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Anyone who has ever painted plywood (oil base) knows that the summer wood soaks up paint like a sponge and the denser winter wood keeps it on the surface. The result is terrible.

 

I went to my local home center and asked them for a solution, but they had nothing for me (basically). They just suggested many coats of paint. Is that correct? It won't show?

 

I'm about to make some shop cabinets that I intend to paint and I'd like to possess a solution to this problem before I get to the finish stage. I bought my cabinet grade plywood today, so I'm locked in.

 

Anyone have a solution they'd like to share? Will multiple coats give me the smooth finish I want?

 

FWIW, oil base enamel paint or water base, it makes no difference. I'm open to either as long as I can get it to cover the cabinets w/o the sliced grain showing through.

 

TIA

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Normally I use two coats of Zinsser 1-2-3 (water base).  I light sand between coats using a backer block for the sandpaper.  The first coat acts like a sealer, (just like the Zinsser B-I-N) and the second coat evens out the sheen.  The first coat raises the grain, so I sand it smooth.  If you have any divits in the plywood (like stray hammer indents), you can fill them after the first coat.

Two top coats help to hide everything else.

Thanks guys!

 

I used the store locator and found Zinsser at the big box store that told me there was nothing they had to solve the problem. :-))

 

Go figure.

At my Home Depot, I've got the plumbing, electrical, tool and carpentry departments figured out in terms of which one to hunt down if I need help.... They got a super void in the paint department though.

As far as your project goes, I avoid water based primers. As Rick pointed out, they do raise the grain. BIN is expensive as all get out, $40/gal at my HD. Zinsser also makes an oil carried alkyd primer call Cover Stain for about $15/gal that is as good as BIN if you don't have any really serious staining/bleeding issues. Another thing I like about Cover Stain is it topcoats in about an hour. I usually only need one coat of it on plywood with just a light sand before topcoating....

Can I follow BIN or Cover Stain with an interior latex paint and have it adhere?

Sure.

Brian K said:

Can I follow BIN or Cover Stain with an interior latex paint and have it adhere?

That's the beauty of those products, they will go over virtually anything and can be topcoated with virtually anything. BIN is expensive but awesome, I think it would stick to jello.

Brian K said:

Can I follow BIN or Cover Stain with an interior latex paint and have it adhere?

Brian, let me try to summarize ... I have used Zinsser for decades.

Bare wood needs both a sealer and a primer beneath paint.

B-I-N (shellac) is the best sealer, but stinks, and is not the best primer, but definitely adequate for indoors.  There is no better stain or smoke or odor blocker available.

1-2-3 is a great sealer-primer, but is water based so it raises the grain, but it has the least odor. All water based stains will bleed thru it, but I like the satin finish it has (most primers are flat) and have used it tinted without paint.

Cover Stain is a great sealer-primer, but it smells more.  Oil based stains (like markers) will bleed thru it, but water-based stains will not.  It does have the best penetration, especially for bare wood used outdoors.

I use all three.  I also used H2Oil Base, which was discontinued.  I keep B-I-N spray cans for stains, and use Cover Stain outside, and 1-2-3 both indoors and out.  I also like to tint the 1-2-3 and use it with or without a top coat.

Another great product, for sealing wood---

''Zinsser Bullseye SealCoat''

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=10310

You are right, Ken.  I just used SealCoat for the first time yesterday. 

Wanted to spray paint a plywood fixture, so I brushed seal coat before I sprayed primer from a can.  Couldn't believe how easily it primed up, since the plywood was no longer so "thirsty." 

Instead of two coats of primer, I could use SealCoat, light sand, and then primer over that.

Rick,

Personally, I find that a sealer, as noted above, vs a primer is the way to go---

when the natural grain of the wood is the desirable end result.

Sealers ''penetrate'' into the wood.

  I've used sealers under a primer, such as you've done---

and accomplished great results. 

  A ''primer is a coating''---

primers covers the base material---

filling voids, making surfaces smoother, for the top coat.

  Prior to applying a sealer, wiping the wood surfaces, with a water dampened cloth, will raise the wood fibers, akin to whiskers---

allow to dry---sand lightly with 320 grit---remove the fine dust particle with a tack cloth---

then apply the sealer---will result in a smoother surface.

  Wiping down the surfaces with a cloth dampened in mineral spirits, removes the sanding dust, and will expose sanding/grinding marks---this will permit one to determine if any additional sanding is necessary, 

so as to make as smooth as possible.

(Shining a light, held at an angle, helps makes the sanding marks more visible).

(It's also handy to use a visor style magnifier---some of us wood rats, are getting older).

Allow the mineral spirits to evaporate, before proceeding with any finishing.

  Use denatured alcohol, when using shellac.

Now you tell me, Ken!

Wish I'd thought of this a while ago!

My maple mantle top still has swirl marks from something under my orbital sander.  I should have wiped it with spirits to see if all the swirls were gone.  I carefully went thru several stages of grit, but I had a couple coats of spray varnish on it before I realized what I had done. Grrr! Ugh!


Ken Darga said:

Prior to applying a sealer, wiping the wood surfaces, with a water dampened cloth, will raise the wood fibers, akin to whiskers---allow to dry---sand lightly with 320 grit---remove the fine dust particle with a tack cloth---then apply the sealer---will result in a smoother surface.

Wiping down the surfaces with a cloth dampened in mineral spirits, removes the sanding dust, and will expose sanding/grinding marks---this will permit one to determine if any additional sanding is necessary, so as to make as smooth as possible.


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