Fixing alligatored paint: any alternatives to stripping?

la_koalaJuly 15, 2012

(fwiw, I mean *paint* stripping, not clothes stripping to make the $$ to hire someone to do the repair. :-)

The "side" trim around our front door is alligatored.

(By "side" trim, I mean the trim that's perpendicular to the door itself -- the trim that runs between where the storm door closes and the main front door is. I don't know if that's technically still the jamb of the front door. It's not the part that's invisible when the door is closed, but the part that's visible at the entry, but is perpendicular to the door itself.)

Normally, I would strip off the coats with a chemical stripper down to a solid surface, and then prime/repaint. However, my spouse wants it done ASAP, without the mess that the stripper might make.

And so I'm wondering if GardenWeb-bers know of any alternatives to stripping off the alligatored layer (?). Like maybe some new whiz-bang bonding primer that I can apply over the alligatored coat, that fills in the cracks, and won't take us as long to do as stripping (or be as messy).

If it makes a difference in terms of which repair method: I personally think that it's alligatoring because of temperature fluctuations over time, vs the other normal causes (as per http://homerepair.about.com/od/exteriorhomerepair/ss/paint_failures_2.htm). I cannot imagine the previous owner would have put an oil layer over a latex layer (given how long ago it would have been that he had the house last painted).

Thanks in advance for any ideas!

Lee

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graywings123

I am in the midst of a project to remove alligatored paint and the layers that were painted over it on my front porch. I'm using a heat gun and scraper, then a sander. I am doing this in sections, and it goes surprisingly quickly once you get into a rhythm.

Your project seems pretty small in area. If you got all your tools together in advance, my guess is that you could knock this out in a couple hours.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 6:14PM
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paintguy1

If you are willing to take a chance, there is a product called Mad Dog primer designed just for situations like this.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 9:00AM
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amt782

AFTER stripping down and repainting all the doors and woodwork in my 120 year old house- I was talking to the woodworker who built our shutters for us and he said there are really two viable alternatives for the situation (would have been great to know 2 years and a million gallons of stripper ago). If it is a relatively flat surface without a ton of detail he said he usually gives it a light sanding just to scuff up the surface then skim coats it with wood filler. This will fill all the low points and give you a new, smooth surface. Another method he uses on more detailed woodwork is using a solvent (whichever is appropriate for the paint you are working on) like thinner, acetone, mineral spirits etc... and uses steel wool to and small wire brushes to slightly dissolve the alligatored paint and redistribute it over the piece. This will eliminate the high-low spots, retriggers the chemical reaction in paint which makes it bond to its surface and itself, and is much less time consuming than totally stripping the whole thing. Both of these option of course only work if you are intending on painting the piece as opposed to staining or clearcoating.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 6:14PM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

using a solvent (whichever is appropriate for the paint you are working on) like thinner, acetone, mineral spirits etc... and uses steel wool to and small wire brushes to slightly dissolve the alligatored paint and redistribute it over the piece. This will eliminate the high-low spots, retriggers the chemical reaction in paint which makes it bond to its surface and itself,

Not saying this will not work but I have been in the painting business a long time and never heard this idea. I would do some more research before attempting this.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 4:45AM
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Faron79

Gray's got the RIGHT idea here!!

Alligatored paint has failed, and HAS to be removed. You're basically painting over quicksand with those other methods!

I'm much more of a fan of sanding than using lots of chemicals! Since you have to sand ANYWAY after stripping....!

Since bare wood will then be exposed, I'd prefer an oil primer, then 2 topcoats of a top-notch exterior Latex, with at LEAST a Satin sheen.

Faron

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 11:35AM
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