Need advice on painting poplar

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Forum topic by juanabee posted 09-02-2010 10:57 PM 1987 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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107 posts in 2430 days

09-02-2010 10:57 PM

I made some raised panel cabinet doors out of poplar with the idea of painting them. They were to replace some old doors that were looking seedy. Before assembly I primed the new doors with an alkyd-based primer. Then after assembly I painted with an oil-based enamel…which promptly peeled off. It just wouldn’t stick. I let each of both layers (primer and paint) cure for several days in 90-degree heat. I’ve primed and painted lots of poplar before without problems. Can’t figure out what I did wrong. Here’s some possible causes I’ve speculated on. I would appreciate any insight you might offer.

1.I sanded the surface to a very fine grit. The flat surfaces were really smooth before I primed them. I tested the primer and it seemed to have stuck fine. The primer, I would think, should have held the paint. Could it have been too smooth for paint, even with the primer?

2. Alkyd and mineral oil don’t like each other? Never heard of this, but I never used this combination before.

3. Too much heat in curing? It was in an outdoor shop and daytime temps were over 90 degrees for a few hours each day.

For those of you who paint poplar as a finished surface, what combinations of primer and paint do you use?

-- "Life's nonsense pierces us with strange relation." Wallace Stevens

2 replies so far

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Steven H

1117 posts in 2482 days

#1 posted 09-02-2010 11:28 PM

First of all what brand of primer and paint your using?

View grosa's profile


997 posts in 2251 days

#2 posted 09-03-2010 05:59 AM

If it’s going out side the house sand poplar with 120 grit . Do not go any more than 120 . Use kills oil base 2 coats sprayed Sand primer with 120 grit then paint. Let first coat dry then sand with 220 between coats. Fine grit on the primer will make the surface to slick for the paint to stick to it. Trial and error thats how I learned.

-- Have a great day.

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