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Brushed on Alkyd Primer Advice

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Forum topic by Lovegasoline posted 07-05-2018 08:59 PM 492 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Lovegasoline

66 posts in 461 days


07-05-2018 08:59 PM

I’m refinishing some kitchen built-in cabinets.
They’re down to bare wood and will be finished with a urethane based paint, Cabinet Coat, brushed.

I’m using an alkyd primer made by Benjamin Moore, #217 Underbody Primer. I’ve used this primer before and one of its good qualities is that it sands to a powder very easily.

The downside, and maybe this is true of all or most alkyds (?) is that it doesn’t level very well. It’s got a lot of body so it needs a stiffer brush to apply. I use a good quality Purdy White Bristle brush with flagged tips.

I’d tried Coverstain previously but hated it passionately as it was so ropey and showed brush strokes moreso than almost any product I’d ever used.

I’m an artist painter so have experience with brushes and paints, but I’ve never been able to get this to level out well, there’re always a lot of striations from brush strokes even if thinned with mineral spirits, even after tipping off the brush.

The problem is I have a lot of square footage to cover (full wall of kitchen built-in cabinetry, baseboards, door & window frames, and trim) and some of them have some lots of profiles. Going back and sanding all the striated brush strokes out is going to be a ton of work. I don’t mind a little sanding but this is epic.

I’m reluctant to add Penetrol to the #217 primer for fear of destroying it’s best quality – it’s ability to be sanded – making it more difficult by increasing the oil content, and also increasing the drying time.

Anyone use this product before, or similar alkyd primers and have any tips on application? Or is there no way around this with modern alkyd primer formulations and brushing?


13 replies so far

View Ripper70's profile

Ripper70

1292 posts in 1331 days


#1 posted 07-05-2018 10:44 PM

I’ve used the Sherwin Williams Alkyd acrylic with great success and found the leveling properties to be very good. I was advised to use a mohair roller to apply the paint and got nice, even results. My projects have consisted of mostly large panels as opposed to moldings and trim but even when I needed to resort to using a brush, the paint leveled well, dried quickly and cured to a very hard finish in about a week.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

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Lovegasoline

66 posts in 461 days


#2 posted 07-05-2018 11:00 PM

^ Alkyd Acrylic

I have to assume that’s a different animal altogether … apples to oranges.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5595 posts in 2916 days


#3 posted 07-06-2018 10:30 AM

Have you considered any other products? I’ve not used the BM 217, so this is just musing but I have used BIN shellac based primer. It sands extremely easy and might make the task a whole lot less work. Since it’s shellac based, it also seals contaminants (important on the kitchen stuff) really well. Just a thought.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View scribble's profile

scribble

204 posts in 2623 days


#4 posted 07-06-2018 04:45 PM

I used BM alkyd paint for my cabinets with Zinser primer underneath with good leveling but recently did another set of cabinets using a water based lacquer and it was laid down much smoother and faster but I did spray both.

-- If you can't read it Scribble wrote it!! “Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes.”

View bilyo's profile

bilyo

746 posts in 1525 days


#5 posted 07-06-2018 10:18 PM

Apply your primer with a small foam roller. You will get a much more even application that will level out better and can be sanded smoother. I do this all the time with both primer and paint. I usually start with a small brush to get into corners, etc. and do the rest with the roller. One other advantage to this is that if I need to stop work for a while, I can just wrap the roller and brush up with a wet towel and plastic bag until I’m ready to start work again.

View Richard's profile

Richard

11275 posts in 3455 days


#6 posted 07-06-2018 10:52 PM



Apply your primer with a small foam roller. You will get a much more even application that will level out better and can be sanded smoother. I do this all the time with both primer and paint. I usually start with a small brush to get into corners, etc. and do the rest with the roller. One other advantage to this is that if I need to stop work for a while, I can just wrap the roller and brush up with a wet towel and plastic bag until I m ready to start work again.

- bilyo

OH! That;s Ingenious!

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View bd1886's profile

bd1886

34 posts in 386 days


#7 posted 07-07-2018 05:49 AM

Biggest help for me is to thin only slightly, apply with either a short nap shed free roller or foam roller (like suggested and don’t mess with it much and picking edges/inside corners with a smaller brush. (As you get your own system down for it you’ll see what motion and timing parameters are being set by your environment.) Unfortunately lower heat and no air movement is best so time for using a resperator wisely.
One other thing (as mentioned already) is a two step priming process…..first coat fast, down and dirty with a thinned coat, paint thinner wipe after dry and immediate application of your flow/build coat (when your forced to do it all in a hot environment/with air movement).
In the end it tends to be doing the least work your environment and expectation will allow for. Hell…. there are acrylic paints out there that flow well in optimum environments….kicking and screaming I’ve mostly switched over…even though several aspects in their performance can’t match an oil.

I miss the days when there were easily found primers that powdered out with ultra fine paper! (VOC compliance knocked that to the curb about the same time as it did with nice “true” varnishes.)

View Lovegasoline's profile

Lovegasoline

66 posts in 461 days


#8 posted 07-07-2018 07:47 PM



Apply your primer with a small foam roller. You will get a much more even application that will level out better and can be sanded smoother. I do this all the time with both primer and paint. I usually start with a small brush to get into corners, etc. and do the rest with the roller. One other advantage to this is that if I need to stop work for a while, I can just wrap the roller and brush up with a wet towel and plastic bag until I m ready to start work again.

