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Rick Savery

Painting over varnished ply

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I suspect this question has been asked before, but I'm not a huge fan of brown varnished ply, so want to paint it.

 

Did a small test with B & Q emulsion to see a) how it covered and what the finish was like, and b) how easily is scratched off.

 

Sort of happy with the finish, but it scraped off very easily, which I suspected it might, so my question is what can I prime the varnished ply / t&g with so that paint adheres better, and what would anyone suggest as the top coat ( I used bog standard emulsion - happy to change but don't want to pay Farrow and Ball prices unless I have to)

 

Thanks

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5 minutes ago, Rick Savery said:

what can I prime the varnished ply / t&g with so that paint adheres better

Zinser Cover Stain. Just wash the surface with sugar soap first. 
https://www.screwfix.com/p/zinsser-cover-stain-primer-white-2-5ltr/17117

6 minutes ago, Rick Savery said:

what would anyone suggest as the top coat

Whatever you like. It’ll stick well to Zinser whatever you use. 

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You don't say whether this is interior or exterior (I suspect the former) but your best bet for paint may be one of the "trade" glosses from Johnson Paints or similar.

 

 

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Wotever - thanks, I have made a note of that. Would that be suitable for both light and not-so-light colours ?

 

Machpoint - Sorry I should have been more specfic. It's for interior ply wall and ceiling coverings. to be honest I don't want to go for gloss as the finish for two reasons - I don't want a gloss finish in general, and I worry that that a gloss (oil-based?) paint will show terrible brush marks.

 

David Mack - no, I didn't rub down first - mainly due to laziness I'd rather avoid rubbing it all down to get rid of the varnish - also, there is just so damn much of it! I will if that's the only way, but would rather use some sort of 'mid-layer' if possible

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If you don't want to rub down to key the surface, which I would certainly recommend, then at least wash everything down with sugar soap or equivalent to degrease. Also recommend Zinser & Johnstones trade paint. Johnstones can mix to all Farrow & Ball shades extremely well. That's what we do in houses anyway. 

Zinser do a very good degreaser in a spray bottle but sugar soap is much cheaper for large areas.

Edited by MrsM
Extra info

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19 minutes ago, Rick Savery said:

no, I didn't rub down first - mainly due to laziness I'd rather avoid rubbing it all down to get rid of the varnish

 

It's not to get rid of the varnish, "keying" it is to scratch it enough that the paint can stick to it.

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1 hour ago, Rick Savery said:

I suspect this question has been asked before, but I'm not a huge fan of brown varnished ply, so want to paint it.

 

Did a small test with B & Q emulsion to see a) how it covered and what the finish was like, and b) how easily is scratched off.

 

Sort of happy with the finish, but it scraped off very easily, which I suspected it might, so my question is what can I prime the varnished ply / t&g with so that paint adheres better, and what would anyone suggest as the top coat ( I used bog standard emulsion - happy to change but don't want to pay Farrow and Ball prices unless I have to)

 

Thanks

As others have said, you really ought to make a key for your layer of paint. 
 

Having said that I got away with white glossing straight over my scumbled interior earlier in the year. I’m very very lazy and will look for an easy way. I might have quickly shown the surfaces a quick flash of sand paper but probably not much. 

I used Johnstone’s paint. 
It obviously took a couple of layers. 

 

Well bright now ! 
Need sunglasses. 
I love it,

makes the inside look much cleaner. 


just to add: use oil based paint so it sticks proper

Edited by Goliath

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1 hour ago, David Mack said:

Did you rub down the varnish first to key the surface?

Yes keying and then vacuuming & wiping clean to remove the dust is the "key" here. Also I wouldn't use an ordinary water-based emulsion. There's got to be a better finish than that for the inside of a boat. 

Edited by blackrose

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1 hour ago, Rick Savery said:

Wotever - thanks, I have made a note of that. Would that be suitable for both light and not-so-light colours ?

Yep. And the big advantage of Zinser (and why I suggested it) is that you don’t have to thoroughly sand the varnish first. Just ensure it’s clean. 

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5 hours ago, WotEver said:

Yep. And the big advantage of Zinser (and why I suggested it) is that you don’t have to thoroughly sand the varnish first. Just ensure it’s clean. 

zinser sticks to any surface without the need for a key, will even paint glass.

 

6 hours ago, blackrose said:

Yes keying and then vacuuming & wiping clean to remove the dust is the "key" here. Also I wouldn't use an ordinary water-based emulsion. There's got to be a better finish than that for the inside of a boat. 

zinser first, followed by a good quality oil based gloss is the way to go.

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A good wash down with sugar soap should provide enough of a key for painting, will degrease and has a mild abrasive.

Edited by BWM
  • Greenie 1

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Thankyou all for your replies - very helpful and informative as usual

 

In my defence, I had only painted a small test square to see what the colour was like, I knew it was going to scrape off easily with no preparation - I just wanted to see how easily 🙂

 

So, sugar soap as a start then either light sanding or zinsser primer before painting the top coat - sound reasonable? Although suggested by several, I really don't want to replace acres of varnished ply with acres of shiny gloss paint - and I hate cleaning brushes after using gloss 🙂

 

Blackrose - you don't like the idea of water-based emulsion as a finish in a boat. Is that because of personal taste or is the fact that it is water-based an issue in boats? I only ask as I personally like the matt, slightly chalky finish, but don't want to necessarily take the risk if being water-based could be problem.

