Week 5 (22 – 27 Aug ’16)
It’s been exactly 5 weeks since the day we collected our keys to the new home. The past few weeks had been a relatively breezy one over the things that needed to be done.
There were small hiccups here and there though not very serious issues. My ideal MBR bedhead feature wall design could not be accommodated into the small bedroom, two of my door frames “pit” (cracked) due to the forceful strong wind that slams doors without warning. Many things originally planned for were compromised due to the smaller room sizes in general (reality check). At one point I wished that I had not bought this new home. 😦 Even though my new home is just a tad 7 sqm smaller than my current flat, my flat is so much bigger in terms of everything and I will definitely miss the sheer luxurious size of my current MBR!
In the past 1+ week, we had completed the electrical wiring, false ceiling works as well as tiling on my kitchen and yard walls. It is so stupid and thoughtless that the Architect only provided tiles on the wall behind the stove. *rolleyes* It would be so hard to maintain cleanliness and oil stains if I don’t tile it up. Due to the Architect’s stupidity, I had to fork close to $2k just to do this additional tiling.
I previously shared about my lousy painting experience at my current house as well as my study into the different types & uses for the paints available at Nippon Paint Singapore. In this post, I will focus on my experience with the Nippon Professional Painting Service – base coat application.
My renovation contractor cleared “a bit” of the rubbish in the house a day before Nippon Paint’s Project Manager, Alan and his Paint Applicator arrives. Unfortunately due to bad timing and my insistence on a piece of chipped tile to be replaced immediately, the painter had to wait a little longer for my tiler to cut few pieces of tiles before he can properly start his work. This is because the painting process should be carried out in a dust-free environment. Why? Because, common sense. With tile-cutting going on, nothing much can be done for about half an hour. They patiently waited.
Step 1 – Inspection and Smoothening of Wall Surfaces
The Nippon team arrived at 9 am in the morning. Alan, the Project Manager did a site inspection once again to make sure that all walls are proper smoothened before the base coat is applied. On walls where special attention is required, Alan gave specific instructions to his painter.
Due to earlier ceiling plastering works done before the application of base coat, there were some dried pieces of plaster on the walls. What Nippon’s painter did was to scrape off all these surface bumps by going through from room to room.
Step 2 – Protecting Existing Flooring, Wall Sockets and Carpentry/Furniture
As my new house comes with wardrobe and kitchen cabinets which my contractor has already taken their basic measure to protect, what Nippon Painter had to do was to take an additional measure to seal over the floor skirting and all wall sockets/switches. Nothing was missed.
At places where paint splattering might occur, he draped a Nippon-approved plastic sheet over my full-height cabinets.
As progress was underway to carry out protection works, Alan shared with me that Nippon Paint Applicators are from a limited pool of painters who have gone through Nippon’s training and has not received much complains. They are not allowed to take any private painting jobs except those assigned by Nippon Paint Singapore. They also use only Nippon-approved materials and painting tools.
Step 3 – Apply Base Coat (Sealer)
I noticed that Alan has replaced the sealer paint for base coat from ExpressKote (water-based) to Vinilex 5170 (solvent or more commonly called oil-based). Alan informed that since we don’t need to shift in urgently, we have all the time to let the paint dry well. Based on my observation, the first room that was applied with the sealer appears to have dried (no light reflection compared to a freshly painted surface) by 4 pm as the last wall located behind the main door was just being freshly applied. The timeline matched the catalogue description of 5 hours.
Being oil-based, the Vinilex 5170 sealer can provide the best sealing ability with a blend of solvents that are able to penetrate deeply into the wall and to provide a firmer base for subsequent (top) coats. It also protects against mould problem better. The paint smell did linger in the house for another 1-2 days as I closed all my windows tightly after locking the door for the day. After the initial 2 days, there was not a single hint of paint smell left.
For comparison purposes, ExpressKote Sealer is typically used for same-day job where owners are already staying in the house or room. Owners, if already staying in his/her house would typically want a complete job with top coat painted over and furniture moved back into position all within the same day. This calls for the need for fast-drying, low odour sealer without sacrificing on quality. It is stated in the paint catalogue that ExpressKote Sealer has low odour and takes just 2 hours to dry. The top coat can be painted over the sealer almost immediately within the same day too.
