Director of MasterSpec Specifications
This blog post is a continuation of How to Specify Paint: Part 1
Part 2 – Products
Part 2 begins with the Manufacturers article, which lists manufacturers that can fulfill project needs. The Master Painters Institute (MPI) Approved Products List includes many manufacturers, so even if you specify paint products by MPI numbers in the schedule at the end of Part 3, you still might want to include this article to limit bidding to selected manufacturers. By listing these manufacturers, bidders still have freedom to select multiple products within each list and products will come from manufacturers who meet your requirements.
Another article in Part 2 is Paints, General. This article provides requirements that apply to all paint materials on the job. It might include the following paragraphs:
- MPI Standards – if you're using MPI standards and the MPI Approved Products List, state that here
- Material Compatibility – here you can explicitly require that materials must be compatible with substrates and one another
- Colors – here you can reference a color schedule on the drawings rather than providing the schedule, and you can also indicate the general cost range expected if colors have not been fully selected by the time the documents are released
- VOC Content – provides specific numerical requirements for volatile organic compound (VOC) content based on the sustainability rating system used
- Low-Emitting Materials – includes requirement that materials are tested according to California Department of Public Health (CDPH)'s "Standard Method for the Testing and Evaluation of Volatile Organic Chemical Emissions from Indoor Sources Using Environmental Chambers"
VOC content is measured by taking the paint's wet volume and subtracting the water content. It is important to note that this measurement doesn't take into account the spreading rate of the paint, the number of coats required for coverage, or the paint's service life. However, using the test method outlined by CDPH provides a more accurate measurement of the deleterious effects that paint has on indoor air quality than does VOC content. VOC content measures the contribution to smog creation, thus exempting certain noxious VOCs from calculation because they don't contribute to smog, although they may affect the well-being of building occupants. But less paint and less frequent repainting can help lower VOC emissions over the life of the building.
Part 3 – Execution
This part begins with the Examination article, which lets the specifier spell out moisture content and other substrate requirements prior to the start of paint application. Here you can also define quantifiable measures that painters and field inspectors can verify.
The Preparation article covers a miscellany of preparatory requirements such as removing hardware and cover plates and cleaning surfaces. The Society for Protective Coatings field preparation methods may be included for steel that is not shop-primed.
Rather than providing a lengthy description of methods and techniques, the Application article instructs readers to apply paint systems in compliance with manufacturer's written instructions and the MPI Architectural Painting Specification Manual. Use this article to help prevent potential disagreements in the field by making explicit requirements, even though some might seem obvious; describe good practice techniques to ensure superior quality, such as coat tinting to help identify that the proper number of undercoats have been applied; and list mechanical, electrical, and piping components and equipment that should or should not be painted.
Also in Part 3, the Interior Painting Schedule lists specific substrates and MPI numbers for each coat and takes up the bulk of an unedited specification. You must cull the number of substrates and systems to match those on the project. If you choose not to use MPI numbers, there is an insert option provided.
MPI and ARCOM are jointly developing a web-based specification tool to allow specifiers to select appropriate paints and paint systems for common building surfaces and to simplify editing by producing a detailed schedule that seamlessly transfers to MasterSpec sections. (For more on this tool, read this blog post.)