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Lee Kallusch
Paint won't stick

I bought a new front door that said it was primed and ready to paint. I wiped it down and(over a period of 3 weeks to allow for drying) put on 4 coats of semi-gloss outdoor trim paint, using a brush in one hand and a dense foam roller in the other to smooth out brushstrokes. Now everywhere that the door is bumped the paint peels off. What went wrong?

Re: Paint won't stick

Pre-primed doors are crap, as far as primer-quality goes!

Usually it's a low-grade primer, and FAR TOO degraded and dirty to hold paint.
* Most primers are too dried-out by a months' time. All the warehousing, handling, dirt, etc.
* These should be re-sanded & re-primed...EVERY time.

Too much time elapsed between all your paint-coats.
* The coats got too dried-out and smooth (because of the gloss) to effectively hold the next coat!
* Try to get all coats on the same day, within a few hours of each other.
You can probably guess what the best remedy is...:rolleyes: !
(hint: Sandpaper is your friend...)


Lee Kallusch
Re: Paint won't stick

I do think I will end up peeling off all the paint and starting over, but understand that I was using a deep red color, and you can't do this in 2 coats. I think I will try spray painting from a can next time -- that will stick to anything!!

I had painted a new fiberglas door before this one, and had no problems at all, so I was surprised. Although that one had a pebbled surface, not smooth like this one.

Timothy Miller
Re: Paint won't stick

Howdy, consider prepping the primer by scuffing it with a sanding pad. Some primer sealers dry so hard that the color coat you apply will not adhesive to them without ruffing up the surface.

Re: Paint won't stick

You did not state whether you were using latex or oil paint. I assume you used latex as the finish coat. The primer that comes on "pre-primed" entry doors is very hard and slick - not a good base for latex. I wouldn't consider painting over this primer with latex without first re-priming. If you are using a red finish color, I would consider priming the door with spray cans of either gray or red primer. Spray cans will give you good adhesion without a heavy paint build up. I would consider painting over the factory primer with an oil paint after scuff sanding the primer.
The ultimate finish would be a sprayed on automotive enamel.Auto paints are much harder and more durable than household paints. It also would give you the red color you desire without the high buildup of paint after multiple coats of housepaint.

Re: Paint won't stick

I think you waited too long after you cleaned your door to get it ready for painting. As for spray painting that is up to you but I personally think a door looks better if the paint is applied with a brush and perhaps a roller but a smooth roller and not any other kind of roller. I also agree the primers on doors are not worth much and you really should use a high quality primer. As for whether it should be a latex primer or oil based again that is up to you to decide. I lean more toward a latex primer that is high quality from a store that specializes in just paint than a oil based primers as they are hard to clean up. Also it shouldn't be ignored that latex primers have come a long way and are much better than they used to be.
One tip that will save you time after you sand down the layers of paint. Buy a primer that is white instead of red. Why do that you ask?, to make sure you know where you have painted. Also a good indicator of whether you need an extra coat or not. Too many layers of paint will just peel up and will not adhere right. A slight scuffing with light sand paper between coats will make sure your paint adheres really well but isn't always necessary if you use a higher quality paint than what you can find in the big box home improvement stores. Good luck to you!:)

Lee Kallusch
Re: Paint won't stick

Thanks for a bunch of really good advice! I will know better how to proceed next time.

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