Painting over polyurethane cedar planks? [pic]

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Old 11-06-13, 01:25 PM
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Question Painting over polyurethane cedar planks? [pic]

I have a room that is pentagonal, and about 20 years ago cedar planks were put on 4 of the walls. I am in the process of updating the room. One wall had wallpaper which is now removed so it'll be painted but I am trying to decide what to do with the cedar.
I have no plans to remove it as I do like wood, just not really the dirty dated wood and colour. There are lots of nicks in the wood that need sanding.

I was thinking that I would wash the walls with TSP or similar and give a light sanding. Then, combine some flat alkyd ceiling paint with paint thinner and "whitewash" over the polyurethane, or maybe just using some oil-based covering primer.

The reason I don't want to just paint it is because then I would have to coat it in expensive alkyd primer and yet another coat of paint on top of that, and after all that I would just have painted planks with no grain showing. This isn't a horrible thing, but what is the point of wood walls if you just paint the grain?

(Click to embiggin)

Here's a pic showing the front windows:

Other side (windows and coverings gonna be replaced):

Back wall (a door is going to go where you see the TV wall mount):
 
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Old 11-06-13, 01:29 PM
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How about a solid body deck stain instead?
 
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Old 11-06-13, 01:49 PM
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No matter what type of paint you use [including solid deck stain] you'd need to sand and prime the poly first. If you went the white wash route I'd think you'd need to also apply a top coat of poly to keep the white wash from rubbing off.

Personally I like the natural cedar but I have painted similar walls in the past; 1 coat oil primer followed by 2 coats of paint [usually a satin/eggshell enamel, latex or oil base]
 
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Old 11-06-13, 02:07 PM
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Well I do have gallons of clear Varathane from building a log cabin so that part isn't an issue, I just am not sure about the practicality of using 2+ buckets of paint/primer to cover wood walls. Maybe I will just clean and sand it then put another coat of oil Varathane on it.

If I do that though I still have to stain the ledge you see in the pics to match the yellowy cedar (it is pine but I have a stain to hopefully match the cedar) so I don't want to do that till I make a decision.

I think I will buy a small thing of alkyd flat white and do a test spot.
 
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Old 11-06-13, 02:27 PM
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Had you not said cedar, I would have said that all looked like pine.
 
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Old 11-06-13, 03:19 PM
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[quote]Had you not said cedar, I would have said that all looked like pine.[quote]

lol, yea, you know, I'm just going by what I was told by the person who installed it, but it does look like knotty pine. I don't think it is red cedar but some other version. Here is the back of one of the boards (bare wood):



So the more I think about it, the more undecided I get.

Maybe I should just sand it and re-poly it clear? That might give me the look I want instead of having to do anything to it.

I do love the look of wood I just hate this particular colour, which I thought was just from the old Varathane-on-cedar but what do I know?

The Varathane we used on the cabin is water-based and gives a true natural look.
 
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Old 11-06-13, 03:28 PM
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Water based poly/varnish dries clear and doesn't alter the look of the wood any other than giving it a sheen. Oil base poly/varnish deepens the colors naturally in the wood and ambers some as it ages. I'm not sure how well a water based varathane will adhere to an oil base poly/varnish. Your walls might just have an oil base varnish and no stain, if a water based coating was used - it was likely stained first [going by the color]
http://www.doityourself.com/forum/pa...latex-oil.html I don't know for sure if this method works on varnish/poly.
 
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Old 11-06-13, 06:33 PM
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It was painted with clear oil based Varathane. I am currently gonna just strip off the old Varathane. Now that I've stripped a few planks I can tell it's most definitely cedar - it smells like a sauna in here!

Any suggestions for what grit to use? I tried 100 grit on my orbital sander but it's wayyy too slow. It does come off cleanly, just kinda slow.
 
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Old 11-07-13, 06:05 AM
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The quickest way to strip the old varnish is to 1st use a paint and varnish remover and then switch to sanding. Other than that, start with a coarse grit and finish up with a finer grit. If you don't use a stripper, I'd start with 80 grit, maybe 60 if it's too slow - just make sure you don't chew up the wood. 120-150 grit should be good for the final sanding. Always sand with the direction of the grain!!
 
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Old 11-09-13, 08:44 PM
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Thanks for the tips! The flat the stripping part isn't too bad, but it's tough getting into the grooves. I've been using a "mouse" triangle sander for the grooves but it's still awkward and time consuming. OH well.

Any suggestions on what to use to finish it? Just water based clear polyurethane?
 
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Old 11-10-13, 05:04 AM
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They make little detail scrapers, they come in different profiles. That will make cleaning up the grooves a lot easier/quicker.

The choice of finish coat depends a lot on what you want it to look like.
 
 

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