Historic Preservation - Technical Procedures
General Guidelines For Painting Exterior And Interior Surfaces
Fed Bldg And Uspo/Spokane, Wa - Gsa/Pbs, March 1991
General Guidelines For Painting Exterior And Interior Surfaces
GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR PAINTING EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR SURFACES
A. This procedure includes general guidelines for painting
and finishing interior and exterior surfaces. General
descriptions pertaining to surface preparation, priming
and application of finish coats are also provided here
and, where called for, should be used along with shop
priming and surface treatment specified in other
B. Paint exposed surfaces whether or not colors are
designated in "schedules," except where a surface or
material is specifically shown not to be painted or is to
remain natural. Where an item or surface is not
specifically mentioned, paint the same as similar
adjacent materials or surfaces. If color or finish is
not designated, the contracting officer will select from
standard colors or finishes available.
C. Painting is not required on prefinished items, finished
metal surfaces, concealed surfaces (except as may be
specified in other repair procedures) and operating
parts. Do not paint over Underwriter's Laboratories,
Factory Mutual or other code-required labels or equipment
name, identification, performance rating, or nomenclature
D. For guidance on surface preparation, see the following:
1. For wood, see 06300-02-R.
2. For iron and steel, see 05010-05-R.
E. For general information on primers and paints, see the
1. For wood, see 06300-01-S.
2. For iron and steel, see 05010-13-S.
F. For guidance on paint removal, see the following:
1. For wood, see 06400-07-R, 06400-02-S, 06400-09-R.
2. For iron and steel, see 05010-05-R, 05010-16-R and
3. For masonry, see 04211-14-R.
A. "Paint" includes coating systems materials, primers,
emulsions, enamels, stains, sealers and fillers, and
other applied materials whether used as prime,
intermediate, or finish coats.
A. Product Data: (Submit to the appropriate Cultural
Resources Manager (CRM) or designated representative for
1. Provide manufacturers' technical information, label
analysis, and application instructions for each
material proposed for use.
2. List each material and cross-reference the specific
coating and finish system and application.
Identify each material by the manufacturer's
catalog number and general classification.
B. Samples: Provide samples of each color and material to
be applied, with texture to simulate actual conditions,
on representative samples of the actual substrate.
1. Define each separate coat, including block fillers
and primers. Use representative colors when
preparing samples for review. Resubmit until
required sheen, color, and texture is achieved.
2. Provide a list of materials and application for
each coat of each sample. Label each sample as to
location and application.
1.04 QUALITY ASSURANCE
A. Qualifications: Restoration Specialist: Work must be
done by a firm having not less than 10 years' successful
experience in comparable painting
restoration/rehabilitation projects and employing
personnel skilled in the processes and operations
B. Source of Materials: Provide primers and undercoat paint
produced by the same manufacturer as the finish coats.
Primers and undercoat paints shall be made to be used
with the selected finish coat.
C. Regulatory Requirements:
1. Codes and Standards: Comply with all pertinent
codes and regulations, including the minimum
standards for materials and application as set
forth in the Architectural Specifications Manual,
latest edition as published by Specification
Services, Washington State Council Painting and
Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA), 23830
Pacific Hwy. S., Suite 102, Kent, WA 98032, (206)
2. Comply with applicable recommendations of the Steel
Structures Painting Council (SSPC) and PDCA's
Architectural Specifications Manual.
3. Where choice of painting method is to be selected
from several options in SSPC and PDCA
recommendations, obtain contracting officer's
representatives review and approval before start of
D. Field Samples: On wall surfaces and other exterior and
interior components, duplicate finishes of prepared
1. Provide full-coat finish samples on at least 200
sq. ft. minimum of surface until required sheen,
color and texture are obtained.
2. Simulate finished lighting conditions for review of
in place work.
3. Final acceptance of colors will be from job-applied
4. The contracting officer's representatives will
select one room or surface to represent surfaces
and conditions for each type of coating and
substrate to be painted.
a. Apply coatings in this room or surface
according to the schedule or as specified.
b. After finishes are accepted, this room or
surface will be used for evaluation of coating
systems of a similar nature.
