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Fast Turnaround Maintenance Painting

August 26, 2013

Well maintained mechanical rooms, janitor closets, laundries, back-corridors, stairways, etc., contribute to positive employee attitudes. They also promote safer working conditions and valuable public relations when viewed by the public.

Frequently, however, maintenance painting is postponed due to:

  • surface preparation requirements
  • paint odor complaints
  • paints taking too long to dry

The common mandate that a surface must be dry, clean and sound before maintenance painting is a major barrier to fast turnaround. This is because “cleaning” usually requires wetting the surface, which then requires more time for drying. However, using a non-woven abrasive to prepare the surface, then applying fast-drying, low odor acrylic paints provides both fast turnaround maintenance painting and great results.

A non-woven abrasive, like 3M ScotchBrite®, and a vacuum can be used to clean the surface without wetting it*.  The non-woven abrasives will loosen old paint, dirt, etc., and roughen glossy surfaces to ensure adhesion of the new paint. After scuff-cleaning, the surface is vacuumed to remove loosened material resulting in a dry, clean and sound substrate ready for maintenance painting. (*Spot clean oily areas with a cleaner/degreaser prior to scuff-cleaning.)

Slow drying paint and paint with strong odor are two more reasons projects are postponed.  Application of paint is relatively quick, but there can be large differences between the dry time and odor of paints. Fortunately, there is a new class of water base acrylic paints, like the Carbit 387 Series. It dries to touch in 30 minutes, can be recoated in 1 hour, and withstands foot traffic in two hours. Best of it all, it has practically no odor.

The picture below illustrates a successful application of this procedure.  This mechanical room floor (3000 sq. ft.) was prepped and painted by three people in four hours and fully back in service within a single work shift.



 In conclusion, maintenance painting can be performed without shut down.  Keep the surfaces dry by removing contaminants with non-woven abrasives and vacuuming. Reduce odor complaints and dry time by applying low-odor, fast-drying acrylic paints.

For more information on the “mechanical room” project download  Easy Floor Maintenance.

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