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Old 12-16-2009, 10:35 PM   #1
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Zinsser primer not drying


Hi everyone. New poster here. I just primed walls and a ceiling with Zinsser High Hide Cover Stain primer and it doesn't appear to be drying correctly. It has dried and became hard where it covered joint compound repairs, but where it covered previously painted surfaces on the walls it is still soft... even after 72 hours. I'm able to push my fingernail into it and scrape a little bit of it off without much effort. It has dried completely on the whole ceiling over both joint compound repairs and previously painted surfaces.

The walls were wall papered. Following paper removal, the walls were cleaned with 2 applications of Diff and scrubbed with sponges, rags, and scotchbrite followed by clean water rinses. There was no visible adhesive after the cleaning.

I called Zinsser after 36 hours of priming and explained the problem and the tech said that he has had never heard of such a problem with oil based primer. He has heard of ot with water based primer, though. He assured me that there is nothing to worry about and that all I need to do is give the primer more time to dry.

I'm worried because the tech said I have nothing to worry about and all the primer needs is time, but in the same breath he said that he has never heard of such a problem. Has anyone here experienced this? What was the solution?

Thanks a lot,
Kevin

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Old 12-17-2009, 03:27 AM   #2
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Zinsser primer not drying


Has anyone here experienced this?

No. You will be able to stick your fingernail in it for about a week or so.
What are the conditions where you are painting? Sounds like if it has dried on the ceiling OK , then maybe the walls are too cold?

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Old 12-17-2009, 06:21 AM   #3
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Zinsser primer not drying


Zinsser what? Cheapest of their water based primers over what paint finish? Cold walls sound like looking into but if it is over a paint finish and the interior temp of the house is above 40-45 or so it should not still be sticky. Where did you get it? If it was baked or frozen in transit or in storage, the chemistry is in trouble. You haven't left it yourself in an extreme environment have you? Don't mean to be insulting but you did stir it and not just trust that the paint department at a box store shook it up?
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Old 12-17-2009, 07:30 AM   #4
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Zinsser primer not drying


thanks for the replies!
The room is at least 70 degrees. The day after painting it may have been slightly lower (around 65 degrees) because I was ventilating the room, but this is still easily warm enough. I don't think its an issue of the walls being colder than the ceiling because the parts of the walls that had joint compound repairs dried rock hard in less than one day.

sdsester, the primer was oil based, not water based. I got the paint from Lowe's, had it mixed, and used it the next day. I stirred it, too. I don't think the chemistry of the paint has been affected because it has dried where I put it directly over joint compound. It is only not drying where it was applied over existing wall paint.

Any other thoughts? Thanks again,
Kevin
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Old 12-17-2009, 07:46 AM   #5
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Zinsser primer not drying


Confused. Are we talking a primer or paint fail here?

Still think something happened to the paint in the way it was stored. And at what temperatures.
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Old 12-17-2009, 07:52 AM   #6
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Zinsser primer not drying


sdsester,
We're talking primer. I primed a whole room and it has only dried on the ceiling and on the walls ONLY where there was joint compound. Where it was applied over existing wall paint it did not dry.
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Old 12-17-2009, 09:30 AM   #7
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Zinsser primer not drying


I honestly do not know.

And to clarify? It did not dry at all or you are worried because you can scratch it with your fingernail? Remember what you used!

My fave guess remains, and I really don't know, is that primer either got stored in an extremely hot or cold environment or is just old. Not your problem but take it back to Lowe's.

Are the primers you used for ceilings and walls from the same lot and can? You promise you did not use anything else funky for cleaning the walls?

Last edited by user1007; 12-17-2009 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:04 PM   #8
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Zinsser primer not drying


I'm worried because it has dried in certain places and not in others. That does not seem right to me. I'm doubting whether it will ever fully dry. I'm not sure what you mean when you say "remember what you used". If you are inferring that I used a product that does not work, I can assure you that it does because it worked on the ceiling and in another room of the house beautifully.

Nothing funky was used in cleaning the walls.

thanks for your help.

Last edited by kevinkk; 12-17-2009 at 12:27 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:58 PM   #9
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Zinsser primer not drying


This is altogether very strange. It would dry faster over the new joint compound, that is a given. The ceiling being the warmest place,OK. The walls not drying yet? That is a new one for me, give them a call or email and see what they have to say.Post back and let us know, please.

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Old 12-17-2009, 08:56 PM   #10
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Zinsser primer not drying


Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinkk View Post
I'm worried because it has dried in certain places and not in others. That does not seem right to me. I'm doubting whether it will ever fully dry. I'm not sure what you mean when you say "remember what you used". If you are inferring that I used a product that does not work, I can assure you that it does because it worked on the ceiling and in another room of the house beautifully.

Nothing funky was used in cleaning the walls.

thanks for your help.
Chill. I am just trying my best to help you sort this out. When I mentioned remembering what you used I am still wondering if the can you used for the ceiling was different from the one you used on the wall? That's all! I am not trying to beat you up. I may be trying to get you some money back or at least have your failed primer replaced.

I only encounter your situation when paint was allowed to bake, freeze or be otherwise abused.

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