E. Coordination of Work:
1. Review other sections in which primers are provided
to ensure compatibility of the total systems for
2. On request, furnish information on characteristics
of finish materials to ensure use of compatible
3. Notify the contracting officer of problems
anticipated using the materials specified.
F. Inspections and Tests: Work in this procedure is subject
to inspection and testing according to the provisions of
the Architectural Specifications Manual, latest edition.
Payment for inspection and testing service is
responsibility of the contractor. Notify Inspection
Agency at least four full working days before starting
work. Allow full access to the work and give full
cooperation always with the Inspection Agency in the
performance of their duties in inspection and testing of
1. The Inspection Agency will make field control tests
specified after this for surfaces requiring
painting and finishing and shall notify the
specifying authority, in writing, of any defects or
problems before starting work in this
specification, or after failure of, or defects in,
the prime coat or substrate provided by other
trades. Furnish approved or alternate materials
for testing, from the source or job site, upon
request of the Inspection Agency.
G. Inspection Agency: Paint testing and inspection shall be
done by an independent Inspection Agency acceptable to
the specifying authority and as endorsed by specification
H. Material Quality:
1. Provide the manufacturer's best quality trade sale
paint material of the various coating types
specified. Paint material containers not
displaying manufacturers' product identification
will not be acceptable.
2. Federal Specifications establish a minimum quality
level for paint materials, except where other
product identification is used. Provide written
certification from the manufacturer that materials
provided meet or exceed these criteria.
3. Products that comply with qualitative requirements
of applicable Federal Specifications, yet differ in
quantitative requirements, may be considered for
use when acceptable to the contracting officer's
representative. Furnish material data and
manufacturer's certificate of performance to
contracting officer's representative for proposed
1.05 DELIVERY, STORAGE AND HANDLING
A. Packing and Shipping: Deliver materials to the job site
in the manufacturer's original, unopened packages and
containers bearing manufacturers' name and label and the
1. Product name or title of material.
2. Product description (generic classification or
3. Federal Specification number, if applicable.
4. Manufacturers' stock number and date of
5. Contents by volume, for pigment and vehicle
6. Thinning instructions.
7. Application instructions.
8. Color, name and number.
B. Storage and Protection:
1. Store materials not in use in tightly covered
containers in a well-ventilated area at a minimum
ambient temperature of 45 degrees F. (7 degrees
C.). Maintain containers used in storage in a
clean condition, free of foreign materials and
2. Protect from freezing. Keep storage area neat and
orderly. Remove oily rags and waste daily. Take
necessary measures to ensure that workers and work
areas are protected from fire and health hazards
resulting from handling, mixing, and application.
3. Do not open containers of coatings or components
unless for immediate use. Keep containers closed
when not in use.
1.06 PROJECT/SITE CONDITIONS
A. Environmental Requirements:
1. Apply water-based paints only when the temperature
of surfaces to be painted and surrounding air
temperatures are between 500 F. (100 C.) and 900 F.
(320 C.). Do not apply if, within 24 hours after
application, temperature is expected to fall below
400 F. (40 C.).
2. Apply solvent-thinned paints only when the
temperature of surfaces to be painted and
surrounding air temperatures are between 450 F. (70
C.) and 950 F. (350 C.).
3. Do not apply paint in snow, rain, fog or mist when
the relative humidity exceeds 85%, at temperatures
less than 50 F. (30 C.) above the dew point, or to
damp or wet surfaces.
4. Painting may continue during inclement weather if
surfaces and areas to be painted are enclosed and
heated within temperature limits specified by the
manufacturer during applications and drying
5. Do not apply paint when dust is present. Program
surface preparation and painting so that dust and
other contaminants from the surface preparation
process and other work done will not fall or settle
in wet, newly painted surfaces.
6. Do not apply paint to interior surfaces until the
area is enclosed. Paint surfaces which will be
inaccessible for painting.
