Author Archive

Board of Directors

Board List

Dave Schiffers

FTDRCI Edmonton
Unit 8, 235126 Ryan Rd
Rockyview County, AB  T1X 0K1
Phone: (403) 992-5841
Past President
Terry Jennett
Calibre Coatings Ltd.
6224 – 29 Street SE
Calgary, Alberta T2C 1W3
Phone: (403) 287-7792
Vice President, North
Mark Chambers
O’Canada Contractors Ltd.
3636 – 109 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5W 0G7
Phone: (780) 940-1769
Vice President, South
Chris Kulbaba
Calibre Coatings Ltd.
6224 – 29 Street SE
Calgary, Alberta T2C 1W3
Ryan de Souza
FTDRCI Calgary
Unit 8, 235126 Ryan Rd
Rockyview County, AB T1X 0K1
Phone: (403) 475-6214
Ryan Wagner
DP Painting Ltd.
4010 – 24 Avenue North
Lethbridge, AB T1H 6L7
Phone: (403) 380-4248
Technical Chair
Tom Pharis
Cloverdale Paint Inc.
640 – 42 Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta T2G 1Y6
Phone: (403) 287-0014
James Strayer
Prime Aspect Ltd.
#26, 53160 RR 212
Ardrossan, AB T8G 2E1
Phone: (780) 893-0348

Tips of Cleaning Interior Walls

Interior walls can be subject to all kinds of marks such as dirt, scuffs or hand prints. Cleaning interior walls requires some consideration, excessive cleaning or cleaning using inappropriate cleaning methods can cause irreparable damage to the coated surface.

Within this article we discuss the best practices for successfully cleaning interior walls.

Determine substrate
Before you carry out any cleaning it is best to determine what type of coating has been previously applied to the surface or substrate (if any)

Low gloss coatings –  are less durable than higher gloss coatings making them more susceptible to damage from harsh abrasion and chemical cleaning.

High gloss coatings – are more durable, so will endure more abrasion and chemical cleaning, but are less often used on interior walls because they tend to enhance any surface defects, making them more visible.

Cleaning solutions When choosing a cleaning solution check for any abrasives, alcohols or harsh chemicals. Low gloss latex coated interior walls especially cannot endure this type of cleaning product, but some other products would fail if alcohol, bleach or other harsh chemicals are applied to them.

Test patch
Before commencing any cleaning on the full surface, carry out a test patch in an out-of-the-way area to assess the effect on the coating.

Rinse thoroughly
Whatever cleaning solution is used must be removed thoroughly or risk leaving streaking, especially if repainting the surface over the solution.  Washing procedures should always be from the “bottom up” to also avoid streaking.

For best results, if you know what coating has been used to coat the surface, speak to the coating manufacturer about any recommended cleaning products or methods to be used.

Products tested by MPI are listed in the MPI Approved Products List (APL) under the relevant standard #. Look out for the MPI Approved Product Label on paint cans!
CLICK HERE for more information.

Legal Issues: Dismissal for delay

By David I. Bristow, QC, LSM, C.Arb

In July 2016, the Ontario Court of Appeal delivered judgment in a bizarre case of dismissal of six construction lien actions, and one trust action, for a 15-year delay (Southwestern Sales Corporation Limited v. Spurr Bros. Ltd. et al., p. 132 OR [3D] 794). This was an appeal from an order of Justice Pamela Hebner, from the dismissal of a motion to set aside a master’s order dismissing the action.

The plaintiff, Southwestern, supplied aggregate building materials. It registered six claims for lien against the land of the defendants, Spurr Bros., in December 2000. Action was commenced in January 2001. Spurr Bros. paid approximately $330,000 into court and the liens were lifted. In January 2003, the plaintiff filed its trial record. It then commenced a breach of trust action. A very lengthy period of inactivity followed.

Status hearings were scheduled, but were adjourned. The trial was set for September 2009, but did not proceed—it was eventually struck from the trial list. More status hearings were scheduled and adjourned at the defendants’ request. A status hearing set for October 6, 2014 was pre-emptory. No one appeared for the plaintiff, and the actions were dismissed by Case Management Master Lou Ann Pope.

