Painting shop walls

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Forum topic by Odiferous posted 09-28-2013 10:33 PM 1501 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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105 posts in 2390 days

09-28-2013 10:33 PM

Topic tags/keywords: painting

Thanks to a lovely cascade of “well, if I’m gonna do that, then I may as well go ahead and….” I’ve ripped all the sheetrock off of a wall of my shop, and I’m replacing it with 1/2” OSB. I’m intending to paint it white, but I’m clueless with paint.

It seems to me that laying each sheet on sawhorses and painting it before hanging would be much easier than masking/cutting-in etc. while standing on a ladder. I can’t find any discussion of people doing it this way, so I must be missing something obvious.

My shop is shoved up against the other walls, and I’ve never used a sprayer, so I’m assuming this is going to be primarily done with a roller. How do I make this as painless a process as possible (without hiring a painter)?

21 replies so far

View NiteWalker's profile


2738 posts in 2776 days

#1 posted 09-28-2013 10:37 PM

Painting before hanging would definitely be easier.
The screw or nail holes will show from hanging, but I really wouldn’t let that bother me.
I plan on doing the same for my shop once I get it straightened out and insulated.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View jackthelab's profile


313 posts in 2892 days

#2 posted 09-28-2013 10:48 PM

Hey – I did the same thing – removed the drywall which got pretty beat up and put up OSB on the walls. Much better choice in the long run. I painted after I put it up and I should have done the painting prior to installation. Screw holes would show up but that can be OK as then you know exactly where the studs are located.

-- Dave in Minnesota - If it ain't broke, improve it!

View Rick  Dennington's profile (online now)

Rick Dennington

6300 posts in 3393 days

#3 posted 09-28-2013 11:07 PM

Been there, done that….A bit of advice:.... When painting OSB, to keep it from “bleeding” brown spots (that’s tannin leaching through), first paint it with oil-based Kilz primer, using a 3/4” long nap roller….Have plenty of mineral spirits on hand when cleaning the roller…..Then, when the Kilz dries (I asume your’e gonna piant the walls white), roll a couple of coats of interior/ exterior latex paint over the primer, and you’ll be good to go….If you don’t use the Kilz primer first, like I said, brown spots will show through when you just use latex…..not good…..I have OSB on all the walls, and ceiling, too….Damn near killed me rolling that much, but got it done, and no more problems…....And it looks good, too…..........Get ready for lots of work…...

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....!!

View ksubenny's profile


74 posts in 2057 days

#4 posted 09-28-2013 11:21 PM

I have painted OSB on my walls and don’t mind it, but it does suck up a ton of paint. Unless you have a ton of space to lay out your sheets for several days as you put 2-3 coats on I would recommend painting after you hang it to save space.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2686 posts in 3121 days

#5 posted 09-28-2013 11:23 PM

I have painted rough cedar before installing it on the outside of a cottage I had long ago. It worked out very well. I was using 3” and 8” rough boards. My wife painted it on sawhorses with a brush that had about 1/2” brissles on a 6” x 9” flat plastic with a handle on it. I actually had my wife do this and she said it was a lot like ironing clothes. She did the whole cottage in about 3 hours. I dipped the nails in the almost empty paint can and let them dry before nailing up the painted boards. Very few touch-ups.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2485 days

#6 posted 09-28-2013 11:24 PM

Cutting in? I put up OSB, then painted it after it was up. Roller on an extension. Stand back and roll, baby, roll. I painted on a crew for 2 summers. I can cut in a small bedroom and paint it in under an hour and a half (2 windows, 2 doors and that includes painting the ceiling). My shop has no ceiling to paint. WAY faster to put it up and then paint it.

OH! Almost forgot. OSB…. oil based paint. I painted white. Primed with Killz for the mega-fast dry time then rolled on white oil based paint. Next day I put the shop back together. Done deal. If you do Killz followed by latex you can do it in a day.

