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Hired contractor to finish walls and ceilings - now stuck

Hired contractor to finish walls and ceilings - now stuck

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  #1  
Old 03-22-16, 06:35 PM
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Hired contractor to finish walls and ceilings - now stuck

I knew it's too much for me and will take too long, so I hired a contractor that I dealt with before for the job.
The deal was for him to completely replace the ceiling in the living room, float the walls flat and then re-texture them with the skip trowel/santa fe finish. After that was the primer and paint consecutively.
When he was in process of floating the walls I noticed that in some spots, I'd say 25-30% of the surface, the old orangepeal was still somewhat protruding from under the mud after the first sanding and even the second sanding removed just a bit of it, the rest stayed visible and you could feel running hand over it. I told him that I don't like how it looks and it should be fixed before applying the primer. He assured me that "he will take care of it", hate that phrase, means nothing to me.
Now after he primed the ceiling and walls I can clearly see where are the spots with protrusions and again, I can feel it. In addition there are some spots where surface looks pitted, like the air bubbles came through the mud at the last stroke of the knife. They are not horrible, but also do not fit with the whole skip trowel texture theme.
I am pretty much faced with two choices now, the way I see it.
He did not perform that job he promised and reassured me that all is fine. I either have to send him home packing or have him redo the texture at his own expense. He buys the mud and primer to fix what is screwed up.
What is the right thing to do? We have no contract, my fault, because I dealt with him before and he just sent me an email with the estimate.
Can he file a mechanic lien on the property if I send him packing?
 
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  #2  
Old 03-22-16, 08:20 PM
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Can he file a mechanic lien on the property if I send him packing?
He could but the process is not easy and probably not worth it. In any case, you are required to be notified.

Also he doesn't have a lot going for him. This isn't like a contract for an addition or a new kitchen that was completed (satisfactory to contractor) and you don't want to pay. This is a job where you are unsatisfied with the promised results.

As much as possible though I would recommend trying to resolve the problem with the contractor directly. To me a skip trowel finish is nice looking and intended to look a little "crude".
 
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Old 03-22-16, 09:15 PM
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Thank you Brian,

I understand regarding the legal stuff.
Question is how should it be fixed. I am assuming he should do another finish coat or two to cover the bumps from the orangepeal and then retexture?
My problem is that I had the same thing done in a smaller area in the house and it looks flawless, so it's hard for me to justify excepting the work he just did.
Does the consecutive coats of mud suppose to be thinner then the first coat(s)?
He seems to be just plowing through with the same consistency JC and not adding any water to it. I suspect it's the root of a problem and the bubbles in the mud. I remember my dad used to add some kind of a soap to the mud with water to make it more manageable, but of course I never asked what it was.
I hate to say it, but a lot of contractors rather hope the homeowner will miss a shady work or be too embarrassed (wife) to call them on it, than do the right thing the first time. Now he'd have to redo it and spend more time, his and mine
 
  #4  
Old 03-23-16, 02:29 AM
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Hard to say without seeing it but I suspect it needs to be skim coated and then retextured. You need to have the same base under all the new texture for it to look uniform. If half of the wall is orange peel and half slick finish - no texture will make it completely uniform.

I like to add a small amount of water to the j/c because it makes it flow better. Generally bubbles in the j/c are caused by introducing air into the mud while you mix it [over mixing] I've never heard of adding soap to the mud but I am a painter, not a drywall finisher.

All that said, it's possible that minor defects in the job won't be noticeable once you get past this job and concentrate on something else - can't say for sure since I've not seen it
 
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Old 03-23-16, 06:32 AM
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thank you marksr,
i'll try to take some pictures and post, hard to see with limited light i have now. All the light fixtures are removed.
 
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Old 03-23-16, 07:07 AM
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Here are some images i was able to take with light













 
  #7  
Old 03-23-16, 09:02 AM
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That looks bad and not what I meant by rough or crude looking, that just looks terrible. It seems the guy is not proficient at skip trowel.

I would say the entire surface needs skim coated back to flat and then skip troweled.
 
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Old 03-23-16, 09:29 AM
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Some of the pics look like there was trash in the mud when he applied it

I'd run a knife across to try and scrape of the high spots, skim coat and retexture.
 
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Old 03-23-16, 09:31 AM
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There's absolutely no way that looks like either Sante Fe or skip trowel finish. I couldn't do either of those myself, but I know what it should look like and that's not it. There should at least be some consistency in the finish, but the only consistency in what I see is terrible.

Lots and lots of popped air bubbles in there too. Doesn't look like he bothered to mix his mud up before applying it to get rid of the air bubbles.
 
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Old 03-23-16, 09:40 AM
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Good point Bill! While I'm not familiar with Sante Fe texture, I am familiar with skip trowel and it would be a long stretch to call that skip trowel. I think we all agree it's not a professional looking texture job
 
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Old 03-23-16, 09:43 AM
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Thank you all!

I thought I am not crazy, wife is still not convinced though

The guy used to paint for me, but never texture work. Apparently not just for me ha?
I will tell him to redo it and then I will pay him. Otherwise it was an expensive trial work, for both him and me.
 
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Old 03-23-16, 09:49 AM
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I've always understood Skip Trowel finish to look similar to California knockdown, but with larger gaps between the flattened blobs. Santa Fe (also called Spanish knockdown) seems slightly more random with the blobs and added knife marks.

To me, what I'm seeing looks like someone removed a dozen layers of wallpaper, applied straight to the unprimed plaster in a 200yr old building and it wasn't coming off very easily. Didn't do any repairs whatsoever and just painted what was left.
 
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Old 03-23-16, 09:52 AM
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I've been painting for 13 years now and there's no way I would call myself a texture pro. It's an art and not usually a job for a handyman or a painter. I've done one California knockdown in my career and it was the least fun I've had in a long time. I think I'd rather remove the wallpaper I mentioned earlier than try to make a knockdown look good again.
 
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Old 03-23-16, 11:24 AM
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One more vote for this being unacceptably poor work.

You said someone did the job right in another room? Can you post a pic or two of that? Was this the same guy? I'd be using that room as the example of how this room is supposed to look based on what I've gleaned from your posts.
 
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Old 03-24-16, 03:28 AM
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The guy who did this hallway, was not a drywaller or painter, just a general handyman, but in my opinion did a good job with texture.
I think if I had my elbows in a little better shape, I could have doe a better job then current contractor does, but once they go, they're gone

 
  #16  
Old 03-24-16, 04:10 AM
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I have a bunch of worn out body parts too
Have you tried those pull on elastic elbow supports?
 
  #17  
Old 03-24-16, 07:06 AM
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Simply amazing, I had no idea how that was done. So you just slop some mud on the wall, let it dry then paint. Amazing, I gotta get out more.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gW2w8hzLn8k

I'd imagine it takes a lot of practice to get the pressure and mud right, I would love to try that but all I have is paneling.
 
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Old 03-24-16, 10:34 AM
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Oh yes I have,
don't work for me at all the only somewhat relieve I get is from BandIt hard plastic support
BandIT Elbow Band
 
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