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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    St Louis, Mo for the past 25 years
    Posts
    7,561

    Default spray painting floor joists in house

    I have been asked to bid a couple of basement build outs. Both jobs ares asking to have the basement floor joists painted. I have done this once or twice in the past but do have a few questions for doing it more effieciently.
    I have always been concerned about paint coming thru small gaps and showing up in the above section of the house, on the floor or elsewhere. So I have always taken time to check for opening and around things like duct work where paint might be shot thru and get where I do not want it to get. Never had a problem but taking the time to basically air seal the basement can be time consuming so wondering if it is really a necessity.
    Secondly, I was in a basement recently that already had the floor joists painted. The electrician was quite upset about all the wiring and all the boxes also being painted. He said it makes it tougher to trace wires, take boxes apart because the screws are full of paint, etc. Never did say it is a code issue and so I am thinking it was more of a thing with him. But is it a code issue?
    Was also wondering about when any new electrical work should be done? It seems to me that if done later in the project you would see a nicely painted ceiling and then a bunch of new holes and splintered areas with new wires where the rest of it would be all painted. But that would also help the inspector see what you did on this portion of the job.

    Finally, with winter coming on and the house being closed up I am wondering about advice on primers. This is a house with old dark floor joists and I would prefer to not use oil base primer to seal them up. Maybe thinking about some of the latex ones but wondering how well they might work in this application. I know that around the toilet area there are signs of water stains. They would like the joist area to be painted white. Recommendations.

    Anything else you might want to add.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    1,555

    Default Re: spray painting floor joists in house

    I've been involved in a few of these.

    I don't think air sealing is necessary. But common sense is for duct, pipe and obvious openings. Floor ducts can be taped from above. Remove the grille. Other openings too if easier to get too.

    Electrical - can't have it both ways. I don't think is a code issue as long as the conductors aren't painted but no problem if the boxes are closed up.

    Primer - A top quality latex primer - sealer like Zinnser BullsEye or 123 should do well. Maybe 2 light coats of it. Tinted gray if the finish color will be other than a neutral color. Water Stain - you'll have to use ob Cover Stain there. I'm a little concerned about knots showing through the latex on the old joists. May have to dab them with ob first ?

    Flat finishes work best on these and are easier to touch up. no / less flashing. For touch up there are small spray kits avail from Harbor Freight or other cheap China outlets that hold 4 - 8 oz paint that run on a pancake compressor.
    Steve

    "Get three coffins ready" - A Fistful of Dollars 1964

    http://youtu.be/KZ_7br_3y54

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: spray painting floor joists in house

    Regarding painting floor joists in house.

    Based off of what your describing the condition of the floor joists, you may run into problems with some latex primers. Adhesion and coverage may be hindered due to environmental issues such as smoke, tar, sap, nicotine, etc. I would always start off with latex primer in an airless sprayer. After you get a chance to see how it appears to cover, you can address splotchy areas, by spot treating areas with oil based primer using a brush. Thus, limitted clean up hastles to only water cleanup of the airless sprayer.

    I would also recomend you mask off, or bag all junction boxes, outlets, lights, smoke/CO2 detectors, etc. You will want to avoid painting latex primer on the water supply line(s) (coming into the house from the street).It will rain down diluted latex primer the entire time you are painting the rest of the floor joists. Believe me I've made that mistake! It makes a mess of your drop cloths/tarps. It may not be much of an issue in a lower humidity environment or during winter months with heat on in the mome.

    P.S. Explain to the customer that coverage will be limitted, based off of the condition of the wood. It will look splotchy in areas where sap & resin releases and due to the age of the lumber. (It will never look like a quality finish on trim work.) Make sure you cover your backside and estimate higher than normal on paint coverage. It may be worth advising the customer you may have to adjust your price based off of matterial usage. Not very professional, but it's better to forewarn them. Good luck!
    Last edited by Jet Mech; 10-24-2012 at 09:02 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    1,360

    Default Re: spray painting floor joists in house

    This is a fairly new product, I've used several times with great success. Performs just like the original oil based Kilz. Not totally odor free, but as tolerable as latex.

    http://www.kilz.com/primer/v/index.j...006b0910acRCRD
    Tom

    "Whoever ceases to be a student has never been a student." George Iles

  5. #5

    Default Re: spray painting floor joists in house

    I think you should consider painting the floor joists and bottom of the above flooring with a spray outfit just to brighten things up.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    558

    Default Re: spray painting floor joists in house

    I'm consistenly impressed with Kilz2 - waterbased and sticks to everything including paint buckets. One of my painters specifically asked what product I used that adhered to the bucket so well.

    I'd rather spray 10 gal of Kilz2 than one gal of an oil or shelac base.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    1,555

    Default Re: spray painting floor joists in house

    Don, I appreciate your comments. I would need to hear several more comments about any Kilz latex product before using.

    I tried it when they came out. It was quite a while ago. I have never used another Kilz product since.

    Kilz latex, Kilz2 is the best thing that ever happened to Zinser.

    Cover Stain - latex - looks just like the oil based can I may give a try on a job I'm looking at.
    Steve

    "Get three coffins ready" - A Fistful of Dollars 1964

    http://youtu.be/KZ_7br_3y54

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: spray painting floor joists in house

    Select the proper paint. Use water-based latex paint in a flat finish. Avoid using oil-based paints because of the noxious and potentially dangerous fumes produced by these products. Do not choose a semi or full gloss finish because the light reflection on glossy paints will draw too much attention to the ceiling. You want the ceiling to "go away," not attract attention.

    Read more: How to Paint Floor Joists for a Basement Ceiling | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_5750446_pain...#ixzz2FIDHblwx

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