The defendant obtained its money out of court, after it had been paid into court years before. It then tried to garnish the plaintiff’s bank account to satisfy its unpaid costs order.

The plaintiff obtained new counsel, who moved right away to set aside the dismissal of the plaintiff’s actions. The previous lawyer, Mr. I, had been representing the plaintiff until he surrendered his license to the Law Society of Upper Canada about two months before the status hearing, unbeknownst to his client.

The plaintiff advanced three grounds of appeal to the Court of Appeal:

The motion judge applied the wrong legal test in dismissing the actions.
She erred in failing to accept the appellant’s explanation for its delay.
She erred in finding the defendant had suffered prejudice.

The legal test

The Court of Appeal found the correct legal test had been met. It stated:

a decision to dismiss an action for delay at a status hearing is discretionary and entitled to deference on appeal unless the decision was made on an erroneous legal principle or is infected by a palpable and overriding error of fact.

It then stated:

the timeliness of the adjudication is one measure of the health of a justice system. In respect of the criminal justice system, the Supreme Court of Canada has stressed the need to change a ‘culture of delay and complacency towards it (R. v. Jordan 2016 S.C.J. No. 27).’ The same can be said of the Ontario Civil Justice System …

the Rules of Civil Procedure contain general and specific provisions to create a culture of timely civil justice. At the general level, rule 1.04(1) requires courts to construe the rules ‘to secure the just, most expeditious and least expensive determination of every civil proceeding on its merits.’ At the specific level, rule 48.14 establishes a presumptive timeframe for the listing of a civil action for trial which, if not met, requires the Plaintiff to show cause why the action should not be dismissed. Rule 48.14 provides the court with a tool by which to assume an active role in controlling the pace of litigation.

The court summed up the issue by finding the plaintiff wanting to set aside the dismissal order made at the status hearing must demonstrate two things:

There was an acceptable explanation for the plaintiff’s delay.
If the action were allowed to proceed, the defendant would suffer no non-compensable prejudice.

Explanation for delay

The plaintiff explained its delay of 13 years was due to having been misled by its counsel about the progress of the action. It said it was not told a status hearing had been scheduled for October 2014. It also said it was unaware its counsel had been delaying the action or had surrendered his license.

The motions judge found the plaintiff did not have an adequate explanation for the delay. She stated:

When years had passed without any substantive steps being taken towards a resolution, why did the plaintiff not investigate and demand that steps be taken? Why did the plaintiff not retain another counsel to move the action forward? There was no answer offered to answer these questions.

The Court of Appeal found the plaintiff bore primary responsibility for its progress. Retaining a lawyer in the action did not lessen that obligation. The court stated:

as part of its obligation to move its construction lien actions along, the appellant was required to take reasonable steps to supervise its counsel’s work to ensure there would be an expeditious determination of the actions on their merits. On a motion to set aside a dismissal order, one would expect a commercial plaintiff like the appellant to file concrete evidence describing the steps it had taken to supervise its counsel’s handling of its actions.

Therefore, there was no acceptable explanation for the 13-year delay.

Prejudice to the defendants

Since there was no acceptable explanation for the delay, the court held it was not necessary to deal with the issue of non-compensable prejudice to the plaintiff. The Appeal Court did review the prejudice matter without making a decision. It agreed with Justice Hebner’s reasons for judgment when she stated:

A lien claim can be an onerous thing for a defendant. A defendant is faced with the prospect of either having its land tied up as a result of the registration of a claim for lien or, alternatively, having to finance sometimes substantial payments into court in order to free up title to the land. Similarly, a breach of trust claim can also be an onerous thing for defendants. They are faced with the possibility of being personally responsible for a corporate debt. For these reasons, it seems to me that a lengthy delay in a claim for lien case (and a breach of trust case) constitutes prejudice to the defendants of the kind described above. If the lien claimant wants to take advantage of the provisions of the Construction Lien Act and tie up title to a defendant’s property, it ought to proceed expeditiously to have its claim determined. Similarly, if a lien claimant wants to take advantage of the trust provisions of the Construction Lien Act it ought to be prepared to proceed expeditiously to have its claim determined. A lien claimant ought not to be entitled to sit back and allow years to pass while the defendant’s property (or, as in this case, the defendant’s money) is held hostage.


