Latex paint over spar varnish?

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I have an exterior door that was varnished. I want to paint it the same color of the trim on the house with latex paint. What preparation do I need to do? TIA Max
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Sand it. Dave
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"Teamcasa" wrote

That's it? Thanks. Consider it done.
Max
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Max:
I would probably do more than just sand. But then I have to put out a warrantable product so my take may be different than some. Solvent based finishes often do not lend themselves willingly to adhesion of other products, especially after they have aged, and worse still if they are damaged.
Before anyone craps a banana, this of course excludes all build finishes. But in this case, we are talking varnish.
As a sidebar, if the clear finish (no matter what it is) is dried out, cracked, discolored, crumbly, or the wood underneath is discolored, the finish is gone. All you are seeing when the surface is in this condition is the last 5% of the finish, just the part that hasn't fallen off. In this case, simply sanding off the crumbles won't work, you must strip and sand to get to a good bondable substrate.
Anyway, it begs the question Max, how do you know it's varnish? When we refinish a door, we have found that most homeowners and many contractors use polyurethane for original finish, and then for refinish. If it is a homeowner job you are looking at, you can almost bet it was poly. Varnish and poly are two different animals, and if it is poly, you should count on stripping the door before painting.
Me, I would strip anyway to be absolutely sure, especially since you are probably talking about one side only. The oils, resins, and hardners in the varnish (if that is what it is) have no doubt penetrated the wood over the years, so there are things in the wood that could kill your adhesion. And since you are going back over it with paint, you wouldn't have to have the surface "perfect" before painting, especially if you go back with oil based paint.
If you want to go latex, strip, coat the stripped side with KILZ 2 to seal the resins in the wood and to assist in bonding, sand lightly when dry, vacuum up the particles left from sanding, then put a couple of coats of paint on it.
If you don't want to strip, clean the door up, sand the snot out of it, vacuum up the particles, wipe down with thinner, seal it with the original KILZ (for bonding purposes) and have your paint store match a quart of oil based urethane to your latex color. It may be cheaper (stripper for latex = $20; quart of custom mix oil base = $12) and easier to avoid stripping and just to bite the bullet and buy a quart of oil based paint. A couple of coats and you are finished.
Hope this helps.
Robert
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On 2 May 2006 18:04:04 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

You've said a mouthful. Being the guy I am, I had to learn the hard way. I too wanted to use latex over a "varnished" surface at my house. In my case, it was the risers on some interior steps. In no way shape or form was that paint (Sherwin Williams superpaint) going to adhere.
I ended up using a heat gun and stripping it all off. It was a time consuming PITA, but the results after sanding the scraped surface is perfect. A beautifully smooth surface with excellent adhesion.
I say strip the old surface in whatever manner you want then sand 'er smooth. Then apply the paint.
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"George Max" wrote

Thanks, George. I had an idea that stripping might be required but I didn't want to if I didn't have to. On the other hand, I want a good finish and I'm willing to do whatever I have to do to get it. I have a good heat gun and I can get stripper. Which do you think would be better? I'm not fond of stripper because of the fumes and the mess but if it's what I have to do, I'm game.
Max
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Max wrote:
<<And I don't mind spending whatever I have to for a good finish. The paint I used on the trim (Glidden Endurance) seems to be holding up very well. I'm wondering about the durability of an oil based paint. What's your verdict?