Cost-wise, Vinilex 5170 is about $10 more than ExpressKote Sealer based on same 5-Litre tin.
Nippon’s Paint Applicator started painting the house from “inside out”. The furthest room (from the main door) was painted first and he moved from room to room thereafter. In every room, he started with the ceiling and followed by the walls. I also noticed that the poor guy shut all windows during painting and drying process because he wanted to minimize the risk of having renovation dusts finding their spot on the fresh paint. There was no ventilation and no wind while he was at work. He told me that renovation dust from carpentry work or tile-cutting / hacking of walls between the base coat and top coat can mean a potentially resulting bad paint job many years down the road because the top coat could not stick to the base coat well. While the work within my own house has stopped, other work is on-going from my neighbour’s houses and the wind can bring in these dusts onto my freshly-painted walls. To describe this in another more familiar way, it is like sticking a protective film (top coat) on a dusty handphone surface (base coat). No matter what you do, the film would not stick well and will soon drop off. Total waste of money, isn’t it?? For just an estimated amount of $400-500 (just for base coat for whole house), I could enjoy peace of mind without paint flaking or turning powdery for the next decade. It also can help to hide hairline crack on the walls. That works out to be only $40-50 per year?? It totally makes sense!
As soon as all the rooms were painted with the sealer, he progressed to the walk way and out into the living and dining area until the last wall at my main door had been painted. As I could not stay for the entire duration while he was there, I left him alone at my house when I had to fetch the kids and only came back when he called me after completing his work.
Step 4 – Inspection of Completed Work with Nippon Paint Applicator
When I returned, he invited me to carry out a joint inspection and we went through each room with him showing me his completed work. Only when I am satisfied, then he began packing his stuff. The driver uncle who came to pick him (and his tools) told me that I’m very clever to paint my house with a sealer coat and that most house owners he came across omitted doing that because they believed that the developer had already painted for them. He told me that what most house owners failed to understand (including myself prior to my own experience with my current flat) is the use of different quality of paint and the cost that went into it during building and construction stage.
For large-scale painting job, I found out that all the main contractor could provide was a fast and the cheapest option to satisfy the minimal requirements based on contract specifications. The workers will tape up all socket, floor and window frames then make use a sprayer to spray the paint everywhere. They don’t have the luxury of time to apply roller in 15-cm widths for all 300-1000 units in a development. Assuming it takes a painter one day to finish one paint coat in a unit, if there are 400 units in a development, it will take more than one year to complete just one paint layer! Even if the contractor puts in 10 painters for the development, it will also take one entire month and still cost the boss an estimated $15k in salary alone. The overhead is too high! With spray-painting, they can do it in less that half the time and just needed two workers to do the work.
For the same reason, the main contractor will not use premium quality paint if the tender documents never called for it. Which contractor will be so goondu? >.<
I will be sharing more about the Nippon Professional Painting Service when they come for the top coat paint works in about two weeks’ time. With top coat painting completed, it will signify the magical transformation of the house from an unfurnished bare white to a fully-furnished state that is ready for move in!
❤ I CAN’T WAIT ANYMORE!!! ❤
In between, I will also try to blog about the other bits of my renovation before the painting of top coat is carried out. Many exciting things has happened and I took lots of photographs hoping to share when I have time!
In the meantime, Nippon is currently running a very special price for One-Bedroom Promotion which will last til 30th September 2016. The promotional price of $299 (without sealer) consists of 1 ceiling paint using Matex and 1 choice of colour for walls using Vinilex 5000 paint and is only entitled to 1-room per house (I would highly encourage the additional top up of $50 for the right sealer). Promotion is only applicable for standard bedroom size of up to 150 sqft with ceiling height of up to 2.6 m. Additional charges will be incurred for bigger bedroom. And lastly, all paintings must be completed by 30th September 2016. Refer to the website for more information or call 6319 7222 for details.
Let us know if you are doing any painting works as well! We would love to take a peek and get some fresh ideas too!
~ SAys! Shirley 🙂
I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to experience the Nippon Professional Painting Services package. We were not remunerated monetarily for the review, all opinions and experiences remain our own alone. Photographs unless otherwise stated are copyright of Nippon Paint Singapore. All other photos remain the copyright property of SAys! Happy Mums and may not be reproduced without prior notice or written permission given.