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What kind of paint should I use when painting my stained woodwork. - Arey Painting

Painting Stained Wood

Some people like the look of stained woodwork and others prefer paint. Sometimes you may not dislike the look of natural wood but you just grow tired of looking at the same thing. You may want to change the decor of your space and the colors of stain just don't mesh with your new plan.

Whatever the reason is that you want to update your stained trim or cabinets, I'm here to help make sure you select the right paints that will fit your needs. If you found this post on accident while looking for how to tell if your paint is latex or oil, here is a link for a blog post on that.

  • First, figure out what we are dealing with.

Does it have a clear protective coat on it?

Answer: No - Sometimes oil base stain is stained and left alone. This is not common but it's always a possibility. When you do find this, it is most likely on stained trim molding and not on cabinetry. In this case, you will need a primer that will block tannin bleed (the oils in the wood that migrate to the surface and discolor paint). Zinnser's BIN shellac primer is the best primer I've come across for this. Sometimes it's necessary to put on 2 coats.

Answer: Yes - Multiple clear coats will often seal the wood and prevent any stains from showing through any finish paint so now your priming needs must focus on bonding. Bonding primers grip to surfaces that are slick and glossy and act as an intermediate coat before applying finish paint. A thorough cleaning of the surface is recommended before applying primer, CoverStain, BIN, BIN Advanced, Extreme Bonding Primer, and STIX are just some of the bonding primers that are currently on the market.

As stated above, make sure your surface is clean before applying primer. Your finish is only as good as the prep work you put into it. Think of it as stacking blocks when building a structure. If you have damaged blocks or poor alignment then the building will eventually come crumbling down.....and so will your paint.

  • Second, decide what type of paint to use and the finish you desire.

Do you want the best the best durability and are able to tolerate long drying periods?

Oil-based paints have been around a long time and for good reason, they have great qualities that stood the test of time. Oil dries very hard and is an excellent protective coat for trim and doors. It levels out nice and is easy to achieve a finish free of brush or roller markings.

With that said, the downsides to using oil is that VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) are high in the gallon containers and are forcing manufacturers to either reformulate the ingredients or do away with it completely, so it may be hard to find in large quantities. Also, oil will take long to dry and needs to be blocked off for more than a few hours. And lastly, oil will yellow over time, so if you want white you must accept that it will not stay completely white for a long time.

DID YOU KNOW? - Oil-based paint that is exposed to direct sunlight will not yellow. Unfortunately, everything can't be exposed to direct sunlight so........

Do you want a fast drying, water cleanup paint that has the benefits of oil?

Paint companies are well aware of the fact that legislation is being written to eliminate all high VOC coatings completely. For years now, their chemists have been working on the formulation of paints to adhere to the strict VOC regulations and still get some of the benefits of oil products. Guess what? It's working!

Water and Oil DOES mix and we are seeing a shift in paint quality as a result. Here are the most popular versions from 2 professional paint distributors:

  • Benjamin Moore Advance - Although this is a true oil coating, it is water-based and water cleanup. It does not have a very quick dry time, requiring 4-6 hours.

  • Sherwin-Williams ProClassic® Interior Waterbased Acrylic-Alkyd Enamel - dries to the touch in under an hour and cleans up with water.

Do you just want a good acrylic paint that dries fast and looks great?

I mostly use Sherwin Williams Paints and my favorite acrylic trim and door paint is ProClassic Acrylic Interior Latex. It's a beautiful finish and it dries nice and hard. You won't have to worry about yellowing or any unknowns you may be concerned about with hybrid paints. Used with a good quality brush, the finish will level without any brush marks.

I hope this was helpful for you. If you have any questions please feel free to ask.

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