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Old 08-29-2011, 03:56 PM   #1
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When paint won't dry....


I am as close to imploding as I can possibly be. I'm not sure what more I can do - here's my problem.

In April I purchased 6 Windsor chairs from a resale shop. Beautiful shape, just needed some paint. I rough sanded them. Went to SW and explained what I was doing. They sold me an oil based primer and then color matched a water based enamel paint color I had selected from something I owned.

I primed the chairs and waited 5 days to be sure the primer was dry. I applied one coat of enamel and waited for it to dry. That was in May. It is almost Sept. and the chairs are still sticky. I contacted SW. They told me I probably hadn't let the primer dry long enough (5 days!!!) Said they were sorry but I would have to strip the chairs and start again. (This time I would have to strip off paint...sticky paint.)

Wisely I stripped 1 chair. That took forever. Then I sanded and applied a coat of oil based primer. Many days later, I applied the enamel. Same thing happened. Didn't dry. Conclusion: paint is bad.

I went to SW with the remaining paint. They painted a test strip and declared the paint "a bad batch". They gave me a new can and tested it. (Whoppeee) I still had 6 chairs to strip and repaint. Wisely again, I stripped 1 chair. It worked!! Then I stripped another and guess what? It won't dry. Some thing seems to happen when this paint hits the air.

I plan to go back tomorrow. But I feel like this is the movie GroundHog Day. I don't want anymore of their lousy enamel. And I dont want to strip the darn chairs.

Anyone got any advice???? I'm soooo frustrated.

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Old 08-29-2011, 05:37 PM   #2
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When paint won't dry....


I'm at a loss on this one. I've painted for over 35 years and never experienced this type of problem. In cooler conditions paint struggles to dry, but, it always dries. Are the Windsor chairs wood or metal? Not that it matters a whole bunch, but, it's possible the wrong primer may have been sold to you. With something like wood chairs, I would want to oil prime and oil finish them. Latex enamel has some tack to it sometimes that makes them seem sticky. The oil base finish hardens up to a slick, non-sticky surface. Maybe take a chair with you to the paint store so they can maybe see what the heck is going on.

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Old 08-29-2011, 07:07 PM   #3
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When paint won't dry....


Primers , even in oil. dry reasonably fast. Maybe they gave you another can from the same batch?
What exactly are the products you are using?
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:12 PM   #4
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When paint won't dry....


Go to Ben Moore.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:46 PM   #5
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When paint won't dry....


The chairs are wood. I bought them at a consignment store and got a great deal. To replace them would cost many hundreds of dollars new. To have someone else remove the paint would run around 85 - 100 bucks a chair. I can't afford that. I used SW's oil based primer (red can) and water based enamel because that is what they recommended. I've only used oil based paints a few times - but I never had this problem. It may be that both cans of enamel are from the same batch....but the salesman should have checked batch numbers. They dropped the ball big time on this and I am not finished fighting. But stripping paint from chairs is a nightmare. It's hard and messy. At the very least they should have given me some paint stripper for free.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:48 PM   #6
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When paint won't dry....


Oh - about bring a chair with me to the store...the sales guy said, "I don't want to see your chairs...I don't need your chairs." Nice.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:51 PM   #7
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When paint won't dry....


That's where I'm planning to go. But Not until the chairs are stripped - which will take weeks. These chairs have slats that are thin and rounded at the top and bottom and flat in between. The thin, round parts are miserable to strip because the scraper doesn't cover enough of the surface to grip the loosened paint.

Anyone have any stripping advice?
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:54 PM   #8
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When paint won't dry....


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Originally Posted by wisconsinmandy View Post
Oh - about bring a chair with me to the store...the sales guy said, "I don't want to see your chairs...I don't need your chairs." Nice.
Go to Ben Moore.
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Old 09-01-2011, 06:40 AM   #9
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When paint won't dry....


