I'm refinishing all the woodwork in my home because the original
oil-based paint has yellowed and darkened. I'm going to use a satin
latex paint. I've read that adding Floetrol to the paint will help it
level out so as to avoid brush marks. Has anyone actually tried this and
been successful? If so, what mixture ratio did you use?
I use it and love it. Follow directions, and tweak from there. You just
have to fiddle with it until you get it right. I find that I use a little
more than suggested. It works great, for me, anyway, and reduces brush
marks and roller stipple. Be careful, because you will tend to put too much
paint on with the flatter appearance.
Don't thin the whole gallon. Just what you want to use. That way, if you
get it too thin, you can add some of the thick undiluted paint to bring it
back up. If you thin the whole gallon, and overthin, you won't be able to
Some oils yellowed but a warning unless you clean the trim and sand it
real well, it is likely never to bond right, many times ive seen latex
over a hard oil trim that came off with your fingernail. If it is a
quality old smooth finish then only oil can get that again, Penetrol in
oil or Floetrol in latex help, both made by Flood. The smoothest
finishing paint is Benjamin Moore satin Impervo, expensive but the new
formulations dont yellow as much . Latex may be easier now but dries to
quick to level and get real smooth, and bonding issues can make
stripping it off in a few years necessary, unless you spend alot to
Prep doesn't take a lot of time, depending on
whether the door is flat or a panel door. One
just needs to do it right. Wash with Trisodium
phosphate (or maybe a substitute), wet sand with
220-400 grit wet or dry paper and rinse off.
Don't need to sand a lot, just keep washing the
paper so that paint doesn't accumulate on the
paper. Maybe a lot of time if one is impatient
and thinks that 15 minutes per door is a lot of time.
In my project to repaint all the house's woodwork, I've just completed
refinishing the baseboards (lotsa little ledges and curves). And like
you say, I spent more time doing prep work than in the actual painting.
If I had only known about all this before I started the project ....sigh
Most paints say don't add anything, some say you
can dilute upto x percent. Floetrol tells on
their product the maximum you can dilute. I have
use Floetrol on walls at less than 10 percent and
it seems to improve the quality significantly but
my walls are a medium knockdown texture so
smoothness of paint is really a factor.
I recently painted my new doors and old woodwork
with a gloss latex and decided not to use Floetrol
as the paint said not to add anything. Used both
a roller and a brush. It is impossible for me to
get a finish free of brush marks with latex, but
I'm not a professional painter.
I suggest that you mix a cup or so of the paint
with 10 percent Floetrol and apply it on a very
smooth finished test board to check the smoothness
and to see if there are any color changes.
All the latex paint cans I've seen say not to thin the paint unless
using a sprayer, but Floetrol isn't a thinner (according to their
blurb), instead it is a "conditioner" (whatever that means). So I was
guessing that I could ignore the paint manufacturer's statement if I use
Floetrol. Am I wrong?
Be sure to sand it all down very well, you'll need to scuff up the old
oil paint to give the latex some bite.
I'd be asking at a real paint store about using the correct primer or
deglosser to make sure you get good bond to that oil.
They all say that. But in many cases it does need to be thinned to a
Floetrol works well. I'd bet you'll want to thin the paint a bit as
Anything you add to the paint that isn't paint
is a thinner. Yes, Floetrol is a conditioner but
it thins the paint, so it is also a thinner. You
can't ignore what the paint manufacturer says, but
you don't have to believe or follow it.
By now, you know all you need to know, you just
need to test it.
Floetrol is a *retarder*, meaning that it makes the
paint dry more slowly. The primary benefit is that
you can keep a wet edge longer. To a first order,
Floetrol doesn't *thin* the paint.
Thinning the paint (with water) will make it level better.
If you do this, do it only slightly (<5% water), as thinned
latex will not have as hard a surface (wear resistance)
as unthinned latex.
I use Floetrol only when brushing, and Floetrol plus 5% water
when spraying latex.
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