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860-834-5500 Manchester, CT

Levels of Surface Preparation & Finish Appearance

Proper surface prep will determine not only how good your paint job will look, but it will also dictate how long it will last and eliminate potential painting problems during its lifetime.

The Painting and Decorating Contractors or America (PDCA) have created standards designed to govern the level of surface preparation and the resulting finished product (Industry Standard P14-06).

The following levels are used to establish a clearly-communicated standard as to what has been agreed upon and what is to be expected with regards to the different levels of surface preparation and the quality of appearance of the finished surface.

At Zoe’s ProEdge Painting, the first thing we look at in evaluating a project is the condition of the surface that will be painted. There are 5 categories that any surface could fall into:

Requires only basic cleanliness of surfaces to ensure the adhesion of new finishes, with less concern for the adhesion of existing paint and quality of appearance. Preparation might include the removal of surface dust, dirt, obvious loose paint and other surface contaminants by washing, light pressure washing, hand cleaning, dusting and/or mildew/mold/algea treatment. This level of preparation should ensure that subsequently applied coats of paint will adhere to existing paint coats. 

It does not warrant that previously applied paint coatings are well adhered to each other or are well adhered to the substrate itself. Under this level of preparation no alteration of the existing suraface profile shall be performed.

Requires all of Level 1, as well as the examination of existing coatings to assess their adhesion. With this level of surface preparation, good adhesion and longevity of finish are of primary concern and appearance is of secondary concern. Includes basic patching, filling, dulling of glossy surfaces, spot priming, caulking, and light sanding/abrading to address surface profile differences exceeding 1/8 inch. Excludes matching texture and taping cracks.

Incorporates the requirements of Levels 1 and 2 with added emphasis on the quality of appearance of the finish painted surfaces. Includes detailed patching, filling, properly taping cracks, approximate matching of textures, properly dealing with “nail pops,” and thorough sanding to minimize existing runs, sags, brush/roller marks, and the surface profile of cracked and peeling areas, and other existing surface defects.

Under this level of preparation the general surface profile is retained but defects causing abrupt surface profile differences exceeding 1/16 inch will be corrected.

Incorporates all of Levels 1, 2 and 3 with even more emphasis on the quality of appearance of finish painted surfaces. The criteria for inspection and acceptance may include smoothness to “touch and feel” on interior handrails, doors and easily accessible trim.

Under this level of surface preparation, all necessary preparation techniques will be employed to improve the quality fo appearance except to the level of Restoration/Resurfacing. Includes thorough filling & sanding to address surface profile differences exceeding 1/32 inch.

This degree of surface preparation is required when existing conditions indicate that the surfaces are severely deteriorated (where damage to the coating is widespread) or there is substrate damage. Includes complete or nearly complete removal of existing paint through various stripping methods. Substrate (underlying surface being painted) may need to be completely replaced, repaired or resurfaced.

Inspection & Acceptance

So, why are the levels of surface preparation so important?  

First off, the level of preparation you choose for your project will largely dictate the cost. Actually applying paint to a surface is a small fraction (only about 20%) of the scope of any painting project. In the end you want that new color on your walls, but if the surface hasn’t been prepped to your expectations, you will not be happy with the end result. 

At Zoe’s ProEdge Painting, we thoroughly inspect the condition of surfaces starting at the estimate appointment. If your walls, ceilings, and other surfaces are in decent to good condition, you’ll most likely fall into the Standard (Level 2) category of prep work. If you are seeing cracks, drips, nail pops, or other unsightly blemishes in areas you would like to paint, you may choose to take your paint job a step further and fix these existing issues. We would then employ additional prep technique to achieve a Superior (Level 3) standard of preparation, and so on. 

Schedule a Free Estimate

Call or text Zoe’s ProEdge Painting today at 860-834-5500 for the individual attention, quality workmanship and outstanding customer service that your next project deserves.

Schedule a Free Estimate

Call or text Zoe’s ProEdge Painting today at 860-834-5500 for the individual attention, quality workmanship and outstanding customer service that your next project deserves.