Some questions about Zinsser Cover Stain...


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Old 05-03-08, 01:30 PM
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Some questions about Zinsser Cover Stain...

I just spent today priming a new 10x12 shed in preparation for painting. That was a lot more work than my previous paint jobs, which have all been interior.

Topcoat for this job will be ext. water-base SWP Satin SuperPaint. It called for wood wood products to be undercoated with oil-base primer. The shed is constructed from LP "SmartPanel" paneling, with both plain and pressure-treated pine trim. Technically, the paneling is pre-primed, but I am a belt-and-suspenders kind of guy when it comes to paint prep.

A few observations about this fine product and my job today:
1) I do believe that is by far the thickest product I have ever applied. I almost believe Zinsser makes it by taking a bucket of pigment, resin powder, etc., and then just adding a smidgen of paint thinner to "fill in the cracks". The can states that it has a solids content of 60+% I almost think that using a rope mop would have been easier than the 4" Purdy I did use. This stuff has so much solids in it, that my bucket of mineral spirits I used to clean out the brush must have had 1/4" of solids down in the bottom when I emptied it out.
2) This was my first experience with an oil-base coating. I can see why most painters don't use oil-base paint any more. Clean up was a royal Pain In The Rear. I ended up throwing out my working pail (it was just a cheap plastic thing), as it was a goopy mess by the time I finished. I can only hope I got my brush cleaned enough. (I did use two buckets of spirits: one for the initial cleaning, and a second for the rinse.)
3) How can a primer with so much solids cover so poorly? It has the typical post-primer blotchiness.
4) LP needs to tone down on the wood-grain texture. It made it about 3x as tough to coat fully.

Questions:
1) It took longer than I thought to put up that primer coat, so I was not able to get even one coat of paint on it today. How many days do I have to topcoat with paint? I certainly don't want to wait too long and have to do all that over again.
2) What happens if it gets wet?
3) How vigorously can I clean it? One side of my shed gets dirt on the bottom of the paneling due to rain spatter. I have hosed it off before, but I don't want to wash off the primer.
4) I am getting a funny feeling I may have used the wrong product. Is there a different primer I should have been using today? Perhaps one that is easier to apply?

SirWired
 
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Old 05-03-08, 01:59 PM
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I don't often use zinnser primers but have always believed them to be good. Did you stir up the primer well before application? it may have needed a tad of thinner to make it flow well.

I would have used the A-100 oil base primer.

The primer should be ok for weeks but maybe not months. Because it's oil base, rain won't wash it off and you can clean it with a water hose to ready it for your latex paint. rain, or high humidity will slow down the drying time but usually overnight is sufficent to recoat.

3 rinses is the norm but basically you need to clean the brush until it is clean. I often leave used thinner in a can to reuse as a first rinse the next time I clean up oil base brushes.
 
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Old 05-03-08, 06:57 PM
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Water will not harm your primer as long as it is dried. Mark brings up a good point. Why did you use a stain killing fast drying type of primer? A-100 would have been a dream to apply. This is ideal for new raw exterior wood. It also would be a minimum 24 hours to dry. It does take a least a gallon of thinner to clean your brushes and roller, but a good oil brush is worth $15 bucks. I to....would use the first cleaner over again for the next first rinse.

The product I believed was old stock.....it should not have been this thick unless old. With oil used less these days.....old may have been the problem.
 
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Old 05-03-08, 07:43 PM
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Yeah, in retrospect, I should have gone for the A-100. When I bought the stuff, it was a Sunday and the local SWP wasn't open.

Looking at the product literature (now anyway, after the stuff is already on the shed) it looks like Cover-Stain is the Zinsser equiv. to SWP PrepRite Quick Seal; although I think that the Cover-Stain has a higher solids content.

I actually used about a gallon and a half of Mineral Sprits, but I only had it split into two rinses. We'll see how good of a job I did when I start using that same brush for the Latex topcoats. When I was flicking the sprits out of the brush, they weren't completely clear, but they only had a slight hint of milkiness to them.

You live, you learn... I guess sometimes you learn things the hard way.

SirWired
 
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Old 05-04-08, 05:05 AM
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cover stain dries to recoat in 1 hour. the 60% solids on the can in, frankly, irrelevant. if you are looking to see if the product is ready to apply, as it usually is, then you need to check the viscosity. these products are made to be brush and rolled by a DIY. so if it did not brush and roll well, as it sounds like, then the product itself may be quite old, sat around for a while, or got too hot/cold too many times. Oils are thicker then latexes.

as for using the wrong primer? No. This product works great on a multitude of surfaces. For example, I sell it to a guy who paints propane tanks (the big one next houses) and other exterior tanks with it. We have it on a lot of exterior ceder to prevent tannin bleed. We also sell a lot of it because it dries to recoat/topcoat in 1 hour.
 
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Old 05-04-08, 06:22 AM
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Where did you buy your primer? You say the paint store was not open.It should have been put in a shaker if there was any sort of real customer service.Was it?Where I work,an Ace store,we keep 4 to 8 cans of this product in stock at any one time with 2 deliverys a week to maintain inventory.The product stays fresh.

If this was purchased at a big box you may well have gotten inventory that had been warehoused after a large bulk purchase by them,a common industry practice.Not to push Ace too much but they never keep large amounts of stock of product such as this in the warehouses in part because of failure issues.

Just an observation from the retailer standpoint.
 
