Best Primer for Exterior Wood Patio Douglas Fir wood?


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Old 03-05-11, 11:07 AM
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Smile Best Primer for Exterior Wood Patio Douglas Fir wood?

Hi All. Great information here.

I am building a new wood patio using smooth Douglas Fir and like to know what is the best primer to use?

In past projects I have used Latex Kilz primer with fairly good success, but that was years ago.

What I am looking for in a good primer is for it to adhere well to smooth (not rough sawn) wood and not peel off. We are going to use a paint roller with the primer and not a sprayer so that it will go on well.

Yes we wil be painting the wood after the primer.
 
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Old 03-05-11, 12:16 PM
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Reply to painting wood patio

Curious - why are you painting a wood deck? If you live in a part of the country where you get rain at some point in the year, moisture absorbed by the wood will crack the paint and make it flake off - no matter what primer you use. Even if you prime and paint all surfaces of each pc of wood, it won't last as long as a stain, and you will eventually have a huge mess with all the flaking paint. There are some stains out there (Ace carries one) that are latex stains with pigment in them that look like paints, but are actually stains. You would still want to use a finish coat, like thompson's sealer.
 
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Old 03-05-11, 04:29 PM
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I agree that a solid stain is generally a better choice for a deck than paint is. I would not recommend applying Thompson's WaterSeal over any paint/stain!

An oil base exterior wood primer would be the best type of primer to use. I don't use latex kilz because it's a poor stain hiding primer and if you don't need the stain hiding, there are better latex primers to choose from. I've heard but can't verify that there are adhesion issues with latex kilz.

What type of paint do you intend to use on the deck? For the most part a stain is a better choice but it will be a flat finish. If you require a sheen, you'd want to use a porch and deck enamel. P&D enamels hold up well on most covered decks but like any paint, can be problematic on exposed decking.
 
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Old 03-05-11, 10:54 PM
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Thanks for the feedback, but I was not specific.

Not a deck, it's a regular wood cover patio which is exposed on top. 2x3 spaced to let a little light through.

So basically it's just a patio like this one.

I like the white plastic look and stain wont cut it. I also don't want a vinyl nor alumawood type of patio.

Thanks
 
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Old 03-06-11, 04:23 AM
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In that case, you should still use an exterior wood oil base primer and then a latex house paint for the top coat.

You'll save yourself a lot of time and effort if you preprime and apply 1 coat of house paint before you build the cover. After it's built, prime the raw edges and apply the final coat of house paint.
 
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Old 03-06-11, 10:26 AM
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I was told NOT to use oil base primer because Latex will let the wood "breath" for outside applications. oil base will cause dry rot if/when water gets in the wood.

Everywhere I ask, I get a different answer
 
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Old 03-06-11, 10:35 AM
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Oil base primer will seal the wood better. If the wood is dry, primed and painted - it doesn't need to breathe. Latex primer is better on the siding of older homes that don't have a vapor barrier or anywhere the interior of the substrate is expected to get damp. The whole point of priming and painting the wood is to protect it from the elements, including rain.

The only issue I can see is IF you don't paint the top edge of the lumber..... but if it isn't primed and painted [and recoated when the need arises] no matter what type of coating you apply - it will fail
 
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Old 03-06-11, 11:45 AM
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Exclamation

You make sense and I agree, but here is what confuses me.

At our lumber yard, Ganahl Lumber, I was told that if I wait too long to prime/paint the lumber, that it will dry too fast and cause splits.

If I paint too soon the wood will have moisture and the primer will not adhere.

The one thing the all folks at the lumber yard said, was definitely NOT to use oil base primer or paint but to use latex for the breather thing ( outside exposed lumber).

I agree with the general concept that if the wood is primed and painted (oil base) all around (top,bottom, sides and ends) that it should not need to "breath".

I ~think~ that the mind set is that wood will develop ~some~ cracks & splits with time and a little water will eventually get in and start the dry rot process. This is where the Latex "breathing" thing comes into play with exterior wood. I also agree with the maintenance but realistic speaking, you cannot get every single crack everywhere even if you paint every year which nobody will do.

The location is Southern California. Not a lot of rain, but dry rot is a major problem where with exterior wood patios (the daily morning due really does a number on wood here).

So I am confused!
 
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Old 03-07-11, 04:33 AM
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You might want to go to your local paint store [not a big box paint dept] and see what they recommend. They'll know what works best in your climate. Besides being well trained in their product line, they have the benefit of gaining knowledge from all the pros that trade there.