Judges have an uncanny instinct to find cases where the facts are so clear a new concept can be enunciated and take hold, greatly assisting our beleaguered judicial system. Master Pope, Justice Hebner, and the Court of Appeal were all correct, and they gave reasons in very clear and certain terms.

With this case in mind, plaintiffs will now be under increasing pressure to move their cases along as quickly as possible, and clients will share that responsibility with their lawyers.


David I. BristowDavid I. Bristow, QC, LSM, C.Arb., is a Toronto-based provider of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services consisting of mediations, arbitrations, and early neutral evaluations. He is co-author of Construction Builders’ and Mechanics’ Liens in Canada. Bristow is a member of the American Arbitration Association’s (AAA’s) panel of arbitrators, a mediation and arbitration panel member of both the International Chamber of Commerce and the Centre for Public Resources Institute of Dispute Resolution, and a charter member of Mediators Beyond Borders. He can be reached at




The Importance Of Using Mock-Ups

Mock-ups (or test-patches) are an invaluable tool in the paint and coatings industry for keeping paint projects on time and on budget.

They are sample patches applied either to sample panels or directly onto the substrate in a less visible location before the actual coating work begins. They applied using the same materials, techniques, and personnel that will be used on the final project.

The purpose of this is to assess the final result of the coating and determine any potential coatings failures before the entire painting project is undertaken.

A mock-up also sets the standard for balance of the project.

Mock-ups on conventional concrete surfaces

On conventional concrete surfaces, mock-ups are a useful tool for testing the effectiveness of surface preparation as well for determining how the specified system will perform.

This is especially important with the increasing use of fly ash concrete. The usual specified water-based alkali-resistant primer for the first coat of the system may fail when applied to fly ash concrete.

This failure is thought to occur because the fly ash is composed from coal.  Coal is essentially the same product as oil, so the fly ash may impart oily characteristics into the concrete.

In theory, abrasive blasting could create a profile with sufficient tooth for the water-based primer to adhere where fly ash has been used, but the suspected oily residue could still be present, so a mock-up would be imperative. Additionally, if the project is an interior project abrasive blasting would be prohibited.

To date, solvent-based bonding primers have shown to be effective as a first coat solution for fly ash concrete surfaces, however, it must be noted that concrete is highly alkaline, so solvent-based primers without alkali-resistant properties should not be used.

Correcting any issues that may lead to coatings failure with a test-patch is far less costly and time-consuming than corrections made after large-scale coatings application has commenced.
Wide-scale coatings failure can be avoided by using a mock-up on a small section of the project before large-scale work commenced.

Products tested by MPI are listed in the MPI Approved Products List (APL) under the relevant standard #. Look out for the MPI Approved Product Label on paint cans! 
CLICK HERE for more information.

New MPI Approved Products for May 2017

May 2017 APL
May 2017
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These products meet the requirements for MPI’s Extreme Green (X-Green™) paint standard: maximum 50 g/l VOC; trace or zero quantities of various undesirable chemical components; performance that meets the requirements for the MPI # indicated, and certification of VOC emissions requirements for indoor air quality. Click the name of the paint supplier to see a complete list of all their MPI-approved products.
MPI # Label Product Name Product Code RG L GPS-1 GPS-2
52 X-Green™ ProMar 200 HP Zero VOC Interior Acrylic Eg-Shel B20W01951
139 X-Green™ ProMar 200 HP Zero VOC Interior Acrylic Eg-Shel B20W01951
145 X-Green™ ProMar 200 HP Zero VOC Interior Acrylic Eg-Shel B20W01951


These paints and coatings have passed MPI testing for the MPI standard indicated and were added this month to our Approved Products List.
Click the name of the paint supplier to see a complete list of all their MPI-approved products.

