Premium interior latex OK for exterior window framing? etc.

jallyJanuary 24, 2012

Hi, all, this past month i had 1950s slider windows retrofitted with vinyl sliders. Three sliders on the west side of house, and one in the north side.

The west side doesn't have a roof overhang nor gutters (since the overhangs are on the N/S side). Inclement weather hits the west side of the house the most (at least the shakes are asbestos, so that's a relief, toxicity issues notwithstanding.)

The newly retrofitted sliders had been inset into raw wood framing, via gas-operated nailer.

Here's pic of the exterior of one of the western ones:

See the raw wood facing the west?


Firstly, do I need to paint ASAP - or is there a grace period of weeks, or months, or years to get the framing painted?

Secondly, I have Ben Moore Premium Interior Latex paint [pearl color] in the house. It's difficult to get to the home center 1/2 hour away. I don't have a car, the transportation system is horrible, etc.

Would the premium paint intended for interior, passably protect the outside raw wood?

Finally, i'd appreciate an online pic showing the best paintbrush for this? (I have plenty of brushes in the house, both bristle & foam ones. Just wanting to know which is optimal for such a job).


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Interior paint is not designed to be as weather resistant as exterior paint, and may also be missing mildewcides to make it keep looking nice.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 4:53PM
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um, does this mean it's totally not advisable?
Or could it work for a few years, after which i can worry then?

And should i rush to do it?

and which brushes?

btw, do i need to bother to do anything with the peeling framing that you see surrounding the current raw-wood frame?
...or is that OK left alone, the way its been for decades?
(i'm not concerned with beauty, rather just maintenance, since this house is basically a junk heap anyway.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 6:00PM
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Scrape off the loose paint and apply a coat of a good acrylic primer with a medium nylon bristle brush. That should be OK for a year but you might as well trim it instead since you will have to do it later anyway. If you leave a project unfinished it usually will never get finished and water will almost certainly get into the wall and eventually cause expensive repairs.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 7:32PM
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thanks - any particular brands and model numbers you recommend?
or if paints don't have model numbers, whatever the ID.

Should it be a 2" wide or 1" brush?

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 2:22AM
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You can buy paint on line and have it sent to you.
I would use a 1 inch brush like the Purdy pictured below.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 9:24AM
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You should run this by the paint forums and ask the pros over there. I would omit asking about using interior for the exterior though. Even if it was completely protected from the elements directly, it's the moisture levels and temperature changes that interior finishes have problems with. Just not a good idea at all.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 9:43AM
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Thank you both for the tips - I actually just phoned a local place, and was advised against doing anything in such cold weather, but rather to wait for 50 degree minimum weather, and that I should first prime, and then paint.

Any comments on that?

Also, I have (out in the freezing garage) some cans of varnish, and some Val-Oil's from long, long ago.

I believe one of them is Man O'War varnish.
Would any of those be OK to use?

I remember decades ago, attempting to varnish a picnic table outdoors in the hot sun, and it started emitting smoke, so i was terrified. That was old stuff too.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 5:36PM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

Would any of those be OK to use?


    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 4:17AM
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It should be obvious that interior paint should not be used outdoors and that bare wood needs a primer and that you can't paint below 50 degrees. It's all written on he side of the paint cans.

You can use any brush size because it can be turned sideways for such a small job but obviously the smaller ones are cheaper and slower to use.

Do not expect paint to seal exterior cracks or joints; it will fail and water is drawn into a wall through tight cracks as if it were under pressure. The detail you show needs trim that is sealed to the window frame and wall, then paint so whatever you use now is only temporary. Why do something more than once? It's always cheaper and easier to fix it right the first time.

Dare I tell you that there are low temperature paints that can be used as low as 35 degrees (that is the lowest overnight temperature not the daytime temperature). Such paints are usually only sold by professional supply houses.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 8:26AM
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OK, thanks!

So - to ensure we're on the same track - the correct answer is to wait until spring time, and then apply ONE COAT PER WINDOW of latex primer, using a one inch angled brush

So would I need a gallon? (for 4 wide windows)
Maybe something similar to either of the below?


    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 1:32AM
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Make sure the windows are flashed out properly. Primer the bare wood you have installed now. Trim out the windows and primer the trim. Caulk and fill fastener holes and finish with two top coats of an exterior acrylic enamel.

With all due respect, you should get estimates from a reputable handyman in your area. You will be money ahead in the long run but only if you seek out those with experience and have a good reputation in your area. Ask neighbors, friends, family for reliable, reputable help that they have used in the past and are satisfied with their work. Windows need to be flashed right in order to keep water intrusion/ moisture from gettin in. The caulking is only for cosmetic purposes only. Get someone that knows what they are doing or you will only have continous problems and you will constantly have to re-do your work.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 10:23AM
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A quart will be plenty.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 10:26PM
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Thanks! I'd actually posted a followup a few days ago, which I now see didn't get posted for some reason.

