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Husband vs wife: Stain vs Paint

We have a sunporch that we what to change into a den. The walls are made of a rough text wood (don't know what kind). They were stained over 20 years ago and now have some water stain from a leaky roof that is now fixed. The room has lots of windows and door openings, so there is not that much area to paint or stain. Both of us agree that painting the room a light color would make it look much more finished and brighter.

Husband: The rough wood is going to absorb too much paint and will take too many coats. Wants to clean, sand and restain.

Wife: Thinks the look of the paint will be worth any extra work. Wants to clean, spray a sealant and spray paint for quick surface coverage.

Advice for your opinion of best method please? Suggestions for cleaners, sealers, stains or paints appreciated. We already own a compressor and spray equipment so that will not be an added expense.

Thanks for your help!

Sam & Donna

A. Spruce
Re: Husband vs wife: Stain vs Paint

Hubby's idea is actually more work than just painting. Because you've got so many windows and doors, you'll probably be faster to use rollers and brushes rather than trying to spray. If you spray you'll have to tape and protect everything, with roller/brush you just need a few drop cloths and a steady hand. Hand painting will also apply a thicker coat and force the paint into the pores, nooks, and crannies where spraying only applies a surface layer and leaves behind lots of shadows and dry spots.

Prep the walls by vacuuming well to remove dust and cobwebs. If the wood is really rough, then hitting it with a coarse sand paper hand block to knock the chunks off wouldn't hurt, followed by the vacuum of course. Dirty areas where hands or pets frequently touch will need to be cleaned with either TSP or mild soap solution, rinsed, and allowed to fully dry before painting.

Prime with two coats of a good quality primer such as Zinnser Bullseye 123, use the red label to seal stains. Follow that with two coats of a good quality paint. I prefer Kelly Moore or Sherwin Williams. If Ordjen peeks in here he has some Home Depot fair that he recommends.

Re: Husband vs wife: Stain vs Paint

I would concurr with Spruce's advice as to preparation. Also concurr that spraying is not worth the effort. Do use "the red label" BIN to seal in those water spots. Oil based Kilz or Cover-Stain will also seal it in.

The product Spruce alludes to is Behr's new Ultra line of interior house paint. This is the product that has been advertised nationally for its self-priming characteristics. You do not need a dedicated primer, but rather merely prime with the paint itself. The advantage is that you do not need to buy two separate products and you do not have to have a primer tinted toward the finish color. You just simply go around twice with the paint itself. This speeds up the total project and you will break even cost wise. Ultra is also an excellant stain killer, however, maximum stain killing is achieved if 24 hours is given between coats.

I might point out that Consumer's Report just posted its yearly paint ratings. Behr's Ultra interior paint came in first in every sheen category, beating out Sherwin-Williams Duration and Benjamin Moore's Aura by a significant margin, inspite of being significantly less in price - $30 to $35 per gallon depending on sheen.

Whereas the Exterior Ultra has not yet been rated, due to the lenghty Consumer's Report paint testing cycle, my personal use of the product has been favorable. Two years ago I built a sun pergola out of douglas fir and painted it with two coats of Ultra Satin Exterior paint. After two Oregon winters, I have no peeling and no signs of mildew or algae ( the Oregon State plants :))

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