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Old 05-04-08, 01:54 PM
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Don't get me wrong; I am sure that the product sealed well, and it certainly did dry when it said it would. (Not that it needed to, given that it took about 5 hours to put on that one coat.) The solids did stay in suspension during application and didn't leave "paint boogers" on the surface, so i don't think I suffered from product failure.

This stuff was just thicker than I would have preferred for such a coarse-textured surface. Getting it worked into the coarse "grain" and the notches in the paneling was a challenge. It was not that much thicker than the PrepRite Pro Block water-base I use for my interior painting. However, indoors, I don't have grain or rough notches to coat.

The reason I said I might have used the wrong primer is because I did not need quick-dry stain sealing, just an exterior undercoat to seal off the wood pores and provide a nice undercoat for my paint.

I mentioned the solids content because you can't make something that is 2/3's solids the consistency of, say, interior paint.

As a side note, since the primer is white, and the shed will be painted white, any tips on making sure I get 100% coverage with the topcoat?

SirWired
 
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Old 05-04-08, 01:58 PM
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Just apply a solid fluid coat. The biggest cause for 'holidays' [missed spots] is from dry brushing or dry rolling..... and that is harder work than keeping the brush/roller well lubricated with paint.
 
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Old 05-05-08, 09:20 AM
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There is a good chance your project will fail. The SW topcoat will be much more flexible, and as a quick dry primer it is very inflexible.

Secondly, as a 'short' oil primer, it doesn't give adequate penetration to the wood like a "long" oil primer such as A-100.

I give the shed about 6-8 months before you start to notice peeling down to the wood.
 
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Old 05-05-08, 10:09 AM
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If this primer will not accept a latex topcoat in a durable fashion, is there any way my shed can be saved, or is it now doomed to eternal peeling? Can I lay down A-100, and then topcoat with the SuperPaint?

SirWired
 
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Old 05-05-08, 10:17 AM
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Well, a good power washing would remove about 90% or so.

Maybe even more. Then use A-100.

Either way its kind of a mess. The shed isn't all that big, and depending upon sunlight exposure it may not be a huge problem.

If it gets a lot of exposure, thats worse. That will cause more expansion/contraction. That is when the primer will fail, as the wood expands/contracts and it's too brittle to "move".

If its in a shady location it will last longer.
 
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Old 05-05-08, 10:48 AM
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For what it's worth, Zinsser states on the page for this product:

"On exterior surfaces, Cover-Stain has an unique whole house formulation that delivers full penetration and flexibility on all surfaces, especially dimensionally unstable wood siding and trim, where few oil-based primers can succeed."

How true this is, I don't know...

SirWired
 
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Old 05-05-08, 10:56 AM
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Well, they can say pretty much anything they want. It's also worth noting that their "warrenty" only covers product. (Just like all paint warrenties). So it it doesn't work, you get your money back. Never mind the labor to fix it.

I would just paint it, and let it go. If it fails, it fails. Next time use a "long" oil primer.
 
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Old 05-05-08, 04:32 PM
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I wouldn't be overly concerned about the primer. The odds are it will be ok........ and if it isn't, it's only a shed, not near as big as a house
 
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Old 05-05-08, 04:45 PM
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My experience with Zinnser is that it top coats with latex really well. The paint flows very well on during the finishing coats. I think that the stumbling is from the fact that it is a primer, and primers do not cover like paint. They are designed to seal not totally cover. If you were working it to get a completely "white" coat like you were putting on a finish coat, you will always be disappointed with primer coverage.

My guess, is that you will be very satisfied with the finished results and it will go on a lot smoother than the priming coat.
 
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Old 05-05-08, 06:48 PM
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if the surface was properly prepped, Cover Stain will not fail.
 
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Old 05-05-08, 07:53 PM
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You put two coats of SW exterior Duration.......you will have a trouble free paint job for at least 5 years!

That primer will be just fine. It just does not apply like a slow drying primer.
 
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Old 05-06-08, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by nagra4s View Post
You put two coats of SW exterior Duration.......you will have a trouble free paint job for at least 5 years!

That primer will be just fine. It just does not apply like a slow drying primer.

That's where people get into trouble. Use the wrong primer/super expensive topcoat. If the topcoat fails, its because the topcoat wasn't very good. Never mind that the primer was crap.

Sort of like using SW Duration/Proclassic interior, and applying it with the $.79 disposable china bristle brush.

Paint job looks terrible? Must be cheap paint!

I wouldn't put much more than A-100 on a shed like the OP is painting. Why spend $50/gallon for a shed?
 
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Old 05-07-08, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by groundbeef View Post
That's where people get into trouble. Use the wrong primer/super expensive topcoat. If the topcoat fails, its because the topcoat wasn't very good. Never mind that the primer was crap.

Sort of like using SW Duration/Proclassic interior, and applying it with the $.79 disposable china bristle brush.

Paint job looks terrible? Must be cheap paint!

I wouldn't put much more than A-100 on a shed like the OP is painting. Why spend $50/gallon for a shed?
That kover Stain ( I assume it was) is not a bad primer at all. No way this is going to fail like a cheap primer or a basic Kilz (stain killing oil primer for spot priming only). This Zinnser is a whole house oil based primer. Sirwired had an application problem. But the product is meant for exactly what he planned.

But groundbeef.....your are right about a bad primer under a good top coat.
 
 

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