View dhazelton's profile


2793 posts in 2496 days

#7 posted 09-28-2013 11:29 PM

The problem with your plan is that you will have a sheet of OSB painted and then you’ll have to wait for it to dry to move it so you can do the next sheet (unless you’re talking a tiny wall) or you’ll need lots of horses. And any cuts you make in the OSB will need to be painted after anyway. Why can’t you just paint it after it’s up? A 2 inch angled sash to cut in around casing and a medium napped roller and you can do the whole wall in an hour. A 3/4 inch nap roller is necessary for stucco and popcorn ceilings and such, will be heavy and overkill on OSB. If you go oil based primer buy the cheapest roller you can and throw it out after you take your knife and scrape the excess paint out of it (putty knife or painters 3 in 1 tool). Isn’t worth the aggravation and mess to clean. Painting is a zen thing. Turn up the radio and just roll with it.

View NiteWalker's profile


2738 posts in 2776 days

#8 posted 09-29-2013 12:38 AM

Instead of using an oil based primer I’d use zinsser BIN. It’s a white pigmented shellac primer, and it’s amazing. It dries in 20 minutes or so.

Why would the cut edges need to be painted? Once it’s in place, the unpainted edges will be hidden.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Dave G's profile

Dave G

333 posts in 2247 days

#9 posted 09-29-2013 01:47 AM

BIN is great and is often the only thing that works (it always sticks and hides and seals). It got very expensive for some reason. I like how it cleans up with ammonia. Because of cost I reserve it for the really tough spots or for when I’m in a big hurry.

-- Dave, New England - “We are made to persist. that's how we find out who we are.” ― Tobias Wolff

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 2147 days

#10 posted 09-29-2013 01:55 AM

Something nobody mentioned was that the sheet may twist and pull after painting, If you paint them before installing. This may cause somewhat of a battle when it comes time to install them.

View Odiferous's profile


105 posts in 2390 days

#11 posted 09-29-2013 03:02 AM

Thanks for the good info, guys. This is an easy one; it’s a 26’ x 8’ non-adjoining garage wall with no windows, cutouts, or anything—electrical’s all in surface mount EMT. Which, after re-reading this post, is going to be a pain to paint around. So that’s a point in the “paint before” column.

Sounds like drying time/space is the main reason to paint it after—and I’ve probably only got room to have one sheet on horses at a time, so that’s a valid concern.

One reason I was leaning toward painting it before was figuring that I needed to get the edges sealed. Being in a ridiculously high humidity area, would painting it after leave me more exposed to damage?

I was also toying with the idea of running a stripe of masking tape down the sheet where each stud is prior to painting, for easily locating studs later as well as just having something other than a plain white ply walls…but that brings back the unprotected moisture issue, and probably just a lot more effort just for novelty’s sake.

As much as I was hoping for a consensus of “throw a coat of Kilz on it and you’re good”, it sounds like everyone agrees on primer + paint, so I’ll go with the voice of experience there :)

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15694 posts in 2817 days

#12 posted 09-29-2013 03:21 AM

Mark stud locations in pencil on the floor. Paint when it’s up.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Grandpa's profile


3261 posts in 2874 days

#13 posted 09-29-2013 03:55 AM

I bought a hardboard product. They make floating flooring with it. I got some that didn’t have the plastic surface on it. I used this because it comes in 60 or 62 inch width. I can’t remember but it fill my 10 ft. walls when installed horizontally. Must come in 62 inch widths. I coated it with Kilz because I had some on hand then I bought some wall paint and got after it with a roller and long handle. It really didn’t take long to do a wall. I caulked where needed with polyurethane caulk. It dries clear and expands and contracts. I have been pleased with this process but you will need to prime it first. I like this surface and I think I would prefer it to OSB. Good Luck!!

View 1yeldud1's profile


301 posts in 3241 days

#14 posted 09-29-2013 05:37 AM

We installed the OSB in my shop using Trox deck screws to attach it to the studs – painted it using using exterior semi gloss house paint – On my son in laws shop we hung the OSB using his brad nail gun using 2 inch brad nails – If i had to do it all over again I would use brad nails in my shop as the finish looks a lot better

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 3160 days

#15 posted 09-30-2013 10:48 AM

Question- why oil based paint on OSB? I have OSB in my shop and want to paint it for the extra light effect.

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