just paint the fucking board and stop fuckin around
you coulda been done by now
damn nickel holding up a dollar
you sure don't ask for much for nothing do you
you're a real pill
"it puts the brush into the paint and paints the board"
"PAINT THE FUCKING BOARD"
You should be using Decking products, following instructions and not
making up your own with the wrong product. Your past failures might be
the wrong product, prep or aplication on a hot or damp surface. Get and
use products designed for the job and do what they say.
That may work for some here, but others insist that a person totally
understand and comprehend what the paint is doing, why, and all the
ingredients of said paint.
IOW, they do more thinking than painting.
Most decking products are stains, not paint. Unfortunately, I'm
constrained to use paint since the former owner painted the entire
porch and I want it to match. Only the breezeway area (about 150
square feet) and steps need refinishing.
Two years ago, I essentially followed the advice you recommended above.
The result was unsuccessful, despite scrupulously following the label
instructions. I think I posted the details elsewhere in this thread.
The paint started to fail after one year. I still don't know why for
sure, although many here have suggested possible reasons, and the oil
primer seems to be the likely culprit, even though "latex over oil
primer" is the conventional wisdom.
Some folks say "paint all six sides", others say "no, leave the
underside unpainted so the wood can breathe". I tried both ways and
they both failed (six sides on the steps, only the top in the breezeway
Some folks say "use oil", others say "no, oil is too brittle and
moisture-impermeable and will crack and separate from the wood as the
wood expands and contracts due to moisture". I used latex over oil
primer, as recommended on the latex label. Perhaps the "oil is too
brittle" folks are right. That's my current working hypothesis at any
So this summer I tried a different approach.
One set of steps I pressure washed to blast off as much blistering
paint as possible. Let it dry and sanded it, then applied the latex
with no oil primer. The latex is a high quality 100% acrylic latex
paint rated for exterior horizontal surfaces exposed to foot traffic
and weather. On half the steps I applied the latex unthinned (as per
label directions), on the other half I used thinned latex for the first
coat (in order to penetrate better into hairline cracks and the spaces
between the boards) and then 2 coats of unthinned.
On the other set of steps I removed all the treads and risers, and
completely removed all previous coating with a planer, edger, and belt
sander. I used a different approach on each of the 12 boards,
including replacing some of the boards with new wood; but in all cases
I coated all six sides (that's why I removed the boards). For example,
on one of the boards I applied the latex directly to the wood without a
primer. On another I used thinned latex as the first coat, then 2
coats of unthinned latex over that. On another I stained the board
first with Cabot semi-solid deck stain, then applied latex over that
(yes, I know that conventional wisdom says don't do this). On another
I used an oil-based water-sealing product which claimed it was
paintable, then oil-primed and latex topcoat over that (letting each
dry thoroughly of course). I kept a record of how each board was
prepared. In a couple of years I'll see the results. Hopefully, at
least one approach will endure.
I haven't re-done the breezeway area yet, but the plan is to do it the
same way as the first set of steps mentioned above (power-wash to
remove blistering paint, then apply latex without oil primer).
Removing the breezeway boards to paint the undersides and edges and
ends is out of the question. Using oil in this area is extremely
inconvenient - after power washing, the waiting period for proper
drying would be a real problem. Oil requires absolutely bone-dry
wood. Any moisture stops the penetration. Latex is far more forgiving
in this regard.
The one question that remains unanswered, and the one that has offended
and/or angered some posters to this thread, is the issue of thinning
latex paint with water. I was hoping there might be an old-timer or
two here who understood this issue and could shed some light:
Many latex paint labels say "do not thin". The question I was
exploring is whether this "do not thin" exhortation is universally
true, or whether there might be extenuating circumstances wherein in
would be permissible, even beneficial, to thin just the first coat, to
improve penetration into nooks and crannies and spaces between boards,
as long as an unthinned second (or even third) coat of unthinned is
I tried to find a suitable water-based primer for this application but
was unsuccessful. I looked at MANY paint stores and home-improvement
centers, and spoke with a few contractors and painter friends. I have
yet to find a water-based primer that is rated for horizontal wood
surfaces exposed to rain and foot traffic. One guy swore by Zinser
123, so I bought a gallon, but when I got home and read all the fine
print, it categorically stated "not for use on horizontal surfaces
exposed to foot traffic and water".
I've also read that you should always use a primer and topcoat from the
same manufacturer to assure they are compatible. I'm not sure if this
is true, or if true, why.
