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osb 09-04-2011 03:36 PM

Peeling Oil-Based Primer
Hi! I sanded and primed an old dresser of mine yesterday afternoon. I used 100 and 150 grit sandpaper and a Zinsser oil-based spray primer. (Cover Stain) It was a very humid day in DC when I was working on the project.

Much to my disappointment, when I checked on the dresser today I noticed that the primer was peeling in a couple of spots. I used my fingernail to scratch other parts of the dresser and the primer is definitely peeling in some places, but not everywhere.

In retrospect, I feel foolish for having primed this piece in such high humidity.

Should I start over (i.e., re-sand and re-prime) in lower humidity conditions or should I just let it keep drying for a week or so and see what happens?

spraygunn 09-04-2011 04:04 PM

Hey osb,
I don’t believe humidity is the culprit, if it was you would be having major peeling everywhere. Since you sanded the surface rather than stripping it, I would conclude you primed over spots of wax or some form of oil. To confirm that theory look at the sand paper you used (if you still have it) and look for built up areas on the surface of the paper. If you have them then my oil theory is correct, if not then I would suggest sanding those areas that peeled to feather out the edges and reprime the furniture piece using a SLOW drying primer such as Sherwin Williams “Wall & Wood. Primers were designed to dry slowly to allow a penetrating bond to the substrate. If it dries too fast, then it lies there and doesn’t properly bond.

P.S. Brush rather than spray.

jsheridan 09-04-2011 04:12 PM

Hi osb, welcome. Your last thought was right, leave it alone. That some may have peeled without you scratching with your nail could indicate there was a contaminent on the surface and the bond failed. As to you scratching it off, it takes 4-5 days for the bond to develop, so I'm not surprised you can scrape it off. Let it dry, lightly scrape the areas that peeled, without your help, and wipe them with some thinner or cleaner, then respray them. After drying, apply your finish. No more fingernailing it.

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