paint protection advice needed

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Forum topic by masman posted 06-03-2015 03:32 AM 880 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 3090 days

06-03-2015 03:32 AM

I’m building a tool box for my truck using white oak. On the top of the box I’m going to paint(?) a U.S. flag. The truck is my daily driver so I’m trying to find the best and longest lasting finish to put on over the painted flag. Any suggestions?

-- MasMan from the Fiery Gizzard

6 replies so far

View Shadowrider's profile


183 posts in 1232 days

#1 posted 06-03-2015 03:46 AM

Well the best route would be to use a 2k basecoat/clearcoat auto paint on it since the clear will give robust UV protection and it’s pretty tough. I don’t know how well it adheres to wood, but it might be worth a shot. Are you painting the whole box or is it going to be stained or something? Painting it with any automotive paint system would probably work for awhile. How long on wood is the question.

View woodenwarrior's profile


231 posts in 2217 days

#2 posted 06-03-2015 11:12 AM

I second the automotive clear coat. Not the stuff in a spray can but a two part, catalyzed, high solids clear. It will adhere to the wood but be advised, if it’s going in the back of a truck and exposed to the elements even with the UV protection, the natural movement of the wood will force the paint to delaminate over time. There’s no way around this unless the substrate is metal or the box will spend the majority of the time in a garage.

One work around for this issue would be to paint the flag motif on a metal plate and fix this to the top of the box( I assume this is where you wanted the design). You would still have to use automotive paint for the application but you will find your design lasts far longer.

-- Do or do not...there is no try - Master Yoda

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2537 days

#3 posted 06-03-2015 11:55 AM

+1 for the metal plate idea. I had some experience with auto paint systems on wood back in my refinishing days. The paint tends to be too thin, and the movement of the wood, even the pore movement is enough to make it look very aged rather quickly. But then again, you may like an aged flag on your wooden box, which I also think will age quicker than you think in the back of a pickup.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View waho6o9's profile


8207 posts in 2600 days

#4 posted 06-03-2015 12:13 PM

Why not use MDO?


View Earlextech's profile


1162 posts in 2713 days

#5 posted 06-03-2015 01:08 PM

The above suggestions are correct, however, if you are set on latex paint, directly on oak, I would suggest General Finishes Exterior 450 as a top coat. It’s more durable than spar varnish.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View masman's profile


10 posts in 3090 days

#6 posted 06-04-2015 02:52 AM

I’ll probably go with the 2k clear coat. I’m redoing the bed, side boards and making the box. The UV concerns are somewhat mitigated because when I’m not driving it’s parked under a pole barn.
Thanks to everyone for your advice.

-- MasMan from the Fiery Gizzard

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