I hate to paint. Don’t you?
The act of painting probably isn’t what I specifically hate. Honestly, I think that I really hate the prep work. Scraping old paint is a really joyous event, an activity along the lines of sitting and watching paint dry… Yuck.
What do I hate more than painting? Repainting. Furthermore, I hate staring at a garage with bubbling, peeling masses of paint in my backyard day after day when we spent a few days of the previous summer thinking we were correcting the problem.
And, once that peeling paint falls all over your grass and blows across the yard, you’ll be at your wit’s end, too.
So, my husband and I took on the painting of the garage ourselves anyway. It consists of previously-painted hardboard. After taking our time to really scrape the white chipping paint off the 16′ by 24′ building for two summers straight, then painting, and then crying in the spring when we saw areas of the new paint bubble up and fall off, we’d had enough.
Obviously, the weathered hardwood’s base coat had decided it couldn’t hold new paint anymore. We were wrong in trying to paint it with an exterior Dutch Boy latex paint that’s instructions swore it could adhere to any surface without being primed. Well, Dutch Boy, I have some scathing words for you and the promises you tout. (But, I do have to say that once I picked out some of your paint for my living room and it still looks nice after 8 years. Other than that, you’ve always failed me in any other project, and I’m breaking off our relationship. Buh-bye.)
After Hubby and I read up on paint-adherence issues at Today’s Homeowner’s website, based on the television series starring handyman extraordinaire, Danny Lipford, our conclusion was that the garage must have been painted with oil paint in its infancy.
Therefore, I learned four important lessons about painting older buildings:
- Oil paint has got to be the new base layer again. New latex directly on top of that weathered hardboard with hints of old oil paint won’t marry well together…
- Even if your paint can says it can adhere to any surface whether it’s bits of chipping paint or dirty surfaces, be wary. The marketing people want to entice you to buy their product after all… (Where are they when you have to spend more time and money on the project the next year? Nowhere to be found, that’s where!)
- Wash the surface not only with water but with liquid TSP. (Oh, and even a lower-powered pressure washer can gouge hardboard, so you may want to forgo that and take the time to hand-wash the surface with TSP!)
- To further protect your building and its paint job, get rid of any flora and fauna, even trees if you can. I love to preserve nature as much as the next person, but a branch anywhere near your exterior — even a flower rubbing against your garage — can chip away at the new paint.
So, we had to do our favorite activity again this spring: scrape off that new, bubbling latex paint. Supposedly, this should be the last time for some time that we need to waste our time. Then, we washed the hardboard with liquid TSP. Next, we applied two layers of oil-based primer by Zinnser. (White latex paint can then go over top if you discover the oil-based primer has insufficient, or spotty, coverage.)