painting over semi-transparent stain


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Old 03-02-11, 03:33 PM
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painting over semi-transparent stain

Greetings,

I'm sure this question has been asked before, but I did a search and couldn't find quite what I was looking for so here it goes:

I've got a wood fence that was stained with Olympic acrylic/oil stain two years ago. We're looking to paint the fence now with Dunn Edwards acrylic paint. If it matters, the stain is a light brown, the paint will be a darker brown.

What kind of surface preparation will we have to do?
 
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Old 03-02-11, 07:21 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

Can I talk you out of painting the fence?
It should paint ok with a little prep. I'd wash the fence with TSP [add bleach if there is mildew] Don't forget to rinse well. That will help to remove the water repelling properties of the stain and allow the paint to adhere. IMO a solid stain would be a better choice than paint. It will have a similar look but will require less work when it comes time to recoat the fence. Failing stain rarely peels but failing paint often does.
 
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Old 03-02-11, 08:42 PM
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I appreciate the response marksr. A solid was actually my first choice, but I should explain a little more of the back story. Several days ago, the fence was tagged in three large areas with graffiti. I didn’t discover it until late in the day. The police strongly recommend that we remove it or cover it up as soon as possible. Since the sun was going down and we were leaving the next morning for a couple of days, I hurriedly tried several things I had on hand, including some of the existing stain which went over the graffiti like water, a solid stain and other spray paint. Nothing worked. What finally ended up working was spraying some primer (all I had was interior no less) and covering it with some leftover Behr paint I had that is luckily fairly close to the color of the stain. Obviously, this is a temporary fix.

I realize that paint will eventually peel, but if the fence ever gets tagged again it can be easily painted over. Plus in my naivete, I placed an order for the Dunn Edwards paint without realizing that painting over the stain could be a much bigger job than I initially thought. The Behr paint actually went on fairly well and has stayed on just fine despite the fact that I applied it at dusk and it rained in the middle of the night.

So for better or worse, between the graffiti and the already-order paint, I'm feeling unfortunately committed to painting the darn thing.

Do you think washing with TSP will be all I need to do? What about sanding the fence? Should I use primer?

Thanks again. I really appreciate it. Tim
 
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Old 03-03-11, 03:58 AM
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Since you using a darker brown, you shouldn't need a primer. As long as water doesn't bead up on the fence [except where you've already painted] the latex paint should adhere fine. If it does bead, sanding or an oil primer might be needed.

When graffiti doesn't wash off, a coat of oil base primer will generally seal/cover the graffiti. The primer can be coated with either latex solid stain or paint. On the rare occasion that an oil primer can't seal the graffiti, a pigmented shellac [like zinnser's BIN] is needed. There are some products designed to remove most graffiti but I'm not real familiar with them.
 
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Old 03-03-11, 08:12 AM
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Sounds like I kinda screwed up getting the paint before I knew exactly what I should do. At this point, I'm feeling committed to using the paint. But it also sounds like paint will work, and to be honest since the solid stain I tried didn't adhere very well to the spray paint I'm a little leery of using it.

So, can I use an oil primer under an acrylic paint? Or should it be latex?

Thanks again.
 
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Old 03-03-11, 03:52 PM
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Oil primer would be better! You can get it tinted, maybe not as dark as the finish paint but enough so there won't be any coverage issues.

Paint will last longer than solid stain, it's just the added prep once it starts to peel
 
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Old 03-03-11, 09:06 PM
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Got it. Thanks marksr. I really appreciate all the help.
 
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Old 03-04-11, 09:03 AM
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Just when I thought I had a plan, my wife came up with another possibility that has me going…hmmmm. Her thought is if it really makes more sense to stain the fence with a solid than paint it, maybe we would be better off setting aside the paint I bought for the fence for a workshop we’ll be building within a year or so. So my latest questions are:

Would it make more sense to stain than paint? Sounds like it would at least to some degree in terms of long-term maintenance? What about in the application process?

If the fence were hit with graffiti again, could we stain over it (solid over solid) as easily as we could paint over it (paint over paint)?

If we did stain it, what would we need to do to prepare the fence?

Would letting the paint we already bought sit unopened for let’s said a maximum of 18 months (just to be safe, but mostly likely it will be around a year) do any damage to it?

What would you do?

If staining is the way to go, any brand recommendations? We're in Tucson so lots of sun and dry heat, except oftentimes crazy fierce summer monsoons.

Just a quick recap: It’s roughly 115 feet of wood fencing stained with Olympic semi-transparent stain exactly two years ago. Water still beads on it. Since I couldn’t cover the graffiti with the same semi-transparent stain, I had to paint over it. So, the fence is now about 90 percent stain and 10 percent paint. Which raises another question: Will solid stain cover the paint?

Sorry for all the questions, but we're here for the long term and I just want to make sure I do this right.
Tim
 
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Old 03-04-11, 01:28 PM
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The biggest thing with storing paint is making sure it's not exposed to freezing temps or extreme heat. I've heard some say that paint should be discarded after 3 yrs - no matter how it's been stored. I have opened and used some paints that were over 5 yrs old and had no issues but I've also opened up cans that were less than 1 yr old that weren't fit to use.

The biggest issue with paint or stain over the existing semi-transparent is the fact that it still beads water. Washing the fence with a TSP solution should help to dull the finish so either latex paint or solid stain can be applied without a primer. An oil primer helps with adhesion if the semi-transparent stain still beads water. Both latex house paint and latex solid stain can be applied over oil base primer. Usually there are no issues applying solid stain over a little paint.

House paint will cover a little better than solid stain although solid stain brushes a little easier. Both should cover graffiti although depending on what was used to mark up the fence - a solvent based primer might be needed to seal it. Inks and such will bleed thru latex paint/stains.

Generally you will find the best coatings at your local paint store. A big box paint dept stocks the majority of their coatings based more on price than quality. Paint stores also carry a cheap line of paint..... so get their mid grade or better. The folks at your local paint store and the painters that trade there will know best what works best [or doesn't] in your area.
 
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Old 03-04-11, 02:33 PM
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Thanks marksr. I've sure appreciated your detailed responses. In the end, it sounds like it's pretty much half-a-dozen of one or six of the other when it comes to solid stain or paint in our particular situation.

I've learned my lesson when it comes to the paint departments at paint stores. I'm sticking with dedicated paint stores from now on.
 
 

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