7. Protect other work whether to be painted or not
against defacement or damage by painting. Use
masking materials to protect adjacent surfaces and
8. Comply with manufacturers' instructions for paint
curing period temperatures, humidity and time
9. On wood, do not apply paint when the moisture
content of the wood exceeds 12% as measured by an
electronic moisture meter.
10. Lighting: Work under this section shall not
proceed unless adequate lighting is available.
11. Ventilation: Assure that there is adequate
ventilation for the type of coating and cleaning
materials used. If necessary, consult paint
manufacturer for recommendations.
12. Paint pots shall not be cleaned at sinks or other
drainage facilities nor shall any debris be allowed
to run into drainage lines of the building.
13. All fine arts, furniture and adjacent finishes
shall be protected with drop cloths or other
suitable methods from paint spatters, dirt or other
damage during the progress of the work, and the
contractor will be held responsible for any damage
to fine arts incident to the work done under the
A. Unless otherwise indicated, furnish scheduled products
according to Chapters Five, Six and Seven of referenced
Architectural Specifications Manual, including paint,
varnish, stain, enamel, lacquer, fillers, and related
products for prime, intermediate, and finish coats.
1. Materials not specifically suggested, but required,
such as linseed oil, shellac, thinners and the like
are to be of quality not less than required by
applicable Federal or State Specification
B. Proprietary names used to designate colors or materials
are not intended to imply that products of named
manufacturers are required to exclusion of equivalent
products of other manufacturer.
C. Color Pigments: Pure, nonfading, applicable types to
suit substrates and service suggested.
1. Lead content in pigment, if any, is limited to
contain not more than 0.06% lead, as lead metal
based on the nonvolatile total (dry-film) of paint
NOTE: THE USE OF LEAD-BASE PAINTS HAS BEEN
RESTRICTED SINCE 1978.
D. Paint may be thinned only when recommended by the
manufacturer's printed instructions. Type of thinner and
quantity shall be as specified by the manufacturer.
F. Undercoat Materials
G. Interior and Exterior Finish Paint Material
A. For Brush Application:
1. Natural bristle brushes: Precondition by soaking
in raw linseed oil for 24 hours.
B. For Roller Application:
1. Pipe rollers
C. For Mechanical Application:
1. Hot-air spray
2. Cold-air spray (automatic or hand)
3. Electrostatic air spray (powder or fluid)
A. Examine substrates and conditions under which painting
will be done for compliance with requirements for
application of paint.
B. Do not begin paint application until unsatisfactory
conditions have been corrected.
C. Start of surface preparation/painting is the applicator's
notice that the surfaces and conditions within a
particular area are acceptable to begin work.
NOTE: See also surface preparation procedures for specific
materials referenced in Part 1 of this procedure.
1. Do all preparation and cleaning procedures in
strict accordance with the paint manufacturer's
instructions and as herein specified, for each
particular substrate condition.
2. Remove hardware and hardware accessories, plates,
machined surfaces, lighting fixtures, and similar
items in place that are not to be painted, or
provide surface-applied protection before surface
preparation and painting.
a. Remove these items if necessary for complete
painting of the items and adjacent surfaces.
b. Following completion of painting operations in
each space or area, have items reinstalled by
workers skilled in the trades involved.
3. Adjacent surfaces shall be protected against
spatters, stains, or soiling. Each coat of primer
or paint shall be evenly spread without skips,
runs, sags, and clogging, and allowed to dry before
next coat is applied.
4. Provide ample illumination in areas where painting
work is in progress to fully light the work being
a. Examine areas and conditions where painting is
to be done and correct any defects before
beginning paint application.
b. Starting to paint is applicator's notice that
surface preparation is acceptable.
B. Surface Preparation: Clean and prepare new surfaces to
be painted according to the manufacturer's instructions
for each particular substrate condition.