- bilyo

Will a foam roller work with alkyd and solvents?

I’ve also got dozens of feet of profiled window frames, door frames, and baseboards so the roller isn’t going be much help.

View Lovegasoline's profile

Lovegasoline

66 posts in 461 days


#9 posted 07-07-2018 07:49 PM



I used BM alkyd paint for my cabinets with Zinser primer underneath with good leveling but recently did another set of cabinets using a water based lacquer and it was laid down much smoother and faster but I did spray both.

- scribble

Spraying is dealing with a completely different animal.

View Lovegasoline's profile

Lovegasoline

66 posts in 461 days


#10 posted 07-07-2018 07:54 PM


Have you considered any other products? I ve not used the BM 217, so this is just musing but I have used BIN shellac based primer. It sands extremely easy and might make the task a whole lot less work. Since it s shellac based, it also seals contaminants (important on the kitchen stuff) really well. Just a thought.

- Fred Hargis

The #217 is what I’m using for this. One coat down, needs to be sanded, then a 2nd primer coat.

BTW, I bought a spray can of BIN to hit some spots which I thought might potentially have some staining issues, then proceeded with the #217 alkyd. I’ve got 90 year old kitchen built-in cabinets and I stripped most of the shelves, areas that are out of sight (like 8’ high shelving) I didn’t bother stripping and if they had some evidence of staining it got a dose of BIN. I figure that + the alkyd will do the job.

View Lovegasoline's profile

Lovegasoline

66 posts in 461 days


#11 posted 07-07-2018 08:05 PM



Biggest help for me is to thin only slightly, apply with either a short nap shed free roller or foam roller (like suggested and don’t mess with it much and picking edges/inside corners with a smaller brush. (As you get your own system down for it you’ll see what motion and timing parameters are being set by your environment.) Unfortunately lower heat and no air movement is best so time for using a resperator wisely.
One other thing (as mentioned already) is a two step priming process…..first coat fast, down and dirty with a thinned coat, paint thinner wipe after dry and immediate application of your flow/build coat (when your forced to do it all in a hot environment/with air movement).
In the end it tends to be doing the least work your environment and expectation will allow for. Hell…. there are acrylic paints out there that flow well in optimum environments….kicking and screaming I’ve mostly switched over…even though several aspects in their performance can’t match an oil.

I miss the days when there were easily found primers that powdered out with ultra fine paper! (VOC compliance knocked that to the curb about the same time as it did with nice “true” varnishes.)

- bd1886

Can you elaborate on “paint thinner wipe after dry and immediate application of your flow/build coat ”. What’s the paint thinner wipe’s function?
Maybe this will inspire me to explore other primers in the future.
However, I wanted to use alkyd in this situation for compatibility with several substrate materials involved: a lot of stripped bare wood, some areas stripped back not to bare wood but to old stable well adhered paint layers presumably oil, a few areas that have latex paint (lower parts of baseboards), and for blocking potential stains.

I do like the way #217 sands, it powders very nicely. Smaller areas present no problem … but with many dozens of square feet to sand including dozens of feet of molding profiles … well it’d be nice to reduce the sanding. With so much sanding needed to take out the brush strokes there’s also the risk of sanding through the primer to the wood and having to apply more primer.

View Lovegasoline's profile

Lovegasoline

66 posts in 461 days


#12 posted 07-07-2018 08:12 PM


I used BM alkyd paint for my cabinets with Zinser primer underneath with good leveling but recently did another set of cabinets using a water based lacquer and it was laid down much smoother and faster but I did spray both.

- scribble

Spraying is dealing with a completely different animal so flow, leveling, surface defects, achieving mil thickness, do not translate in any way to brush work. I’m not using air, I’m using parts of an animal to apply the paint: sticks with hair.

I’ve got good HVLP and LVLP guns and 80 gallons of compressor but the alkyd primer (and the urethane top coat ‘Cabinet Coat’) are likely way too thick for me to shoot. Plus, I’d have to laboriously tape and mask the entire room.

- Lovegasoline


View bilyo's profile

bilyo

746 posts in 1525 days


#13 posted 07-08-2018 08:08 PM

Will a foam roller work with alkyd and solvents?

I ve also got dozens of feet of profiled window frames, door frames, and baseboards so the roller isn t going be much help.

- Lovegasoline

I have not had any problems using foam rollers with any paint that uses MS for a solvent. I wouldn’t try it with lacquer.

If the profiles are not too severe, sometimes the roller will work OK; particularly if you run the edge of the roller in the grooves. Apply the paint onto/into the profile first and then use the roller to level it out. You can “square” off the rounded ends of the foam and they will sometimes work better. The band saw will do a pretty clean job of cutting the foam. Also, you can modify the larger rollers that have a long nape by cutting them down to do detail work.

I am currently repainting kitchen cabinets and the only two tools I use are a small foam roller and a brush. I generally apply with the brush from the can getting the paint approx. where needed and then distribute it and level it with the roller. I keep the brush and roller wet during breaks (even over night) and will clean them only once when I’m done. It does a very nice job with no brush marks.

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