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MassTransitHonchkrow

Unimpressive Paint Jobs

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I asked this to a contractor at 23rd St (1) about three months ago but I guess it wasn't a fair question for him.

 

Acrylic paint has a high luster and shine, but is highly vulnerable to the elements which the subway cannot get over easily.

 

A great many dollars go to waste when your paint can't hold up, and more so, you break your backs for nothing at all. Sisyphean effort, as it's called.

 

Have you guys ever used other paints? Rusting and peeling can be averted using an enamel. Enamel is cheaper than paint and you would have to paint less often.

 

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A column closeup at the Whitehall St (1)(R) station. DWT BMT platform, near sixth car of ten.

 

 

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The main problem is that to do a proper paint job on structural steel, you need to take it down to the bare metal and remove any rust. 9 times out of 10, that just won't happen in the subway. Plus, contracts go to the lowest bidder who will use the cheapest paint to maximize the profit on that particular job.

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Not to mention, it's not always the fault of the contractor or the paint manufacturer. The government has been constantly increasingly regulating the VOC (volatile organic compounds) in paints, requiring fewer and fewer in all paints, and discouraging use of oil in favor of latex or acrylic in most applications. Only an increasingly small number of industrial coatings are produced by most companies that contain high VOCs, or use hazardous chemicals such as lead (which is still legal, BTW, and has very important applications like on ships) which, while toxic, provide far superior coverage and durability compared to the new stuff.

 

There are procedures for the removal of old "toxic" paints, application of new "toxic" paints, drying, and curing, that are safe to follow and would not expose the public to any greater hazard than, say, breathing in steel dust all day. However, government regulations have increased the prices and reduced the availability of these products, as well as reduced the efficiency of products that are less toxic by making them even more "safe" that finding products that stand up to this type of environment is increasingly difficult, almost to the point of being a fool's errand, since it will just need to be recoated very soon anyway.

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Not to mention, it's not always the fault of the contractor or the paint manufacturer. The government has been constantly increasingly regulating the VOC (volatile organic compounds) in paints, requiring fewer and fewer in all paints, and discouraging use of oil in favor of latex or acrylic in most applications. Only an increasingly small number of industrial coatings are produced by most companies that contain high VOCs, or use hazardous chemicals such as lead (which is still legal, BTW, and has very important applications like on ships) which, while toxic, provide far superior coverage and durability compared to the new stuff.

 

There are procedures for the removal of old "toxic" paints, application of new "toxic" paints, drying, and curing, that are safe to follow and would not expose the public to any greater hazard than, say, breathing in steel dust all day. However, government regulations have increased the prices and reduced the availability of these products, as well as reduced the efficiency of products that are less toxic by making them even more "safe" that finding products that stand up to this type of environment is increasingly difficult, almost to the point of being a fool's errand, since it will just need to be recoated very soon anyway.

My concern is more around employee self esteem. I'd be wiped myself if I had to paint 100 sq ft and look up at it two weeks later.

 

Whoever painted the ceiling at Grand Army Plaza must cry in their sleep...

 

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I doubt they care all that much. It's just a job for most people.

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I doubt they care all that much. It's just a job for most people.

I wouldn't breathe easy even if I was that desperate. I would want to have other job opportunities and that's not easy if you're sickened by the first one.

 

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