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Question DetailsAsked on 6/17/2016


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Unless you see it being done (commonly on subsequent days or at least morning/afternoon with several hours in between unless very good drying conditions (or using artificial drying like a fan on interior jobs), hard to tell. Look at edges where the paint transitions from painted surface to unseen surface - in closets, trim over doors and over/under windows, at baseboards, behind appliances, around pipe penetrations, under switch covers etc - also at edging-in locations like at the ceiling. For exterior paint like yours, look on backside of fascia/rake boards for second coat/first coat differences, places around utility penetrations through the wall, overspray areas which were not specified to be painted like under deck or porch where some areas will be single coat, some double-sprayed. IF any trim/baseboards were off during the painting commonly you can very commonly see uneven lap edges under there. Sometimes you can see spots where the second coat did not reach all the way into the corners, leaving a visible second-coat edge line there, but if sprayed harder to tell. Also look for show-through of the underlying color where the second coat was missed - making for full opaque color in double-coated areas, but show-through where only one coat was put on.

Being unable to determine for sure is one reason on many commercial contracts the first coat is specified to be one shade lighter than the final one - or commonly is a less glossy finish - like matte under semi-gloss or matte/semi-gloss under gloss finish coat, so you can see the difference easily where the second coat does not quite reach to the edge (and also because putting a finish coat over semi-gloss or gloss without breaking the gloss is bad practice - that promotes peeling of the finish coat if it is gouged or scratched).

Professionally, sometimes the paint coat thickness is checked with a thickness gauge (which you can rent at some tool rental places for about $15/day) - run it around and look for places where it is about twice as thick as others probably indicates 2 coats, though with spraying it can be a lot more variable.

Here is a related question link FYI too -

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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