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Safe to paint over old plywood?

hundy's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 23

10-05-16, 07:07 AM   #1  
Safe to paint over old plywood?

The ply is at least 40 years old. It has been on the walls and floors of a structure, unpainted, since it was built in the 1960s or 70s. I vaguely know that outgassing is a thing, and I know plywood used to be made with not very health-inducing glues, but I don't know if painting over this stuff with a latex interior primer/paint-in-one is going to create an environment that will instantly kill all life in the room, or if the advanced age of the ply makes it safe to paint on, and I can remove my biohazard suit, which is itchy.

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stickshift's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 18,476

10-05-16, 07:20 AM   #2  
This is on the inside of the building? If so, just to be safe, I'd hit it with an oil based primer first and then a couple coats of quality latex paint (no all-in-one products). I purchase paints and primers from paint stores, not paint departments.

Hang tight to see if Mark disagrees with my plan.

joecaption's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 3,963

10-05-16, 08:01 AM   #3  
Total waste of time worrying about it.
Any off gassing if there was any is gone long ago.
If the unseal plywood has not sealed anyone yet it's not going to.
Make sure you have plenty of venting if you go with oil based primer.
I'd be more concerned with the effects of that then the plywood.

hundy's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 23

10-05-16, 08:32 AM   #4  
Dude if worrying is a waste of time then my entire life has been a waste of time.

Thanks for the advice about the ply. Makes sense to me and I appreciate the reassurance.

ray2047's Avatar
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10-05-16, 09:20 AM   #5  
Out gassing is normally associated with particle board not plywood. Which do you really have?

I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

marksr's Avatar
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10-05-16, 09:34 AM   #6  
I'd second the use of an oil base primer as it will adhere better than latex primer along with sealing any stains.

retired painter/contractor avid DIYer

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