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Hippo in the Sky
Painting particle board underlayment

Hi, I recently ripped up carpeting in a bedroom and found particle board underlayment underneath. I am planning on replacing the particle board with hardwood flooring in about 1-2 years, but I am wondering if I can paint the underlayment in the meantime. I was told at a local hardware store that if I painted the particle board with water-based latex primer (followed by paint) that it would "melt" the particle board and that I should use oil-based primer instead. This sounded absurd to me particularly since this 'paint professional' had not heard of low VOC paints. I would much rather use water-based primer and paint because of their lower VOC and smell. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you,

Re: Painting particle board underlayment

It depends on what you are calling particle board. If it OSB you can use latex primer and paint, if it's MDF or LDF you should not use latex. Water cause MDF and LDF to swell and deteriorate and you should only use oil base on them.

Hippo in the Sky
Re: Painting particle board underlayment

It is particle board. It is definitely not OSB and according to all the web sources I searched it is also neither mdf nor ldf (though it would be closest in composition to the latter two).

Re: Painting particle board underlayment

If it is particle board, then a latex/waterborne primer would not be advisable...for the reasons stated.

Use an oil primer or a suitable alternative product for primer, such as shellac.

Re: Painting particle board underlayment

We were in the same situation some time back. We painted the particle board underlayment with PPG water-borne urethane floor paint and had no problems whatsoever. We lived with it for 5+ years before installing the finished floor.

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