Generally if the wood has been kiln dried, a day or two in the sun generally gets it dry enough to paint.
 
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Old 03-07-11, 08:30 AM
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First, douglas fir will not hold up outside, use pressure treated lumber or something rated for exterior use, like cedar or redwood. Any can be painted but I would use oil based primer first to prevent any bleed-through from the wood.

You've said patio but I believe the word you wanted was pergola - the patio (floor) itself is concrete, right?
 
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Old 03-07-11, 10:26 AM
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Yes, pergola with concrete for the floor. I thought those were also called Patio covers?

I think I open pandora's box here.

As for stains with Thompson's water sealer: Big mistake. You cannot re-seal it later on - you would have to strip it down and that is cost prohibited.

As for preasure treated lumber for an outside patio would look horrific, amazinly horrific.

As for redwood, yes, it will hold up longer than Douglas Fir *BUT* will eventually rot. Best choice is to correctly paint it whether Redwood or Douglas fir for longevity. 90% of wood patios in my area are Douglas Fir *BUT* painted because the elements will destroy the wood (redwood or anything else).

Many patio covers (pergolas) in my area are painted and they seem to hold just fine, but I don't know what primer they used and thus why I am asking here.

I asked our lumber yard folks and not the big box hardware store because I thought they would know best. The lumber yard folks said to paint it any way I wanted, BUT not to use oil base primer nor paint for the reasons mentioned before.

Here is a picture of the patio cover that I am talking about.
 

Last edited by joe1234; 03-07-11 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 03-07-11, 10:49 AM
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Once properly painted, fir, redwood and PT will all look the same. And, yes, all will eventually rot but the time difference between redwood or PT rotting and fir is siginificant.

Are those columns wood sitting directly on concrete?
 
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Old 03-07-11, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by mitch17 View Post
Once properly painted, fir, redwood and PT will all look the same. And, yes, all will eventually rot but the time difference between redwood or PT rotting and fir is siginificant.

Are those columns wood sitting directly on concrete?
No, those are fiberglass columns. Pacific columns sells them and they are close to me and I got a 10" taper colum to see how it looks and it looks great! Here is what the columns looks like un-install and with no paint.

Preasure treated wood has gazillions of puctures to inject the oils and you cannot get it smooth with paint. I made the mistake once of painting preasure treated wood and it just looks hoffific in my opinion.

My current patio is made of Douglas Fir and it held up 30 years. It needs replacing now, but it held up well in my opinon. The wood is rough sawn and not smooth. I am looking at smooth Douglas Fir becase we like the smooth surface look. The correct paint is key and thus why I am seeking opinions here.

Here are pictures of our current patio with Douglas Fir which again has lasted 30 years.

When we bought the house, the patio wood was not painted and I used Kilz primer and Behr high-gloss paint and I have zero paint peeling off. Some say it's because the wood is rough sawn and not smooth. Since I am going to go with smooth Douglas Fir I want to make sure I get the best primer for this application. Thus back to the original question: What is the best Primer to use for exterior smooth Douglas Fir wood?
 

Last edited by joe1234; 03-07-11 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 03-07-11, 11:28 AM
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You've had multiple people here advise oil based

Good luck with your project
 
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Old 03-07-11, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by mitch17 View Post
You've had multiple people here advise oil based

Good luck with your project
Yes and thank you all. I will repeat that in my opinion, oil based is best - but the argument against it also makes sense for exterior wood.

More confused now than when I started
 
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Old 03-07-11, 02:38 PM
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Oil base primer adheres to and seals the wood better than latex primer. IMO oil primer is the best way to go when painting kiln dried lumber. PT wood doesn't paint well until it's dried. Air drying can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months. You can buy kiln dried PT wood [not every lumber yard has it] but you can expect to pay a premium for it.

Most of my painting experience has been in the S.E. In this area, oil primer with latex house paint for a top coat holds up best. When buying paints/primer, price is usually indicative of quality.
 
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Old 03-07-11, 03:14 PM
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Thanks again.

Kiln dried lumber here is an arm and a leg - really cost prohbited - but yes, that would be ideal.

During my lunch break, I went to two different major paint stores that only sell paint and ask the same question.

Both said to use Latex because Oil primer will cause mildew to develop on outside exposed lumber. Their reasoning was that the wood is going to expand and contract and oil base primer is more rigid and crack easier, thus causing water to get in and mildew and dry rot to take over.