Recently, Glidden latex went head to head with several different paints and won the overall comparison due to its UV resistance, the ability to be washed, and color retention. I liked Glidden paint, and used it exclusively for years and NEVER had one bit of problem with it. It was considered old fashioned by some as it was clay based as opposed to the powder based stuff, but I liked it, and more importantly so did my clients. Never had one complaint with Glidden.
But the local lumberyard that sends me a lot of business pushes Coronado. I really like the top end of their line for spraying and rolling. It has so much ammonia in it that it kills anything the power washer doesn't take off, and it penetrates the wood and old paint really well. I don't like to brush it as it is like bubble gum on the brush after about 15 minutes time. This is not workable for painting a house full of door frames or a 15 panel exterior door. For brushing outdoors and smooth trim, I like the top end of Sherwin Williams (700 line?). It smooths like glass with a good brush.
But Max, you have brought another issue to light. If YOU sprayed them with McCloskey's and you say they now look good, you putting in the last piece of the puzzle that would make my decision. McCloskey's is a pretty good finish, and I think their strong suit is supposed to be their marine line. So if you say it looks good (as in good shape), chances of adhesion from ANY finish being what you want (10 more years?) to these doors are almost none. McCloskey's has something like 30% resin in it, so it is a heavily resined product, meant to be industrial strength. I personally don't think sanding would do it, and with all the work involved to get it off, you would be faster to strip. Sanding would just expose fresh, hard varnish.
If it was my house, I would put on oil, and here's what I would do.
Take the door off and put it in the shade so it stays cool. Put it on some saw horses put over a cheap tarp (I buy mone at Big Lots - 6'X8' is something like $2). Clean off the surface with some thinner. When it is dry, tape the edge of the door up with some good masking tape, NOT the blue stuff. Apply Bix K3 (the orange can) or better as directed.
This is an old timer's tip, and it will take the sting out of the stripping. When you see the finish starting to bubble, and you are ready to hit it with the plastic putty knife, don't. Put on a couple of handfuls of sawdust in the area you are working first and literally scrub the door with a stiff nylon brush. Keep the sawdust in the brush, and buy a couple of different brushes at the dollar store to make sure you have the one you want. The sawdust is the tip here, and it is worth its weight in gold. The sawdust will do three things; it acts as a pore and nook and cranny cleaner, a mild abrasive, and it will pick up the spent stripper with a lot of the old finish attached. Work your door in thirds, and the door will be pretty close to or actually dry at the first third by the time you get to the end. You won't believe what that sawdust will do to the loosened paint and how much it speeds and cleans up this nasy process.
Brush off any loose sawdust. With only a coat or two of finish, you shouldn't need to do this more than once if you are patient enough to let the Bix work (always hard for me, no matter how many times I do it). Sand as needed to make you happy, remembering that since it will be painted you don't have to have it perfect.
Then I would put two to three coats of urethane oil enamel on it. No matter whose brush it is in application, no door ever looks as good as when it is sprayed by a good hand. At this juncture, I would like to mention Mike Marlow, who >really< helped me get my finishes first rate. If you are following this thread, thanks again, Mike. Anyway, take the door off and spray it.
I use urethane oil as opposed to alkyd as it is easier for me to spray, and it seems to dry as closed to the same hardness as the old lead based paints as any of the finshes out there. It can also be tinted just about any color. For me, I shoot Coronado (the only one I could find that I like that comes in quarts!!) with about an ounce of Japan drier and an ounce of thinner for 30 ozs of material. It will dry like glass, sticks like hell, and you can get another coat on the door in 4 hours on an 80 degree day, not the 8 the recommend. So you could two coat in a day (depending on how you do it) and then the following day put a final coat on it in the morning and hang it that night. I always use the Japan drier as it makes the final finish harder, and of course it makes the finish catalyse faster. The thinner amount depends on the temp, and if it above the middle 80s, I usually don't thin. I am putting these details in hoping you still have the rig you sprayed the door with in the first place. I am using a high pressure auto touch up gun which works great for me.
Of course, YMMV. And as always, depending on your rig you may not want to do anything to it, just follow the manufacturer's requirements.
The door can be hung when it is really dry, and if you handle it right, you could do it all in a weekend, weather permitting. Strip and sand one morning (2 hours), then apply coat #1. Few hours later, coat #2. Next morning, coat #3. Hang as late as possible that evening.
In case you haven't used some of today's coating for a while, you should know that the total dry and hardness of the door will not be 100% for about 20 days. The door will be dried, but not cured. So don't test out the scrubbability with 409 when you get some grease on it from reinstalling those old locks. Mild soapy water is always best anyway, but a must for about three weeks.
My only concern would be this; you will be in the same boat as you are now if you want to refinish this door at a later time. So if you change the paint color on the house and want the door to follow again, you will start at the top.
However, if you do it in latex, you can follow pretty much the same procedure and get pretty good results. The finish won't be as hard, and won't be as UV/scuff/water resistant, but then when you need to paint again, you can just clean it, sand it, and paint it.
Let us know what you did and how you did it. Hope this helps.
Robert
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Thanks again, Robert.
I have a couple of things working in my favor. I'm retired. Plenty of time to do it right. I have a piece of 3/4" OSB that I cut to fit the opening for the door so I can have the door off for as long as I need to. I have a DeVilbiss high pressure sprayer, a couple touch up guns and a Fuji Q4. I'm going to get the door stripped down and then decide what final finish I want. I'm leaning toward the urethane just because I want to see how it looks and how it lasts. I'll keep you *posted*.
Max
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Gentlemen, Thank you for your help.
Max
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"Max"

Hey Max, Nice screen door - We have something in common.
http://www.teamcasa.org/workshop/images/shop_05.jpg
I glad the heat gun is working for you, however, as I said before, sand it and paint it - but that's ship has sailed! Dave
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Hey, that Miller is almost like mine. By the way, there is a Ford dealership here that is named Casa Ford and their signs say, "Team Casa".
Max
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Its my ministry http://www.teamcasa.org
Dave
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"TeamCasa"

Great work, Dave. We wish you continuing success.
Max
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Max wrote:

Interesting scaffolding, what brand/model is it? Or is it homemade? Joe
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Homemade. I built it to wash and wax my travel trailer and I use it to trim some Japonica hedges we have that are quite tall (7' )
Max
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Max wrote:

