I just bought a new house and moved furniture in. I noticed that the paint is really thin because it bruises easily, i.e., I cd see the cement behind it when I accidentally peeled off the sticker glue from the wall. The builder said in the contract it is 2 coats of paint. Should there also be an oil sealer before the paint is applied?

2 Answers 2


Crappy/crumbly paint is usually thin as well... and 2 coats thereof may (and often do) not cover or resist well. So it doesn't really matter how many coats are in the contract if the paint (or layer thickness) is not specified therein.

enter image description here

(Illustration from the previously linked article.)

Most industry tools/methods (destructive or non-destructive) can only measure total paint thickness, not count layers. The most reliable way to inspect/count/measure individual layers is a destructive method using a PIG (paint inspection gauge) using the ASTM D4138-07a method. The gauge cuts a v-groove that is examined using a built-in microscope, which looks like this:

enter image description here

(Image from tcq.eu.)

It takes considerable operator experience to distinguish layers of the same paint though... so if you're looking to sue or force them to repaint, better hire an expert to do this determination for you.

I've sanded a few things (to repaint) myself, and some of these had 3-4 different paints that were easy to distinguish while the sanding was going on; basically you get a much, much wider V-cut at the sanding edge... but I could never tell with the naked eye how many layers of each paint might have been there (and had no reason to get microscope).

  • Thank you very much for your time and kindness to answer the question. It will be useful for my next property investment!
    – JAYKAY
    Commented Sep 10, 2017 at 1:58
  • @JAYKAY: you can tick the accept button next to my answer, that's the "thank you" protocol here :) Commented Sep 10, 2017 at 2:53

Without going molecular, you can't tell. It's pure speculation.

Just have to use contractors you can trust.

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