Painting kitchen table: SW Proclassic or All Surface Enamel (water-based)?


Old 08-27-11, 07:02 PM
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Painting kitchen table: SW Proclassic or All Surface Enamel (water-based)?

I have a parawood kitchen table/chairs set with a clear finish that I want to paint. The plan at this point is:

1. sand lightly with ~220 grit.
2. prime, probably with a water-based primer like Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 or SW Multi-Purpose Latex Primer.
3. paint with a high-gloss water-based paint. Hopefully a nice hard paint so I don't need any polyurethane on top.

For paint I was thinking Sherwin-Williams ProClassic water-based, but the guy at the store said that the All Surface Enamel would be even better. My only hesitation is that All Surface Enamel is for interior and exterior, and my impression is that exterior paints tend to be softer since they have to deal with more weather-related expansion and contraction. The SW guy also said I would be fine with a water-based primer (and I'd like to avoid oil-based products if at all possible). Any opinions on which paint would be a better choice, and/or any major issues with the rest of the plan?

Thanks for any help!
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Old 08-28-11, 04:31 AM
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Generally oil base enamels dry to a harder film than their latex counterpart. IMO the proclassic waterborne enamel is the best enamel I've ever used. It dries almost as hard as oil enamel but doesn't yellow and dries quick. While I've used it on a lot of interior woodwork, I've never used it on a table top.

I don't know why but SWP seems to push their all surface enamel. Several different times they've wanted to substitute it for industrial enamel or floor enamel

I've never been fond of using a latex primer over varnish/poly. You'll get a better bond using a solvent based primer. The waterborne enamel can be applied over a solvent based primer. It's always a good practice to sand lightly and remove the dust between coats. Also make sure any wax/polish is removed before you start sanding. When painting over a stained/poly'd finish - expect to apply 3 coats [1 primer,2 finish]

It's rarely ever a good practice to apply poly over enamel. A good quality enamel has enough scrubbing and wear properties by itself. Waterbased enamel won't dry to a noticeably harder film than the waterborne enamel and an oil base poly will yellow or deepen the color of the enamel. It would also complicate any touch up or repaint.

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