Painting Wainscoting


I would like to install tongue and grove wainscoting (3 inch wide strips) in my family room. I would like to paint rather than stain. My question is when the wood expands and contracts will I end up with unpainted gaps? I have this problem with my painted 6 panel pine wood doors and also with some stained birch cabinet doors with panels. I live in the NJ.
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Wooden molding does not expand or contract noticeably in the direction of the grain. Wood movement is greatest perpendicular to the grain flow.
Dave
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Paint before assembly. Wilson

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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Yes, you will. The trick is to prime the wainscotting before you paint it, with the primer tinted the same color as your topcoat.
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Thanks. I was afraid that would be the answer. I was hoping to avoid doing that for time reasons.
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Thanks. I was afraid that would be the answer. I was hoping to avoid doing that for time reasons.
Do I need to prime both sides?
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"Thanks. I was afraid that would be the answer. I was hoping to avoid doing that for time reasons. "
Since you'll need to prime the bare wood anyway I think its a heck of a lot easier to slap on a coat of primer before it goes up. But that's just me.
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<<Thanks. I was afraid that would be the answer. I was hoping to avoid doing that for time reasons.
Do I need to prime both sides? >>
Absolutely. I would put the wood in the house for as long as I could before installing it, and then prime both sides, and first coat the front side before installation. That's how I do it when that work comes up.
If it is pine or cedar, don't forget to put two coats of primer on the knots if you are painting a light color as a finish coat. I usually prime with a small roller when I have a lot of material like that, and then come back with a small chip brush to hit the knots with primer once more.
Robert
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One more thing: make the finish coat a thin one so that the paint won't flow heavily into the joints. When the pieced move (which they will) if you have gobbed on the paint it will crack.
And resist all temptation to caulk the joints. When it pulls apart it is UGLY. Then when the humidity comes back and it tries to close, it is uglier.
Robert
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Thanks.
Now if I can only figure out where to paint 400 feet of 3 inch bead board. The 4'x8'X1/2" MDF bead board is looking better and better. If I go with MDF panels instead, Do I need expansion gaps between the boards? I hate to even mention MDF on this board but it is a family room after all.
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mdf doesn't expand at all.
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Charles Spitzer wrote:

Put it in a shower-equipped bathroom and come back. <G>
Barry
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guess i should have added 'around here', which is phoenix which doesn't see much, if any, humidity.
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AND Charles... there is also humidity resistant mdf which is made for bathrooms and kitchens. See the link above.
It just isn't the stuff they sell at the lumberyards or box stores.
I laughed when you mentioned Phoenix. I have a builder buddy there, and he is talking about single digit humidity there, after living here for 20 years with huge humidity. His skin is peeling, his eyes burn all the time, and he has a lot of nosebleeds. Sure loves the area, though, and the doctors have told him he will adjust over the next few months.
Robert
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we're lucky to see 5% humidity sometimes, mostly the spring and early summer. i've NEVER had to drain my compressor. every time i crack open the tap, nothing comes out.
builder? wait until he has to work up on the roof in august at 2pm when it's 115F humidity. ask then if he still loves it.
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Charles:
Let me explain; he is a builder in the sense that he is building homes. He is not a site worker, strictly white collar. This guy covered with sweat is a sight I have never seen.
However, don't think the conditions would actually be too much worse, there. Typical S. Texas summer will see temps around 105 or so, with as much as 80% relative humidity. It will get in the upper 90s and we have early 90% humidity. The sweat doesn't go away, and you don't cool off. It just beads up and drips.
I know this well. I still do a lot of roof repairs myself, as well as chimney siding/flashing repairs. As you know, the roofs get so damn hot in the summer you can raise a blister by touching them.
However, he is smart enough to check on his jobs from his Suburban. He might come back with sunburn, but that would be from golfing.
He left because the margins are so much higher for builders in your area. Around here, it is a shootout, and all the builders are killing each other for business. Not just tract home guys, but all of them. A recent Business Week column said that residential real estate here in San Antonio was valued at app. 30% less than it should be given comparable conditions in other similar markets.
Guess we'll see how he does.
Robert
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if it's new construction, can't you just lean it up against the wall in the room being constructed, seal off all the doorways with plastic, and spray it?
if it's not, you can make a spray booth with some plastic sheeting and some 1x2 slats.
use a positive ventilation mask.
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My experience is different from Mr. Spitzer. The mdf I have put up walks around all over the place. In fact, most of the sheet goods move some, whether it is paneling, mdf, masonite, tempered masonite, etc. It may have to do that I live in South Texas, and the average humidity here is somewhere along the lines of 80%, and it is not unusual for it to go higher.
I now close the joints on the beadboard in the field (middle of the walls), but shorten the inside corners by as much as I can get away with (3/16 to 1/4") and cover the inside corner with a decorative molding. This allows for a lot of expansion and contration without ruining the appearance of your installation. In the old days, I was taught that inside corner moldings were the sign of a pretty crappy carpenter, but it is pretty well accepted these days. Until I did this, my joints would often show movement and stress as the A/C was run a lot, or if the homeowner opened up the house for air, then ran the A/C or heater for a long time.
There is lots on general installation available on the net:
http://tinyurl.com/9hnzg
is pretty good. Note they stress conditioning the material to keep the humidity stable at the time of installation.
The last few of these jobs I have gotten have been installing a Georgia Pacific product that is sold at Lowe's. My clients always seem to find this stuff, and it is called something like Arctic Ice. It is a 4X8 sheet of 1/4" masonite with a baked on brilliant white finish on one side. It is pretty easy to install, as you just glue and brad in place. There are lots of moldings that will act as a receiver for the top of this product to cover the top and make a nice chair rail.
Mark the studs out so you can brad the joints to the studs in the wall. Nail holes or errant joints can be fixed with DAP, which dries to almost exactly the same color.
I buy this stuff berforehand and let it sit on edge for about 10 days inside the client's house before installation and haven't had any problems with it. To paint the chair rail to match, one of the Glidden tint bases (not sure which one) is an excellent match.
Downside: messy to work with. Brown fiber dust from the tempered stuff is powder fine, and goes everywhere.
Upside: Available at the lumber store, and is prefinished. Chair rail comes with inletted receiver to cover the tops, so if you are off 1/16 or so to stay plumb, no big deal.
Robert
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Thanks for the lengthy reply. I had check out that site before posting. They didn't mention the need for expansion joints. However, if I use their strip (9 inch wide) product with lap joints, I could leave room expansion.
I also look at the GP product. I think the thicker Nantucket beadboard will have a deeper grove that will look better painted. Also it is primed so I don't have to prime it.
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