1. Clean surfaces before applying paint or surface
a. Remove oil and grease before cleaning.
b. Schedule cleaning and painting so that dust
and other contaminants from the cleaning
process will not fall on wet, newly painted
2. Hand sand between each undercoat and finish coats
on smooth surface materials where oil and synthetic
resin base paint and varnish systems are scheduled.
a. Use extra-fine sandpaper on painted surfaces.
b. Remove dust from surfaces after sanding with
c. Note any additional requirement for rubbed
finishes on architectural woodwork, scheduled
with that finish.
C. Materials Preparation: Carefully mix and prepare paint
materials according to manufacturers' directions.
1. Maintain containers used in mixing and application
of paint in a clean condition, free of foreign
materials and residue.
2. Stir material before application to produce a
mixture of uniform density; stir as required during
application. Do not stir surface film into
material. Remove film and, if necessary, strain
material before using.
3. Use only thinners approved by the paint
manufacturer, and only within recommended limits.
4. Tinting: Tint each undercoat a lighter shade to
ease identification of each coat where multiple
coats of the same material are applied. Tint
undercoats to match the color of the finish coat,
but provide sufficient differences in shade of
undercoats to distinguish each separate coat.
3.03 ERECTION, INSTALLATION, APPLICATION
1. Assume all responsibility for paint coats applied
over surfaces and undercoats which have not been
approved by CRM.
2. Remove paint and apply any additional coats of
paint, as directed by CRM, where surface
preparation and undercoats have not been approved
before finish painting.
3. Provide finish coats that are compatible with
4. Where different colors meet, provide a clear line
of natural juncture.
5. Apply additional coats when undercoats, stains, or
other conditions show through the final coat of
paint until paint film is of uniform finish, color,
and appearance. Give special attention to ensure
that surfaces, including edges, corners, crevices,
welds, and exposed fasteners, receive a dry film
thickness equivalent to that of flat surfaces.
6. Finish doors on tops, bottoms and side edges, the
same as the exterior faces.
7. Paint the back sides of access panels, removable or
hinged covers to match the exposed surfaces.
a. The term "exposed surfaces" includes areas
visible when permanent or built-in fixtures,
grilles, and similar components are in place.
b. Extend coatings in these areas as required to
maintain the system integrity and provide
8. Paint surfaces behind movable equipment and
furniture the same as similar exposed surfaces.
9. Paint surfaces behind permanently fixed equipment
or furniture with prime coat only before final
installation of equipment.
10. Include field prime coats on metalwork in addition
to any shop prime coats.
11. Sand lightly between each succeeding enamel and
NOTE: DO NOT PAINT OVER DIRT, RUST, SCALE, GREASE, MOISTURE,
SCUFFED SURFACES, OR CONDITIONS DETRIMENTAL TO FORMATION OF A
DURABLE SMOOTH PAINT FILM.
B. Scheduling Painting:
1. Apply the first coat to surfaces cleaned,
pretreated, or otherwise prepared for painting when
practicable after preparation and before subsequent
2. Allow sufficient time between successive coats to
allow proper drying. Do not recoat until paint has
dried to where it feels firm, and does not deform
or feel sticky under moderate thumb pressure and
where application of another coat of paint does not
cause lifting or loss of adhesion of the undercoat.
C. Apply paint following manufacturers' directions. Use
applicators and techniques best suited for substrate and
type of material being applied.
NOTE: CLOUDINESS, SPOTTING, HOLIDAYS, LAPS, BRUSH MARKS,
RUNS, SAGS, ROPINESS, OR OTHER SURFACE IMPERFECTIONS WILL
NOT BE ACCEPTABLE.
1. Methods of Application:
a. Brush application:
1) Brush-out and work brush coats in both
directions onto the surfaces in a uniform
2) Use brushes best suited for the type of
material being applied.
3) Neatly draw all glass and color break
b. Roller application:
1) Roll-out and work roller coats in both
directions onto the surfaces in a uniform
2) Sleeves used on the rollers to be clean,
full clipped pile, or as recommended by
paint manufacturer for material and
3) Use brush at corners, fasteners,
irregular surfaces or items, and other
c. Mechanical application:
NOTE: USE MECHANICAL METHODS FOR PAINT
APPLICATION ONLY WHEN ACCEPTABLE. CONSULT
1) Spray painting, if permitted, should be
accomplished using pressure settings,
application technique, spray tip, mesh
filter screens, and mesh tip strainer as
recommended by the coating manufacturer.
