Oil based paint - hard to work with, long dry time?

Old 02-04-07, 06:27 PM
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Oil based paint - hard to work with, long dry time?

as many here know we are painting our laminate cabinets. My wife got a gallon of Glidden Ultra-hide Oil/alkyd semi gloss paint and OMG it is hard to work with and take's FOREVER to dry. I'm talking at least 18 hours and it's still soft enough you could dig a finger nail into it - is this normal? We need to do a second coat (some of my impatient finger prints in it) - can I use a different paint that may be easier to work with and faster to dry?
Old 02-04-07, 07:36 PM
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The label generally says that it takes overnight or about 12 hours for alkyd paint to dry. You may be applying it too thickly, the humidity may be too high, or the temperature may be too low, the primer was not dry, or some combination thereof. Given that the paint is thoroughly mixed and applied with a good china bristle brush, alkyd paint goes on quite smoothly and requires a long time to be dry to the touch. Alkyd paint does not dry, it cures by oxidation; a small point.

No matter what you do, the prior coat must be dry before applying another.

Hope this helps.
Old 02-05-07, 04:30 AM
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Oil-based paints in general are harder to work with, less forgiving, and longer to dry than latex or waterborne

One of the easiest I know of is Ben Moore's Satin Impervo oil-based enamel
Excellent for cabinets, being oil and enamel it's very tough once cured
It's more forgiving (like more forgiving to over-brushing) than many other oils
A shot of Penetrol can help too...if you need it

But still, maintaining a wet edge (don't let a spot dry before the piece is done), working from paint you are applying into paint you've applied, using a light touch and feathering when blending applying to applied, and avoiding over-brushing, are always good tips for working with oils

It may not be hard enough to resist a fingernail dig after drying overnight (full cure takes a few days), but will be hard enough to re-coat
Old 02-05-07, 04:42 AM
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You may also want to thin it a LITTLE, 2 thin coats both dry quicker and are easier to apply. Ventilation may help the paint to dry a little quicker. Cold or damp air will prolong the drying time.
Old 02-05-07, 04:47 PM
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"I'm talking at least 18 hours and it's still soft enough you could dig a finger nail into it - is this normal?"

No. That's not normal for that product. The Ultra Hide Alkyd product is a "4 hour" enamel. It should dry tack free in 4 hours, and be hard enough to sand after 12.
I suspect too low a temperature of either the surface or the material, and probably too little air circulation & possibly too heavy a coat.

My most recent experience with that product was a set of kitchen cabinets. I took the doors off and finished them in the basement of the house. it was cool and slightly damp. The doors took well over 24 hours to dry.

I finished the frames in the heated and much drier kitchen. They dried to the touch in 4 hours, and were sandable the next morning.

A small amount of VMP Naptha or Pure Gum Spirits of turps will speed the dry somewhat. From my experience with that product, these will perform better than mineral spirits. Stoddard solvent, if you can find it, also works well. It's not worth the extra effort to seek it out though.

Also, the material does go one fairly translucent (does not hide all that well cpmpared to a latex product) so don't lay it on too thick. Figure on two coats.
Penetrol is an excellent additive and will make the material flow out and level very well. It may also slow down the dry - so be careful with how much you add.

Benj Moore Impervo is an excellent product. It may or may not fare any better though if the temerature is on the low side. It does cover (hide) quite a bit better though. I find it also levels and flows a little better too.
I believe it runs about twice the price though.

I'll echo what the others have said also. Pure china bristle brush, maintain a wet edge ( the basic reason to use an oil in the first place - the slower dry allows more open time and esier to keep a wet edge), thin slightly if needed to lessen the "drag", and allow ample time for cure.
Old 02-06-07, 11:52 AM
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What is the fascination with dry time all of the sudden?

"18 hours and I can dig my nails into it?" LEAVE IT ALONE. Yes, this is normal. It can take 30 DAYS or more for a coating to "cure". "Cure" is much different than "Dry". Yes, you may be able to lightly sand in less than 24 hours, but the coating is not set.

If you want a coating that you can dig your nails into quickly, get an epoxy. Some will kick over in less than 20 minutes if you really want to work quickly.

Stay away from Naptha, turpintine, keorsene, gasoline, MEK, or whatever your poision is. A small amount can THIN the coating, but as far as a drying agent, you run the risk of "skinning" your coating. That is, the top layer will be dry, but the under layer (under the skin) will remain soft and tacky for days or weeks to come.

I still laugh over the customer that wanted to paint her metal door. I suggested XIM primer (best at the time, still an excellent adhesion primer). 1 hour later she came back, mad as a wet hen. She had primed it per direction, the started picking at it, after it had flashed off. She wanted a full refund because the primer "just doesn't stick". Mind you, she picked it all off within an HOUR of priming.

Just put your coating on, and leave it alone. Unless you are pouring it on, it will dry hard after a few days. Until then, it will be dry, but NOT CURED.
Old 02-07-07, 06:35 AM
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Yes, we DO live in a very impatient world.

Just follow the instructions, ALL OF THEM, INCLUDING TEMP OF ROOM AND ITEM. If you do this all will be fine, MAYBE. There are EXCEPTIONS TO EVERY RULE, though.

I wish you well.


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