MPI # Label Product Name Product Code RG L GPS-1 GPS-2
Al-Jazeera Factory
82 Al-Jazeera Anti-Skid Epoxy SP Al-Jazeera Anti-Skid Epoxy SP JI-65015
Hempel A/S
77 STRATA EPOXY LT Strata Epoxy LT Base / Cure 451M9 / 951ME        
104 Strata SB Acrylic Sealer Clear Strata SB Acrylic Sealer Clear 069ME        
Miller Paint
141 Evolution Interior Glass Durable Wall Finish 100505
PPG Architectural
226 PPG Paints Speedhide Super Tech WB Interior 100% Acrylic Dry Fog Latex 6-727XI
Rodda Paint Co.
134 Prime Solutions First Coat Universal Primer 501601
155 Rodda Paint Co. Dryfall Interior Acrylic Eggshell 533801
52 ProMar 200 HP Zero VOC Interior Acrylic Eg-Shel B20W01951
145 ProMar 200 HP Zero VOC Interior Acrylic Eg-Shel B20W01951

check Product meets MPI Green Performance Standard 1 (GPS-1), chemical component restrictrions
check Product meets MPI Green Performance Standard 2 (GPS-2) limit of maximum 50 g/l VOC
check Product meets VOC regulations for either Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) or Environment Canada
check Product meets LEED 2009 requirements (excluding LEED for schools)
For more information about MPI’s Green Performance Standards, click here

This Month’s Special

Monthly Online Sale


*Printed MPI APL – January 2017 for $12.5 (regular for $25). For a limited time only.

* Discount rate only available for orders placed via MPI’s online store; does not apply to email, fax, or phone orders


Approved Products List

MPI APL Download a pdf of MPI’s May 2017 Complete Approved Products List for just $10.



MPI APL print booklet Buy the Jan 2017 Approved Products print booklet for just $25.



Architectural Painting Manual (printed version) Architectural Painting Manual (online version) Training And Certification MPI Standards Maintenance Repainting Manual (printed version)  Maintenance Repainting Manual (online version) MPI Glossary Approved Products List (printed version) Approved Products List (pdf version) Identifiers: Defects and Failures

Painting Tips

Regulations & Guidelines

Managing Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew are types of fungi that settle on a surface and thrive in warm and damp situations.  
Mold and mildew forms in many different colors, including blue, green, yellow, brown, gray, black, or white. It grows as a flat pattern on surfaces which may appear either powdery or downy, or it can be fuzzy in appearance. 

These fungi can cause health problems such as respiratory issues and headaches, also inflammation including pain in the joints, mental status changes, and extreme fatigue. Where mold is present structural damage to the surface can occur over time.

Where is it found?
Mold and mildew is quite common in damp, humid conditions out of direct sunlight. It can also be seasonal, with dry and wet cycles.

The fungi are not caused by the actual surface but occur when spores are attracted and thrive.  Rough and textured surfaces are more prone to growth because they tend to trap airborne dirt, spores, and moisture. Whereas smoother surfaces have less of a profile that would hold onto the contaminants. 

Removal of mold and mildew growth can be difficult on rough and textured surfaces, any previous coating or finish can be affected by the roots of the growth.  Damage to the coating or finish can result from overly aggressive cleaning.

Below are some steps for the successful removal of mold and mildew:

The following processes are recommended to see if the fungi can be removed without damaging any underlying finished surface.

  1.  Use a building or industrial cleaner in solution with water and scrub the surface. Then rinse off the residual dirt, mold or mildew, plus the cleaning solution before it can dry on the surface. The cleaning solution should have no more than 10% of household bleach added to the mix. (please note – the use of bleach products is completely prohibited on some projects) There is a range of industrial type mold and mildew cleaners and building cleaners such as “30 second” cleaners that may work. 


  1. If a standard cleaning does not work try ‘power washing”. Start at a low pressure and increase until the desired cleaning is attained.  The power washing can disturb the finish and can tear up the surface, so care must be taken.


  1. If chemical cleaning and power washing do not work the only alternative is power sanding and/or abrasive blasting.  Both of these methods will change the texture of the surface and also remove any applied coating or finish. Re-coating will be required.