2) Do not double back with spray equipment
to build up film thickness of two coats
in one pass.
2. Minimum Coating Thickness:
a. Apply materials at not less than the
manufacturer's recommended spreading rate.
Provide a total dry film thickness of the
entire system as recommended by the
b. The number of coats and film thickness
required is the same, despite the application
method. Do not apply succeeding coats until
the previous coat has cured as recommended by
the manufacturer. Sand between applications
where sanding is required to produce an even
smooth surface according to the manufacturer's
3. Prime Coats: PRIME COAT APPLICATION SHOULD MATCH
ORIGINAL FINISH APPLICATION.
NOTE: BRUSH APPLY ALL PRIME COATS UNLESS OTHERWISE
ALLOWED TO USE ROLLER OR MECHANICAL APPLICATORS.
a. Before application of finish coats, apply a
prime coat of material as recommended by the
manufacturer to material required to be
painted or finished and has not been prime
coated by others.
b. Recoat primed and sealed surfaces where
evidence of suction spots or unsealed areas in
first coat appears, to assure a finish coat
with no burn through or other defects due to
c. Omit primer on metal surfaces that have been
shop-primed and touch up painted.
4. Top Coats: TOP COAT APPLICATION SHOULD MATCH
ORIGINAL FINISH APPLICATION.
a. Mechanical and Electrical Work: Painting
mechanical and electrical work is limited to
items exposed in mechanical equipment rooms
and in occupied spaces.
b. Block Fillers: Apply block fillers to
concrete masonry block at a rate to ensure
complete coverage with pores filled.
c. For Stipple Enamel Finish: Roll and
redistribute paint to an even and fine
texture. Leave no evidence of rolling such as
laps, irregularity in texture, skid marks, or
other surface imperfections.
d. For Pigmented (Opaque) Finishes: Completely
cover to provide an opaque, smooth surface of
uniform finish, color, appearance, and
coverage. Cloudiness, spotting, holidays,
laps, brush marks, runs, sags, ropiness, or
other surface imperfections will not be
e. For Transparent (Clear) Finishes: Use
multiple coats to produce a glass-smooth
surface film of even luster. Provide a finish
free of laps, cloudiness, color irregularity,
runs, brush marks, orange peel, nail holes, or
other surface imperfections.
5. Completed Work:
a. Match approved samples for color, texture, and
coverage. Remove, refinish, or repaint work
not in compliance with specified requirements.
b. Finish painted surfaces shall be free of
clouding due to noncoverage of ground coats or
surfaces to which applied. Finish coat shall
match specified color.
1) Edges adjoining other materials or colors
shall be true without overlapping.
2) Each coat shall be applied to ornamental
work in a way that will not obscure
ornament and texture.
3) Each coat shall be even.
3.04 FIELD QUALITY CONTROL
A. GSA reserves the right to invoke the following test
procedure any time and as often as it deems necessary
during the period when paint is being applied.
1. GSA may engage the services of an independent
testing laboratory to sample the paint material
being used. Samples of material delivered to the
project will be taken, identified, sealed, and
certified in the presence of the contractor.
2. The testing laboratory will do appropriate tests
for the following characteristics as required by
a. Quantitative materials.
b. Abrasion resistance.
c. Apparent reflectivity.
g. Accelerated weathering.
h. Dry opacity.
i. Accelerated yellowness.
l. Color retention.
m. Alkali and mildew resistance.
B. If the test results show that the paint materials do not
comply with the specified requirements, stop the painting
work, and remove noncomplying paint; repaint surfaces
coated with the rejected paint; remove rejected paint
from previously painted surfaces if, upon repainting with
the specified paint, the two coatings are noncompatible.
corrective methods as directed.