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If you are worrying about brush marks do the job in reasonable sized areas with a big brush (4") to get the paint on and then go over it whilst wet with a very fine mohair radiator roller (these are usually pink/orange in colour and readily available but more expensive) that will give you a more even surface esp on areas of sheet ply .

 

Just remember the mantra 90% preparation 10% application - you can't build a house on poor foundations - etc etc ........... 

 

I suspect you knew all this but were hoping there was a magic tried and tested solution - there isn't - and you must sugar soap which actually isn't  hard work its just a bit messy.

 

J😉

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I recently painted some varnished T&G with Johnstones acrylic eggshell.  It is water-based, but is very durable.  Brushed on easily and gave a smooth matt finish, with minimal prepartion.

Water-based 'gloss' paints have moved on a lot in recent years.  Nothing like emulsion.

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I've been using Rust-Oleum  satin furniture paint on bare wood. So far, I like it. No fuss, easy application and water based. 

 

 

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26 minutes ago, Rick Savery said:

So, sugar soap as a start then either light sanding or zinsser primer before painting the top coat

Personally I’d go Sugar Soap —> Zinser. Don’t bother sanding, you won’t need to with Zinser. As I wrote in post #2, you can use whatever finish coat you like; there’s nothing whatsoever wrong with emulsion paint if that’s the look you’re after. 

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3 hours ago, Halsey said:

If you are worrying about brush marks do the job in reasonable sized areas with a big brush (4") to get the paint on and then go over it whilst wet with a very fine mohair radiator roller (these are usually pink/orange in colour and readily available but more expensive) that will give you a more even surface esp on areas of sheet ply .

 

Just remember the mantra 90% preparation 10% application - you can't build a house on poor foundations - etc etc ........... 

 

I suspect you knew all this but were hoping there was a magic tried and tested solution - there isn't - and you must sugar soap which actually isn't  hard work its just a bit messy.

 

J😉

I'll come clean and admit I was hoping there was a quick solution. I was trying to avoid sanding in particular and cleaning with sugar soap in general - every job seems to involve three further jobs 🙂

 

Anyway, I think I will put sloth aside and use sugar soap and that zinsser stuff suggested by Wotever - I just can't face all that wood to sand down !

 

Thanks again all

  • Greenie 1

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5 minutes ago, Rick Savery said:

I'll come clean and admit I was hoping there was a quick solution. I was trying to avoid sanding in particular and cleaning with sugar soap in general - every job seems to involve three further jobs 🙂

 

Anyway, I think I will put sloth aside and use sugar soap and that zinsser stuff suggested by Wotever - I just can't face all that wood to sand down !

 

Thanks again all

 

Would this help you with your prep work? 😊

 

 

wand.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by Higgs

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As an aside just bought some Zinser Bin to go over external scumbling this weekend. Obvs afterwards then putting on some proper Alkyd enamel. Will be power sanding the scumble.... but it is outside (covered wetdock).

Edited by mark99

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5 minutes ago, mark99 said:

As an aside just bought some Zinser Bin to go over external scumbling this weekend. Obvs afterwards then some proper Alkyd enamel. Will be power sanding the scumble.... but it is ougside (covered wetdock).

 

I was with you all the way until -  " Obvs afterwards then some proper Alkyd enamel. Will be power sanding the scumble.... but it is ougside (covered wetdock)."

 

😊

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10 minutes ago, Higgs said:

 

Would this help you with your prep work? 😊

 

 

wand.jpg

 

 

 

Yes it would! so would someone else doing it for me! Sadly, neither of these are an option 🙂

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I'm in the process of doing my t & g and have used Zinsser Cover stain

 

https://www.screwfix.com/p/zinsser-cover-stain-primer-white-2-5ltr/17117?tc=DB6&ds_kid=92700052136101356&gclsrc=aw.ds&ds_rl=1243321&ds_rl=1241687&ds_rl=1245250&gclid=CjwKCAjwkoz7BRBPEiwAeKw3q4pVTx9iVwF-oEbyUF9XrmSAhBtFvAa8lRUcOORyMccn5iCTlAUCbxoCVzYQAvD_BwE

 

I'm going to finish with Armstead Eggshell

 

https://www.brewers.co.uk/product/AG0905F

 

This won't give a high gloss finish but will give a good hard wearing surface and make the boat look bright.

 

I've been a decorator for over 20years and just feel like on wood, oil based paints give a much hardier and better finish. 

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I painted the entire interior of our narrow boat from the gunnels up. Two coats of Zinser BIN takes about 45 mins between coats, then I used a Dulux emulsion finish, again two coats. When finished you could still see the grain of the wood through the paint. Still looked great when we sold the boat four years later. I just used cheap small emulsion rollers and a brush for the fiddly bits. Use Frog tape for masking off if you want the ceiling in white as I did. 

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