Director of MasterSpec Specifications
Specifying paint can be difficult, but this is a faster and more cost-effective process when the specifications are prepared by editing prewritten text rather than writing them from scratch. Specifiers can use MasterSpec Section 099123 "Interior Painting" as a basis for their paint specification, which is designed for use with Master Painters Institute Approved Products List.
As you probably know, the Construction Specification Institute's SectionFormat establishes a standard, which MasterSpec follows, for presenting requirements within sections. MasterSpec organizes each section into three parts:
- Part 1 – General: Contains administrative and procedural requirements unique to the section
- Part 2 – Products: Details assemblies, products, and materials to be incorporated into the project
- Part 3 – Execution: Outlines installation of assemblies, products, and materials, including preparation, installation, cleaning, and protection; sometimes concludes with a schedule, which is a concise list of products and their locations within a project
Part 1 – General
One of the first articles of Part 1 is the Summary. As the specifier, you should provide a general, succinct list—not an all-inclusive list—of painted substrates so reader can quickly assess the section's content; include the Related Requirements paragraph, which cross-references other sections that contain requirements readers might expect to find in this section but are specified elsewhere; and only list sections requiring reference or coordination, such as those specifying shop-priming of products that are later field-finished.
Another article included in Part 1 is the Definitions article, where you can define terms unique to the section and that aren't defined elsewhere. It can also be used to define gloss levels, for instance, because they vary from one manufacturer to the next.
In the Action Submittals article, you should include written and graphic information and physical samples that require the architect to review and then respond to the contractor (unlike Informational Submittals, which do not need to be returned to the contractor). Examples of action submittals include:
- Product Data – may include data sheets or other standardized information specific to each product
- Sustainability Submittals – may include data indicating volatile organic compound content or lab test reports
- Samples – may include color charts if colors and other characteristics have not been preselected
- Product List – requires submission of a contractor-prepared schedule of paint products and systems indicating locations and colors
The Maintenance Materials Submittals article allows you to require a specified amount of paint to be packaged, labeled, and set aside for the owner's later use to avoid the difficulty that can come with matching paint colors.
Part 1 also includes the Quality Assurance article, which is on-site quality control activity prior to construction, not to be confused with source quality control, which occurs at the factory during manufacture, and field quality control, which occurs at the site during construction. In this article, you can require mockups, or the painting of a test surface, to demonstrate aesthetic effects and set a quality standard for the remainder of the job. Mockups are a good idea when aesthetics are a concern, but don't use mockups as backdoor approvals; properly document any changes to the colors or paint system materials (using, for instance, Change Orders or Construction Change Directives).
The Delivery, Storage, and Handling article requires that paint is stored at not less than 45 degrees F (or 7 degrees C) and that waste is removed daily. If necessary, you can insert special requirements for fire protection, heating, ventilation, and other conditions for on-site storage areas.
Another article you can use in Part 1 is Field Conditions, in which you can specify surface and ambient air temperatures and relative humidity critical for proper application of paint. By defining these parameters in the specification, you alert painters to the range of conditions necessary for work to proceed and also give field inspectors clear, precise guidelines for rejection of work.
For information on MasterSpec sections' Parts 2 and 3, look out for the following blog post.