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Latex enamel vs oil and is poly needed?

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Forum topic by LearningAsIGo posted 03-10-2013 04:50 PM 9174 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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LearningAsIGo

38 posts in 2104 days


03-10-2013 04:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: latex enamel or oil

When you are ready to enter the finishing stages of a project what are the pros and cons of oil paint vs latex enamel? Typically I use Zinsser Cover Stain oil primer and then a latex enamel paint. I have used both BM Waterborne Satin Impervo & SW ProClassic Acrylic Latex Enamel. My question is, should I do a couple of polycrylic coats over the latex enamel paint or is that not necessary? And would there be a benefit to using an oil based paint instead of a latex enamel?


17 replies so far

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Cosmicsniper

2202 posts in 2626 days


#1 posted 03-10-2013 06:29 PM

You might not get a lot of responses because LJs don’t use a lot of paint on their projects…and when they do, it’s milk paint.

What type of projects are you talking about? What materials? Location? Interior or exterior?

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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Cosmicsniper

2202 posts in 2626 days


#2 posted 03-10-2013 06:37 PM

BTW I can’t think of a single reason why I’d ever want clear poly over paint.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3950 posts in 1961 days


#3 posted 03-10-2013 07:01 PM

That sounds to me like you would be topcoating an acrylic finish (enamel) with another acrylic finish (polyacrylic). Can’t think of a single reason to do that unless you wanted the appearance of the clear top coat for some reason. There certainly wouldn’t be any more protection than the enamel would provide. In general, oil finishes are regarded as more durable than the latex enamels….though it may be an urban myth. I don’t recall seeing any tests that compared to two in terms of durability. I don’t do many painted projects, but for those I’ve done I used oil based enamel. The longer drying time, the cleaning headaches (I spray), and general mess is a real deterrent to using it…I intend to move to a latex enamel next time. Just be sure to not confuse “latex enamel” with “latex wall paint”.

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

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LearningAsIGo

38 posts in 2104 days


#4 posted 03-10-2013 09:02 PM

I’m talking about furniture for example a bookcase or desk or tv stand. For the most part I prefer painting things vs staining. I’m just wondering if a coat of poly gives it any added protection or if it’s unnecessary.

I believe the two paints I mentioned: BM Waterborne Satin Impervo (acrylic enamel) & SW ProClassic Acrylic Latex Enamel are not for walls.

View Ross's profile

Ross

142 posts in 1440 days


#5 posted 03-10-2013 11:17 PM

One coat of primer and 2 coats of quality Acrylic paint is sufficient. Clear coating over the paint (like when painting a car) doesn’t add any protection. It is common for folks who tole paint to clear coat after completing a project. However the type of acrylic paint they use is different than the high quality paint that you are using.
I did a kitchen for some folks a few years ago and at their request all the base cabinets and top cabinets were painted midnight black. The doors and drawer fronts were natural knotty pine finish. At first I thought, EEEKK!
However, once the kitchen was finished it looked great.
Some of the finest cabinetry shops paint a lot of their products. Although my personal taste is natural finish, A well painted piece can have a lot of character. Just my 2 cents :-)

-- "Man Plans and God Laughs"

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Clint Searl

1533 posts in 1829 days


#6 posted 03-11-2013 12:15 AM

I’ve done a number of painted finishes (see my projects), and the approach has been to do the color work in flat latex/acrylic wall paint, topped with either clear gloss waterborne poly or clear solvent lacquer. It’s worked well.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

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LearningAsIGo

38 posts in 2104 days


#7 posted 03-11-2013 12:41 AM

I usually get a the paint in satin so it has a slight sheen

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3950 posts in 1961 days


#8 posted 03-11-2013 02:58 PM

My comment about the wall paint was not meant to be condescending and if it came across that way, I apologize. A lot of folks will ratchet the word “latex” to whatever the big can is in front of them. That said, the acrylic enamels are plenty robust enough for book shelves, desk tops, etc. The poly will not add durability, though there is a possibility it might be more scratch resistant….that is it’s calling in life.

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

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 1829 days


#9 posted 03-11-2013 05:33 PM

In my experience, water borne enamels, namely gloss and semi-gloss latex/acrylic, can get “sticky” on bookshelves under warm humid conditions. I have found that a top coat of waterborne poly floor finish over flat latex/acrylic eliminates any such possibility, plus it offers more visual depth, IMO

As to durability, of course it adds durability, which includes greater scratch resistance. How can it not?

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

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LearningAsIGo

38 posts in 2104 days


#10 posted 03-11-2013 11:40 PM

Fred: I didn’t find your comment condescending I was just clarifying the types of paint that I have been using.

Clint: I’m pretty sure the impervo only comes in satin and the lowest finish I could get in the ProClassic was also satin. What brand and/or line of paint have you been able to find a flat finish in? When painting furniture should I use an enamel or would an acrylic latex be fine?

View BentheViking's profile

BentheViking

1763 posts in 2032 days


#11 posted 03-12-2013 12:41 AM

I used (or will use) the SW product for all the cabinets, windows, trim, and baseboard heaters in my house. It was what the guys as SW recommended to us and I hope it works well since we’ve spent so much time using it.

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

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LearningAsIGo

38 posts in 2104 days


#12 posted 03-12-2013 01:22 AM

SW ProClassic Latex Enamel or something else?

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GaryL

1094 posts in 2298 days


#13 posted 03-12-2013 01:31 AM

SW Pro Classic will dry to a harder surface than most latex paints. Before I switched to lacquers that is what I used for built-ins and shelving. A waterborne poly top coat will add more protection to the surface do to the harder characteristics to it. You still need a quality “basecoat”. You don’t want to have your topcoat failing because of of poor color coat. Sand the basecoat before appying the clear and you’ll get a quality finish.

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View BuildCentury's profile

BuildCentury

2 posts in 1370 days


#14 posted 03-12-2013 01:56 AM

I have done a lot of painted built-ins over the years in new homes. They have been painted by myself and other painting contractors and in high end homes it’s always with oil based. I personally believe that you get a higher quality and more durable finish with oil. Also, the higher the sheen the more durable the finish. It would also eliminate the need for an additional top coat of clear.

The oils in alkyd paints evaporate slower and the finish levels out better then with latex or acrylic. Oil paints sand easier between coats too. The other advantage of oil is that they don’t “block” like latex paints were things tend to stick to tops and shelves for months after they are painted.

One of the keys to working with oil paints is thinning and conditioning the paint before you apply it. Oil paint is way to thick to brush or spray on out of the can. I use a product called Penetrol to condition the paint and it helps it flow out and spread easier. If I need more thinning after adding Penetral per the directions on the can, I use paint thinner.

The other thing that can make a big difference is the brush. An ox hair brush is much softer then a china bristle brush and that’s what I would recommend. They can be difficult to find, but you can buy them online or speciality woodworking stores. Purdy Ox-o-Thins are nice and the Elder Jenks Ox hair are pretty good too.

I had a buyer walk through a house tapping on the woodwork because he didn’t believe it was wood.
The clean-up and dry time is a pain, but the end result is worth it. Smooooooth as glass…

-- Century Homes and Renovations, Winston-Salem, NC, http://buildcentury.com

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 1829 days


#15 posted 03-12-2013 11:12 AM

Benjamin Moore has recently introduced a waterborne alkyd, called Advance, in a gloss, that replaces their old Gloss Impervo oil enamel. But it’s only available at stores which have the new mixing setup. I’ve been looking to give it a try.

I have used either Behr or Valspar flat latex/acrylic under waterborne poly, but I’m sure SW or other good brands would work as well.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

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