More information on Mildew treatment on painted surfaces can be found in the MPI Repaint Surface Preparation Standard = MPI RSP-9 in the MPI Maintenance Repaint Manual 
Caution Note: 
Both bleach and TSP are corrosive. Rubber gloves and eye protection should be worn during mixing and application. Plants and shrubbery located near the work area should be protected from direct contact with the solution.

Products tested to MPI Green Performance and MPI Extreme Green have the lowest VOC, with proven high-performance. Look for these logo’s on the paint cans.
CLICK HERE for more information.

Concrete Floor Surface Preparation Tips

While proper surface preparation is integral to the success of any painting project, this is especially true with concrete floors. Coating concrete floors can be a challenge as there are specific factors that need to be taken into consideration to avoid systems failures.

Typically concrete floors are “poured in place” and finished with a steel trowel to produce a smooth, dense surface. In order to slow down the rate of water evaporation and improve hydration and curing of the slab, curing compounds are often applied after the troweling process is complete.

Both of these factors could cause problems for any potential coating system. Below you will find information on how to deal with them.

Curing Compounds 
Although curing compounds improve the strength and hardness, as well as the physical and chemical properties of the concrete slab, they are typically made from low strength resins that do not provide sufficient adhesion or film strength to function as either a primer or sealer. If these compounds are not adequately removed any coating applied over them will fail. 

In order to accomplish this, the surface should be washed with a suitable detergent or an emulsion cleaning solution and then thoroughly rinsed with clean water to remove any remnants of the curing compound.
One of the ways to test for any remaining compound is to apply a muriatic acid solution to various test areas of the surface. The acid solution cannot penetrate through the curing compounds, so where there is no bubbling, spitting or foaming where the solution is applied, the surface is not sufficiently clean for painting and should be re-cleaned.

Smooth Surface
The troweling process leaves a smooth surface on the concrete. If the surface is too smooth, there is no profile for an applied coating to adhere too. An ideally prepared concrete floor will have a texture similar to 100 grit sandpaper.  

In order to accomplish a sufficient anchor pattern for the coating to adhere to the surface should be abrasive blasted or acid etched.

Acid etching
In addition to providing a better surface profile or anchor pattern for adhesion, etching the surface will also lower the surface pH levels of the concrete. Alkaline (basic) surfaces like new concrete can impede the adhesion of coatings that are not designed to perform in high alkaline environments, etching the surface with an acid prior to coating will not only provide the slightly rough surface needed for the paint to grip, but also a more neutral pH level that will result in a more consistent and durable bond between the coating and the substrate.

Surfaces shall first be wetted down with clean water, then a solution of muriatic acid (commercial quality – 30 to 38% Hydrochloric acid) made by diluting one part of concentrated acid (See Caution) with two parts of water by volume, is recommended. Apply at the rate of one gallon (4.5 liters) of the solution to each 100 square feet, and scrub well while applying. Allow the solution to remain on the surface until it stops bubbling (approximately 20 minutes), and then flush thoroughly with a large quantity of clean water. If the surface does not dry uniformly within a few hours, not all of the acid has been removed. In this case, flush the area again, but use a weak solution of household ammonia and clean water. After the surface has dried thoroughly, painting may proceed.

Moisture Vapour Tests
Capillary moisture in the concrete may be detrimental to the performance of certain coating systems that cannot tolerate moisture on or within the surface boundary. A moisture vapor test can be carried out, such as the plastic patch test ASTM D 4263 for example. 

Caution Note: Adequate handling precautions must be taken. Always refer to the material safety data sheet (MSDS) to become aware of relevant safety hazards. Any person handling, mixing, or applying acid solutions, should wear rubber gloves, aprons, boots, goggles, a face shield and proper breathing apparatus. DO NOT mix acid with any other chemical. When diluting, always add acid to water. Never add water to acid. Accidental splashes on the skin should be treated immediately by flushing with clean water. If the burns are severe (or in all cases of eye contact), contact a physician immediately. Wash hands thoroughly before handling food. (Taken from 1.3 ACID ETCHING – CONCRETE AND MASONRY – MPI Architectural Coatings Manual)


Products tested to MPI Green Performance and MPI Extreme Green have the lowest VOC, with proven high-performance. Look for these logo’s on the paint cans.
CLICK HERE for more information.