If anyone knows of a water-based primer designed for use on
previously-painted weathered wood which has been power-washed to clean
it and remove loose paint, and which is compatible with
Sherwin-Williams 100% acrylic latex exterior porch and floor paint,
I think I've finally found a (partial) answer to my question; I'll post
it here for the benefit of anyone else who might be interested:
The major solvent in today's latex paints is water. But they also
contain small amounts of organic solvents, such as 2-(2 butoxyethoxy)
ethanol and trimethylpentanediol isobutyrate, which function as
"coalescing solvents". These coalescing solvents play an important
role in the film formation, and apparently the RATIO of organic solvent
to water affects the film formation. At least that's what the
technical discussion in the link below appears to be saying. SO... the
reason why adding too much water could be a bad idea is NOT that there
is "less binder" in the thinned latex, but rather that the thinned
latex has the wrong ratio of water-to-organic-solvent... and this
apparently affects the chemistry of the film formation process.
more details at this link:
The proof is in the pudding, though, I suppose. Yesterday I blasted
the breezeway area of the porch with the power washer. Large sheets
and small flakes of old paint were flying everywhere. But the test
patches where I had applied thinned latex to scraped-bare wood 3 days
prior held fast and showed no sign at all of coming loose or wearing
off. So the plan is to use thinned latex for the first coat to
penetrate into hard-to-reach places (like between adjacent deck boards,
and where railing posts sit on the deck boards, and hairline splits in
the boards); and topcoat that twice with unthinned. I'll know by next
year if this approach is better than the latex-over-oil-primer approach
I used 2 years ago which failed in one year.
Thanks to all those who contributed.
Perhaps, but the application and prep were meticulous. All treads and
risers were removed and thoroughly scraped, wire-brushed, sanded, and
brushed. Primed with oil primer all six sides. Top-coated with 2
coats of porch and floor latex all six sides.
So the other possibility is perhaps the conventional wisdom of latex
topcoat over oil primer is not universally correct for all
applications. FWIW, I spent 30 minutes in a paint store this afternoon
reading the label of each and every different exterior primer, both oil
and latex (8 or so different cans). Not a single one of them listed
exterior wood floors or steps as an acceptable application. Some of
the highly-touted brands such as Zinser 123 and Kilz explicitly
excluded exterior wood floors and steps.
It will take a couple of years, but my experiment with the backyard
porch steps should be most interesting:
You wont know with your experiment till it fails, what if it peals in
sheets in 4 years, well it could. Quit experimenting and follow
directions. Primer for decks is often paint thinned properly, properly
is the key.
That was the whole point of the message to which you were responding:
Can you recommend (by brand name and model number) even ONE primer
whose labelling explicitly allows usage on horizontal wood surfaces
exposed to weather and foot traffic?
On 23 Aug 2006 17:04:16 -0700, with neither quill nor qualm, "Ether
By overthinning the latex paint, you break down the chemical bonding
of the "glue" base which holds it together. Any paint over the top
would be more easily removed.
Blistering and peeling are indicators of moisture damage. Since the
primer came up, too, I'd wager that it was the wood which was still
Make POSITIVE SURE that the wood is dry, the primer is dry [I'd use
all oil-based if it was available, all latex (including primer) if
not.] As you have seen, 2 days at 85F wasn't enough to dry the wood
after washing. Also, make sure it's properly rinsed. Soap films can be
really tenacious. Give it a week to dry AND protect it from dew.
Another possibility arises when you paint things out in the sun. It's
best to paint while it's warm and dry, but not in the direct sunlight
if at all possible. That, too, can cause blistering as the outside
layer of paint dries more quickly than the inside, sealing in more
moisture than it normally would. (I've only read about this part, not
experienced it firsthand.)
Also avoid cheap paints. Good, durable, long-lived paint ain't cheap.
The clear and present danger of top-posting explored at:
I agree with Jonpa..., most of the information was useful and informative. The posters replying to the thread didn't seem to grasp the idea of what was being discussed, and offered little in that direction.
Mineral spirits? Gasoline? Just follow the directions? The reason for using primer in the first place is to fill in the bumps, creases, and other imperfections on the bare wood. The same is true of the primer you spray on your car's body to avoid rust.
My problem isn't decking, mine is beehive lids that absorb huge amounts of moisture from the respiration of the bees clustering in winter. The wet wood lifts the paint and flakes it off. Acrylic primer doesn't seem to work at all.
As for the date, we're aware of it, Philo. We're wishing for a followup to the experiment concerning the thinned paint as a primer substitute.
Quilt boxes . That is , a shallow tray above the cluster that's filled
with wood shavings or other absorbent material . Do you have an upper
opening for warm moist air to escape ? If not , I'm surprised you don't have
cold water dripping on the bees , a sure way to kill a colony .
I use an inner cover with an outer that's covered by aluminum flashing ,
no paint on my covers .
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