We live in an 80-year-old house which probably has a dozen coats of oil-base
white paint on the exterior wood windows.
We are coming up on a painting cycle and sooner or later will have to switch
to latex paint.
I assume this will mean starting with a coat of good primer. Should this be
oil, or water-based primer?
That choice may be limited by where the OP lives. From the Benjamin
"On January 1, 2005, significant VOC restriction standards were
enacted in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey,
New York, Pennsylvania, and northern Virginia. These standards have
been taken primarily from the California Air Resource Board that led
the way in VOC restriction measures.
These standards revisions are driven through a multi-state
organization called the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC). The OTC
focuses on developing regional solutions to ground-level ozone
problems in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the United
Most recently Maine and New Hampshire have adopted AIM (Architectural
and Industrial Maintenance) regulations based on the OTC Model rule as
of January 2006 and 2007, respectively. Massachusetts, Connecticut and
Rhode Island have all decided to adopt OTC AIM regulations and are
currently in the legislative process of rule creation and adoption.
The Massachusetts regulation will likely be implemented in January
2009 and Rhode Island and Connecticut are pushing for late 2008, early
2009 implementation. Finally, the state of Vermont has decided not to
adopt an AIM Regulation."
Oil-based primer under latex paint is the current standard. I used a latex
primer once, and it lasted less than a year. Peeled right off down to the
bare wood in just a few months. What's weird is that it did that on all four
sides, not just the front, which is the side which gets all the sun and
blowing snow. Paint usually lasts years longer on the other three sides, but
not when I used a latex primer. Also, the latex primer was runny and
generally bad to work with, although it was "the best" primer HD had. Now I
go to a real paint store for paint.
I'd use oil-based because it seems to protect better than water-based,
but it doesn't really matter which you use. Select a premium primer
and paint of the same brand, and carefully follow the preparation
instructions. Allow the paint to fully cure for a month or two before
setting anything on it.
Especially with an older house, the prep-work will largely determine
of the job. Removing _all_ loose paint, and roughening surface. You
to plan on stripping windows down to wood; I would. :')
Alkyd (oil-based) paints have problems: flaking, "alligator"-ing,
sealing in water
that enters via cracks that _will_ occur in the hard surface.
Acrylic (latex) exterior paints gradually "chalk" over time.
In any case, thorough prep, spot-priming a/r and quality acrylic would
the best long-term results, IME.
Consumers Union would be a good place to research paints.
I sort of truncated my inquiry. The "house" of which I speak is actually a
six-unit cooperative apartment building with a huge number of windows --
close to 200, I think.
To strip the paint to the wood would be terribly expensive -- maybe $100,000
or more, in my city.
I'd love to take that route, but don't think we could afford it.
Ooooooh, goodness. That changes the picture somewhat. I am thinking
that latex and the old alkyd/oil expand and contract differently and
that would cause the latex adhesion problems. Are you planning on doing
it yourself or having a contractor? If a contractor, the paint company
may have "certification" for contractors or some other arrangement to
guarantee proper product and preparation. When our condo was painted,
the paint co. delivered paint, inspected after pressure washing that
prep was adequate. Part of their warranty process for commercial jobs,
I guess. I believe it was instigated by the contractor, as it wasn't at
the request of the condo. assn.
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