Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

September, 2009

Calculating Paint Waste

Q. We paint structural steel using a 73% solids zinc rich epoxy primer onto a blast prepped surface, normally H or I beams using a graco xtemix plural pump with a 313 reversible tip. How do I calculate wasteage for the purposes of pricing jobs?

A. Transfer efficiency is a measure of the amount of paint that is deposited on a surface, relative to the amount of paint applied. In the case you describe the transfer efficiency of the zinc-rich primer application can be as high as 70%, or as low as 25%. TE is a function of the technique the painter uses to apply the coating, and is also a function of the shape and size of the H and I beams. The are many more factors that affect TE, but the ones I mentioned have a significant affect on how much paint will be wasted.

Since I haven't seen your painters in action, I suggest you use 60% TE as your basis. In other words, you can assume that 40% of the primer will be wasted.


Ron Joseph

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