Oh well I'll keep looking. Maybe the Werner http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId5287-287-PS-48 Joe
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"Joe Gorman" wrote

I almost bought one of those but I wanted one a little longer. Mine is approx. 8' long (or wide, depending on your point of view). and it's a little higher. Lowe's had those on sale awhile back. You might ask if there's any chance they would do it again.
Max
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Max wrote:

Well, just bought a side by side refrigerator that will get me a $75 gift card, along with the $400 off as a non stock item, that should cover it, or maybe 2. Joe
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Thanks Max. I am a general contractor that specializes in repair/remodel and maintenance. I do a fair amount of just about anything but electrical and HVAC.
I install doors for a local lumberyard, and many times I wind up finishing them. I also refinish a lot of metal and wood doors, and I am playing around with a lot of the newer super finishes that are out there to add to my tool box.
In an effort to cut down on my overspray, I have used an HVLP pressure gun. It cut down the overspray a lot. A huge difference. I bought a knockoff one of the newer lower CFM requirement guns to test it out and I liked it.
That is until I tried a real, turbine powered HVLP setup. These units can be tailored to have almost no overspray at all. The first one I tried was the top line Turbinaire, and it was nice. I don't have concerns that some have for the machine, and it seems that all that buy them love them. My concern was that it was one loud machine. I will also be refinishing (kitchen cabinets) in people's homes, so the less noise the better.
Accuspray it too expensive, and the gun does not have metal airways or paintways inside it. They are Delrin, which in fact may be better than metal. But on the other hand, they sell an upgrade gun that touts the fact it has real metal ways inside it. The noise level is the same as the Turbinaire, which is no wonder since they use the same exact turbine. I didn't like the fact all accessories are expensive, and that some seem to think that the repair end of things is too slow. That could be a matter of opinion, so I will go back to the plastic gun (which Jeff Jewitt was not enthusastic about, but told me was "it was fine") and the higher purchase price and higher accesories. But then no one has ever said anything bad about the performance of their Accuspray.
So that brings us to Fuji. I am looking at the Q4, and their new gun. The upside is that when you have a question or concern, you can talk to the owner. I have done this twice now to make sure you actually do it more than once. They sell the machines through a system of dealers, and one Ohio guy is a prince, and a couple of his customers told me that he will overnight parts to you if you need them. The owner in Canada told me he could not overnight, but he could do 2 days if need be.
The turbine (although it is the same as the previous two) has different baffles and some other kind of business inside it, so it is substantially quieter than the others. All accessories are really reasonable. And the machine is a little less $$ to begin with, especially since most dealers ship for free.
The air hose can be put on the bottom or top as you need. And what I really liked about the new gun is the fact that you can disconnect the cup from the bottom, flip the housing around, and you can make it a gravity feed gun. The aluminum cup is $54 buck for a 20 oz cup and you are in business. I like this feature because I spray horizontal and vertical projects, and the conversion is literally about 2 1/2 minutes from cup to gravity. That really sounds great to me as I like both designs for different applications, but don't want to buy two guns.
So why don't I have the Fuji now?
I read the article in Wood magazine that covered most of the major HVLP machines, and they didn't like the gun as well. Even though they use it in their pictures to show the patterns a gun shoots, They felt like it wouldn't shoot a pattern less than 5" in width. (I am thinking 2" rails and stiles here.)
I called 3 different Fuji dealers, and called the Paul Smith, the owner. They denied that statement as completely false. I mean they were adamant. I talked live to a refinisher that told me that just like the other guns, when you got the gun closer to the work the pattern was smaller. He confirmed to me that to shoot a pattern that was about 1", he had to hold the gun at about 4 " away from the surface. Then he told me that he had to do the same with his other HVLP gun, too.
As it is, to have a contained, usable pattern of only 1", that 4" is about where I am with my high pressure guns.
So, since you have no financial interest in this, can you shed some specific light on this pattern business? Can you give me an idea of how you like the machine besides that, and maybe an idea of what materials you have sprayed with it?
Thanks a million.
Robert
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Robert, I just got the sprayer about a month ago and have only used it for the prime coat (exterior oil based) on the door I'm refinishing. But I do like it. The gun has enough adjustments (material flow, air flow, pattern, etc) to allow close operation and narrow pattern. The article in Wood magazine is not the first to seem hastily written (and likely not the last). I think most tools require a little "tinkering" with to get the best performance. My experience with conventional spray guns is an advantage in the "learning" process with the HVLP. I can't make a meaningful comment on the noise since the Fuji is the only turbine operated unit I've used. However, one of my sons, who has been around other units, claims that my Fuji is quite a bit quieter (maybe "less noisy" would be more accurate). I intend to use an oil based finish on the door but I need to spray a garage door (10X7) and I will be using latex. I'll let you know how it works out.
Max (my e-mail address is obvious, just drop the "not")
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