Both agreed that oil base primers will adhere better BUT for outside lumber (regarless of the wood type), water base was best for both for the reason I mentioned.

So far it's pretty much split down the middle ( oil verses water base )
 
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Old 03-07-11, 03:22 PM
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I'd go with the paint store's advice! They should know their products and how they preform in your environment. Oil base coatings do tend to mildew quicker than their latex counterpart although I've never run into mildew issues when the oil primer was top coated with latex. They are correct in that latex paint is somewhat flexible and oil base is not.

Is the douglas fir not kiln dried?
 
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Old 03-07-11, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by marksr View Post

Is the douglas fir not kiln dried?
No, it is not klin dried but it's not wet either. The one uniform answer I did receive was to leave the wood to dry 5-7 days at location before applying the primer.

We have pretty good weather here.

I did ask about the price of klin dried verses not and for a moment I thought it was a telephone number they gave me but no, it was the price tag for such dry wood.
 
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Old 03-08-11, 04:00 AM
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I'd lean towards latex primer on air dried wood. Oil primer/paint will fail if there is any moisture that will migrate out of or thru the wood. I have air dried sawmill lumber [1x6s] on my front and back porch floors. They are primed and painted with oil base but I let them air dry [after installation] about 6 months before I applied the primer and paint.
 
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Old 03-08-11, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by marksr View Post
I'd lean towards latex primer on air dried wood. Oil primer/paint will fail if there is any moisture that will migrate out of or thru the wood.
Exaclty. I went to another major paint store and talked to an older guy who sounded like he knew paint inside out.

He said to use water base latex primer and NOT Oil base primer. His reasoning was the same as others. Oil base will cause mildew to develop and it's downhill from there on ( dry rot ).

When we really think about it, no major exterior wood structure can realistically be sealed 100% So naturally wood will develop cracks as the wood expands and contracts (whether major or minor cracks) and water WILL get in.

Once water gets in, if it has no way of getting out like with Oil Base, it will then milded with dry rot taking over and the wood will fail - the wood will come apart (which is worse than paint peeling off).
 
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Old 03-22-11, 11:54 AM
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drying time?

I have a similar project. I am rebuilding stairs and deck rails in douglas fir. The deck itself has a waterproof coating but the stair treads will be solid douglas fir. I too am getting conflicting info about using an oil vs acrylic latex primer. The previous rails (some of which will remain) are painted in acrylic latex top coat. I don't know what primer they used. To complicate matters we just had a major rain storm and they have delivered very wet wood. So my two questions are:

1. How long do I have to wait before priming?

2. What type of primer would you recommend given the situation?
 
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Old 03-22-11, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by carlettels View Post

1. How long do I have to wait before priming?

2. What type of primer would you recommend given the situation?
Hi there. I am the Original poster on the subject.

Since my post I have continued to ask various people (paint stores, etc) on the subject and on drying time.

I am still getting conflicting answers to the drying time - some say 2-3 days, others weeks (no rain, dry weather). What confuses me is that everyone says that if you wait too long, the lumber will split & warp in the sun. If you don't wait long enough, the lumber will be wet and paint will not stick on well.

On the subject of Latex vs Oil Primier, the one prevailing answer I am getting is NOT TO GO WITH OIL BASE primer. Use only Latex primer and paint. The reasons make perfect sense for me which I outlined a few posts above.

I am a little perplexed that anyone would even suggest oil base primer & paint for exterior expose douglas fir wood. It may be ok for inside the house, but it's a no-no for exterior exposed wood.
 
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Old 03-22-11, 03:17 PM
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drying time?

Thans for your advice Joel. It seems like there are definitely painters who feel oil based primer is better but the only reason I get from them is better adhesion and durability Now that the wood is so wet I am even more comfortable with the latex primer since if it isn't 100% dry (and like you say how do we know when that is?) the latex might allow the moisture to get out better than oil? This should be more of a science and less opinions IMHO!
 
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Old 03-23-11, 03:34 AM
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I believe whenever feasible that oil primer is best but latex primer/paint will breathe to some extent but if there is moisture in the wood - it's better to use a latex primer. You can use a moisture meter to check the moisture content of any given piece of wood. I've always relied on my years of experience to judge the moisture content. Air movement and sunlight will help to dry the wood. Generally kiln dried wood will dry quicker than air dried wood. The kiln dried lumber is generally has a lower moisture content at the time of purchase even if it's stored outside.

btw - welcome to the forums carlettels!
 
 

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