was a day when that was standard practice, however my paint suppliers now inform me that some paints do not adhere well to lacquer undercoater. So we always check with the contractor first and if they have no preference then itís on them. If I am doing the final paint then I never use lacquer undercoat. I always use a catalyzed primer like Clawlock or Plastiprime.