Can you really not stain over finished parawood/rubberwood?

kitchen4usMarch 30, 2010

I asked a furniture store employee if you can paint over a stained parawood chair, and the employee said it won't work because the pre-finished chair has an oil base. Apparently the new stain or paint just peels off. Is that correct?

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Jon1270

Paint and stain are two very different things, so you shouldn't be referring to them as equivalents. Stain is meant to sink into the wood, which it absolutely can't do if there's a film finish in the way. Some paints will stick to some other finishes, but the finish on the chairs could be difficult to paint over; we don't know what finish is on there, so we can't say for sure.

That said, the store employee didn't know what he was talking about. Oil based finishes are not necessarily problematic.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 8:20PM
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bobismyuncle

... and it would be rare for a factory finished piece to have a true oil-based finish. Oil-based finishes are extremely slow curing in comparison to the standard commercial products like lacquer and 2k products.

However, I have had some pieces of two-component finishes that for which it is true, nothing will stick to them, not even themselves outside the "recoat window." The ones I've seen are also nearly impossible to strip with furniture strippers.

So he may have the right answer via the wrong logic.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 10:30PM
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brickeyee

"Paint and stain are two very different things, so you shouldn't be referring to them as equivalents. Stain is meant to sink into the wood, which it absolutely can't do if there's a film finish in the way."

The most common stains in the store are pigment stains, and they really are just thin paint.

Dye penetrates into the wood, and some commercial products contain both pigment and dye.

Dye does not separate on standing, while pigments settle out.

Pigment stain can be applied over many other finishes and then a new top coat applied to protect the color layer.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 9:17AM
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HandyMac

The OP was asking about painting over a stained and finished surface. The kind of wood makes little difference.

Actually, depending on what the finish is, painting is rather easy. If the finish is lacquer(often used on factory furniture in the past since drying time in in minutes) or most forms of polyurethane, a simple sanding with 400 grit sandpaper to scuff the surface is all the prep needed.

Then apply a coat of shellac based primer(BIN by Zinsser) and the paint of choice.

The type of paint used is actually the most important area. For a chair that is used, the paint needs to be able to stand spills/sitting/scraping/etc. And have a finish that does not get dirty easily.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 12:14PM
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