International Paints

When I first got my garage I did something with it that no other person near me seemed to have thought of. I put my car in it! Although that meant it was protected from the general dust that is created when you live hear a worksite, it wasn’t protected from the dust falling from the concrete walls.

I would leave the car in the garage for a day or two and find it covered in a white dust, something that I needed to remedy quickly otherwise I’d soon get bored of washing the car every weekend whether it had been driven or not. Plus concrete dust on paintwork isn’t a very good idea.

So I decided to seal it, and found some perfect looking paint in the local B&Q. Despite the expense, I bought it and headed home to being the painting.

Everything went well, two coats of the sealant and a few days later there was no dust, a few weeks, still no dust. Superb. I left the entire insides of the garage painted with the sealant for a few months and was really happy with it.

Then I decided a nice coating of paint would look great. So we white emulsioned the walls and ceiling to reflect light and brighten the place up. For the floor I decided on the special rubber type garage floor paint from the same company that produced the sealant.

A nice smokey blue colour was the only one that really stood out (I mean it almost matched the car as well!). So a couple of coats of that, five days of drying and we were ready to put the car back in. It looked superb and protected the floor like a dream.

Now the thing to realise is that my car doesn’t do much mileage. I managed to chalk up 3,500 miles in the first year of owning it, and that included a trip to the west coast and a few trips back home to Aberdeen. Mainly it’s used for running into town, round to see the girlfriends parents and shopping. I know, but I love it, and being in a city such as Edinburgh the damage caused by driving round the roads isn’t worth it, neither is the lack of any parking in town!

So the point is it doesn’t go out for big runs much, but after the first big run I put it back in the garage and returned a day later to drive it out again. That’s when I noticed something. There were four marks where the tyres had been sitting. I got out and had a look and saw that the paint and the sealant had been lifted in a tyre tread pattern. Quickly I checked the tyres and noticed the very same thing there.

This happened a few times and always after I’d taken the car out on a long trip and the tyres were really hot. It would be left a day, you’d come back, and the paint had stuck to the tyres lifting the sealant with it.

I was confused. I drive straight in and out of the garage, there’s no real turning of the wheel on the floor so there’s not a lot of friction. Plus the solid roof of the car sits on it’s stand a lot and moving this stand takes some effort and dragging of plastic wheels, nothing ever comes off the floor there. In fact no paint had come off anywhere in the garage except for underneath the tyres, and none of that paint had ripped off, it had all melted and stuck itself to the tyres.

Obviously I was concerned. The paint advertised itself as being heavy duty and suitable for car tyres. Yet it’s not. For some reason the paint is sticking to the tyres of my car when they’re hot, and taking the sealant with it. Everywhere else the paint is steadfast.

So I complained to the company and put it very clearly what was wrong.

They have asked the following question:

I used your concrete sealant ( followed by your quick drying garage floor paint ( on my garage floor. I followed all instructions and left plenty of time between applications.

Now I am finding that the paint is coming off the floor and taking the sealant with it. The floor has been painted for approximately two weeks. My car has been in and out of the garage about four times, and the tyres are not turned on the floor as the garage is too narrow. The sealant was on for a few weeks prior to the paint being applied and that had no problems. This problem has only appeared since applying the paint you recommend to use.

Can you please advise why your paint is not providing the service it states and what should be done now. Please note I have followed all preparation instructions and my floor is not affected by damp.

I would appreciate an answer within five working days.

So that email scurried off on the 31st August using their online web form. On the 6th of September I received a response asking for the batch numbers of the paint. I gave them this information on the 10th along with more details.

Many thanks for the prompt return.

The following numbers are attached to the paint tins. Clear – ED7728UF 0226 and Paint – P054527011.

The preparation methods were as instructed. The floor did not have lose material, but none the less a hard bristle brush was used a number of times to clear the floor of everything including dust. Once the dust was no longer being visibly brushed away was when the painting began.

The clear sealant was on the floor for approximately a month before the paint was applied. It was obvious from the darker colouration of the clear sealant that it remained on the floor, even in the position of the car tyres.

The paint was applied over the sealant following the same preparation instructions. The floor was swept repeatedly with the hard bristle brush until no material remained. The paint was left for the five days to set before anything was placed in the garage.

Still to this date the paint has not lifted in any other place apart from where the tyres touch the floor. It has lifted both the paint and the sealant. Paint has not lifted from any other of the objects in the garage, including the Hard Top carrier with Hard Top on it, or the stacked five tier shelving unit.

I hope this information assists.

The response I got back was pretty standard, suggesting that I had not prepared the concrete correctly. Well if this were the case the paint would be coming lose in other areas, and the paint would not be glued to my tyres, it would be lying lose on the floor. Not so. Here’s their response.

We write in response to your e-mail of the 10th September and apologise for the delay in replying to you.

We note from your e-mail that the floor was prepared by being brushed with a hard bristle brush prior to application of the International Concrete Sealer.

The instructions on the International Concrete Sealer state that a bare concrete floor should be in a sound condition, clean, dry and free from grease, oil, dirt and other contaminants and that the floor should be wire brushed to remove the brittle surface layer which forms as concrete dries.

While we appreciate that you considered the floor had been adequately prepared, the information given in your e-mail suggests that the detachment is not occurring at the interface of the coating and the floor, but between the brittle surface layer and the concrete beneath. The coating remaining firmly attached to the concrete laitence. This indicates that failure is not of the coating, but of the substrate beneath.

Our recommendation in this instance would be to thoroughly wire brush the concrete in the affected areas. A coat of Garage Floor Paint thinned by 10% with white spirit can then be applied. A further full coat should be applied after leaving the appropriate drying time.