First of all - graywings, thanks so much for all your helpful tips.

To Sierraeast, and anyone else:

Can you please give me a ballpark figure as to what it should cost to get 4 of those windows attended to by a licensed painter?

I've never done this before, so have no idea.
Thanks again!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 9:42PM
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"by a licensed painter"

Painters in many places just operate as a general contractor.

There is typically no license just for painting like plumbing or electrical licensing.

ook for bonded and insured.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 11:12AM
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prolly around $100?? just guessing...
can't imagine hiring someone for such a
small job.

to diy:
scrape or sand excess paint off surfaces where
screen that what the dark areas are?

caulk any holes, and where new trim pieces meet
in corners. cut just the tip off the caulk to
use a small bead, and use your finger to push it
into the cuts, holes & gaps. (but not weep holes in windows)
keep a wet rag handy to clean your fingers.
caulk is about $5 a tube and an inexpensive easy
to use caulk gun is about the same...but make
sure it has the attachment to puncture the
inner liner in tube of caulk.

use an exterior window and door caulk white or clear
with a long life 35 to 50 years.

give caulk 24 hours to dry.

make sure all surfaces to paint are clean and dry.
prime..I did 2 coats of water based kilts. if
wood is really dry and kiltz is absorbed you may
need to add another coat of kiltz.

let the kiltz least 24 hours.

then paint with exterior trim paint.

let first coat dry and paint again.

I'm a Behr paint girl..but any good
paint will last as long as you have
prepped well.

don't store paints & kiltz where they
will freeze, as they won't be good
later when you go to use them.

best of luck.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 2:02PM
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on caulk, kiltz and paint as
to specifics for the brand you choose.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 2:03PM
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Priming should always be done before caulk and filling, especially on bare wood projects.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 7:39PM
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Hi Jally, Do you currently have any seepage or water leaking at all in their present state? The reason I suggested a reputable handyman is that one who has experience in most all fields will also have the tools to take on this project. To trim out according to your picture, I would bring my portable table saw in order to rip down backing to accept the trim. Also would bring my finish chop saw to clean cut the trims as well as sanders, finish nailers,etc, all tools that a reputable ,experienced handyman would have along with all painting tools. If you are just looking to paint what you have installed and you have no leaking issues, you can easily do this yourself. Get a quart of bullseye zinnzer 123 primer, some dap dynaflex 230 sealant, and a good quart of exterior acrylic enamel and you'll want to put two top coats. Sand and rid any loose debris from all, clean the surfaces well ridding any dusts, primer, then caulk all joints where woods meet using the method mentioned above of cutting a small bead from the tube and as you caulk, moisten your finger and work it smooth into the crevices. Any larger gaps might need a second application as it will shrink a little. Finish off with two top coats of the acrylic. Let all applications dry well each step although you can caulk within a couple of hours of primering if it is fairly warm and dry day out. You might want to wait until it warms up a tad if you are in a colder climate. The brushes mentioned are a good brush for you as well. I prefer a sash brush for all applications, but a good cutting in type brush 1 to 1-1/2" would be easy for you to handle. Purdy makes a good brush, I would recommend the chinex bristled brush. They are pricy but will last you a lifetime if you take care of them. If this is a one time project and you do little painting or not much more in your future, then go with a less expensive nylon bristled brush. Clean often as you go and clean well before storing.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 10:57AM
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Well, I already got an estimate from a very nice guy who's licensed.

He said the job should wait until at least March.

Here's the sequence he quoted he'd do (I didn't prompt him with suggestions, rather waited to hear his proposal):
(1) scrape old frames
(2) caulk cracks between old & new frame
(3) primer on the new wood
(4) 2 coats of exterior paint

Four windows for $200.
I'm leaning toward using him for the job. We'll see, come March, taking the mercurial times we're living into consideration ;-)

P.S. curious why you state primer should be applied before caulk, whereas he does the caulk first.. He's an older guy, maybe in his 60's and seemed quite experienced.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 12:04PM
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P.P.S. sorry I failed to respond to the Q about seepage.

There wasn't seepage that I know of, but then again, they were very old windows, including storm windows. If anything, the sloped-wide windowsill between the inner 1950s window and the storm window might have sometimes been damp if I'd forget to close the storm window when it rained.

Nothing too bad that couldn't be mopped up.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 12:23PM
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