Mandy, I'm sorry to hear about all the difficulty you're having. Believe me when I tell you, I'm sharing your frustration these days with paint. I do this for a living, and when I'm not dealing with paint shortcomings, I'm living with the uncertainty that tomorrow I'm going to be facing a precidament similar to yours. Firstly, get away from SW. They're a lousy company. I deal with them for one reason, I have to, as they're too large a presence in my area to avoid. They recently (2-3 years) purchased MAB paints, which was a large presence itself. SW basically doubled their market share overnight. And, they are destroying MAB. SW is a Stepford company, and they keep their staff on very short leashes. They have very a rigid bureaucratic structure, and there is no bending to accomadate needs. The MAB lifers I use to deal with, who are now SW employees, are very different today than yesterday. Customer service is very poor, prices are very high, and product knowledge is very weak. On Sundays, they put a kid in there to basically turn the lights on and off, and ring some sales between. I could go on, but I think you get my point.
As to your problem, there's nothing you can do but strip the chairs and start over. They're only going to replace the paint, that's it. Off the shelf strippers are weak, so struggle with what's available. Gymschu, I'm having problems with paint that I'm at a loss to explain as well. That is, if I'm willing to ignore the obvious. I have three or four completed jobs now that are occupying my thoughts, because the paint is obviously not performing. It musn't be, because I do a lot of research on conditions/products, sweat out proper and exhaustive prep work, apply finishes with care and attention, and generally do all my work by the book, and things aren't working. I've never had problems. I only blame the companies to extent they don't stand up. To who? The federal/state governments, where I lay the blame squarely. The paint companies had the formulas/chemistry down and the govt comes in and clears the tables. The hysterical approach to VOC's and the environment is killing the coatings industry, and our livelihoods, and it's on target to get worse as more stringent levels are coming. It's especially bad with the performance products, primers, rust inhibitors, strippers, etc. The unavailability of products is making things harder, as options get fewer and you have to settle for things now. If the chemicals the companies were putting in the can didn't do anything, they wouldn't be there in the first place. If a safer, more effective, option was available, don't you think the high paid paint chemists would have found them? Just because the govt says remove them doesn't mean the companies have a suitable, effective substitute. If you were forced to take some spices out of your soup recipe, would it taste the same? Would you not be p'd off? So Mandy, with all due respect, if you support all the VOC reductions and environmental regulation, take your medicine and stop complaining. I'm sorry to be so brunt, but restrictions on your freedom is the cause of your problem, imo. I'm disappointed in my peers and the general public who are seemingly rolling over and, oh well. Oh well? This is America, though it's really starting to not resemble itself lately. According to guy in the PS, I'm not the only one having problems, but I'm one of the only ones speaking out. Really? Are you kidding me? People are rolling over while their livelihood is decimated? Really? That's sad. The paint companies are putting a smiley face on and pretending things are great, but the insiders I speak to are telling me otherwise. One of the tech guys from BM, said "We're f**ked"! So with the public perception that things are cheeky, who do you think the ho's are going to blame when jobs go south? You, not the paint. One of the few solar manufacturers, from California, recently declared bankruptcy. One of the reasons was the strict environmental regualtions. Is that irony or what? That's telling. We need to stand up, but, unfortunately, I don't see the sheeple of America doing that anytime soon. Thanks for the tirade.
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:49 AM   #10
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When paint won't dry....


Oil and water don't mix. I don't think you can use water based over oil based.
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Old 09-01-2011, 11:57 AM   #11
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When paint won't dry....


You also asked for stripping advice, so here is how I did it the last time I stripped carved, turned, and intricately detailed wood. First and foremost -- Good rubber gloves and Good safety glasses. Take the chairs outside in the yard away from anything you care about, like cars, (the grass will grow back, eventually). I used Dad's spray on stripper, it comes with a spray bottle attached to the can. Spray the stripper on the chairs well, wait the time stated on the can and using an old toothbrush, scrub the stripper and paint off the wood turns and details. It may take a few times and several old toothbrushes to get all the paint out of the details of the wood. Once you have them stripped, clean them good with cleaner recommended on the stripper can and then use a stripper neutralizer . Both cleaner and neutralizer should be sold on the shelf by the stripper. Good Luck!
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Old 09-01-2011, 01:45 PM   #12
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When paint won't dry....


Just so there isn't confusion over your statement. Oil and water don't mix when they're wet. With proper prep you can put an oil coat over a cured latex, and visa versa. It's all in the prep.
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Old 09-01-2011, 01:54 PM   #13
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When paint won't dry....


Jsheridan - Tirade away! I'm all about the green stuff but I'm not a fanatic. I don't care of paint is "green" I just want it to work. By the way I'm hoarding light bulbs before they disappear and we are left with only those pathetic corkscrew light bulbs!)

My treatment at both the store and the company is miserable. As a female I often encounter salesmen who patronize me...I can deal with them in a heartbeat. I have been refinishing or painting furniture for years. But I have to make that clear immediately or I get treated like the "little lady". UGH. The guy who runs our local SW is nasty, opinionated and talks down to everyone. HE is the one who suggested the water based enamel. When God created *******s He used this guy as the prototype.

There have been some good suggestions offered on this board. I will try a few as long as our weather holds out. Unfortunately I feel my enthusiasm waning. I may just throw in the paint towel and find 6 more chairs somewhere...

Would a deglosser do anything? Like maybe remove the glossy part of the paint and allow me to paint over? I am also open to aging the chairs and making them look like they've been worn, used and and been around for many years...I tried just light sanding, rubbing hard in some places to get a breakthrough to the wood. It looks nice but anywhere I didn't sand hard enough is tacky.
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Old 09-01-2011, 01:57 PM   #14
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When paint won't dry....


I asked about that when the SW guy suggested the water based enamel. He said it wouldn't be an issue. He still said that when I took the paint back. I would like to take back the "new" paint and pour it over his head....but I'd get arrested.
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Old 09-01-2011, 02:24 PM   #15
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When paint won't dry....


You might try sitting the chairs in the hot sun for a few days and see if that will help them dry. I know when I stain or paint outside in the sun it dries much faster then inside.

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