We trust the above proves comprehensive, but please do not hesitate to contact us should you require further information.

It was comprehensive, but they’d failed to capture the point of my email. I wrote back again.

Thank you for your email regarding the problem with the painted garage floor, and I understand your suggested treatment methods and that there may be a brittle surface of concrete on surfaces, however I do not feel that this is the case, if it were the paint would be breaking free of the concrete in several places, for instance under the carrier for the Hard Top Roof for my car.

This is a very large and heavy item (with the Hard Top attached) that has to be dragged a few feet before lifting onto rubber wheels and moved across the garage. This action has be carried out several times and the paint has not lifted at all.

Neither has it lifted underneath any of the other items in the garage, or underfoot. The only place the paint has lifted is underneath the tyres of my vehicle when it has been driven for an extended period. Not only has the paint and sealant lifted, but it has also become stuck to the cars tyres and is difficult to remove without driving to wear it down.

This does not point to a loose surface, otherwise the paint would be lifting in other areas, indeed it would be lifting under the car tyres when it is moved in and out of the garage. This is not the case. It is only lifting under the tyres after longer journeys followed by extended parking in the garage.

A further indication that it is not the surface is that the sealant was present on the garage floor for over a month without being painted. At no time did the sealant come away from the concrete, even under the circumstances above.

All this was stated in the original email, and points to something other than a loose surface. Although I understand your comments about preparation and the situation in which the paint would lift, this does not make sense in this case.

Thankfully this prompted a decent response and the company contacted me saying they would send some sample tape which should be used to lift the paint samples. When I did receive this a few days later I gave it a go. The tape ripped apart without taking any paint off the floor – it was well an truly stuck there.

So I found some small lose bits around where the paint had already stuck itself to my tyres and lifted. This was sent somewhere around the end of September. Since then there has been no word.

This morning I just emailed Consumer Protection using the less than adequate online form. It restricted me to less than three thousand characters, including blanks and spaces, so this took a fair bit of editing. Therefore, please excuse the grammar as I include the text sent.

International Paint product Garage Floor Sealant.

Instructions to wire brush the concrete if it was newly laid, it was not so used a heavy duty bristle brush multiple times on the floor to ensure all the lose particles were removed prior to coating. Coated the roof, walls and floor with sealant. It worked a dream. Sealant remained for around 2 months with no problem.

Eventually painted the floor with the recommended paint from the same company.

Painted floor with 2 coats and left to dry for 5 days, the recommended drying time.

At first everything was fine. Car does not do much mileage (approx. 3,500 miles in the 1st year) but on the few trips it was fine. Protection was superb and floor was sealed and waterproof.

However after the car had its first long run, returned to garage and took it out a few days later, noticed paint beneath the tyres had become stuck to the tyres themselves. Not only had paint lifted, but sealant had as well – this was obvious because the exposed floor was much lighter than it had been with sealant.

This became a regular occurrence and followed exact same pattern. When car had been out for a long run, and tyres were hot, next trip out would see any paint and sealant that had been in contact with tyres lifted and attached to tyres.

At no other point in the garage has the paint lifted. Despite the fact that the solid car roof is removed often and placed on a mobile stand which is wheeled across the floor. It is extremely heavy, does not have turning wheels, and has to be dragged in order to turn it and drop it down onto its wheels. This never damaged the floor.

It is also worth noting that due to size of the garage car is only driven straight in, straight out. There is no manoeuvring within garage.

Emailed company. They raised the issue of preparation, yet the sealant had remained on the floor perfectly for months, even with car (including hot tyres) parked on it.

They did not acknowledge that paint and sealant was being lifted only when tyres were hot after a long trip, only where tyres were in contact, and only when paint had been applied over the sealant.

Eventually they asked for samples of the paint to test it. It is worth noting that paint was so well stuck to the floor that sample tape broke.

I am concerned because there is the opportunity for the company merely to take the samples and say the paint is fine, also that they are failing to recognise the obvious circumstances for the paint failing.

In summary it lifts only where the car tyres are in contact with the paint, when the car tyres are particularly hot and when the sealant had been coated with the recommended paint, not before.

They also asked for the details of the company responses. No chance, I couldn’t even cut the text of one of their main emails to below one thousand characters without editing what they had said. So I left this instead.

Impossible to compress email correspondenceto under 1000 characters I had enough trouble compressing the complaint history! If I do this then the companies comments will be out of context and I would have to remove their words from their own emails.

This is unfair and unrepresentative of their responses.

Full email correspondence is available on request, and you might also wish to consider increasing not only the physical size of the entry boxes on the web form, but also their character limits.

Consumer Protection Web Form

Now I just have to wait and see what happens. Hopefully I’ll have some form of positive response next week and the Consumer Protection will step in.

You know all that would have made me happy originally was the cost of the paint returned to me. That’s it. Now I’m realising that I’ll have to lift the paint and reseal the floor, then lay something down for the tyre protection. That’s a big job of cleaning and painting.

There’s also the concern about what they’re selling this paint as. If there is really an issue where hot tyres lift the paint from the floor then they should either address it, or tell the customer about it. Is this happening in more circumstances and are they just being conveniently quiet about it?

Updates as they happen.

2 comments on “International Paints”

  1. seth speaks Reply

    You might try obtaining some scrap industrial carpet strips, about two times the tyre width and placing them in line with the normal path of your vehicle. I also have used them directly under the car door for wet shoes, etc.

    It may be that when the tyres get warm from being driven, the temperature/rubber/paint combine to loosen the paint.

    Hope this helps.

  2. Richard Brunton Reply

    Hey Seth, thanks very much for that. I still haven’t purchased something to lay down under the tyres so this sounds like a good idea.

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