Any way to save this paint? Polyurethane peeling.

beepsSeptember 10, 2012

So... I've been trying to refinish a dresser and have had nothing but problems. I'd throw it out but it matches a set and so would like to save it.

1) Sanded it down to bare wood, repaired damage.

2) Primed with a Zinsser Bulls Eye 123.

3) First paint was awful, went on very poorly and unevenly. (Olympic One - paint and primer in one).

4) Sanded it back down to bare wood.

5) Spray primed with Painter's Touch.

6) Sprayed with Painter's Touch. Took many coats but looked pretty good - lightly sanded between coats.

7) Sprayed clear coat of Painter's Touch. Very uneven and looked like mist on the top despite light sanding and repeated applications.

8) Sanded lightly and applied Cabot Water-Borne Polyurethane Clear Satin. Went on well, no pulling.

9) Sanded lightly to apply second coat and poly is peeling off in sheets.

  1. Sigh.

So, is there any way to save this? Do I need to just strip everything off and start over? I've lost some detail with all the sanding so far and am afraid to sand much more.

The Poly went on very well. No pulling. Great coverage. Nice leveling. I was impressed. I hadn't realize the Painter's touch spray was oil-based, but see now that it is. I actually don't see anywhere on the can, but if I google Painter's Touch and oil-based I do find it referred to as an oil-based spray.

What to do? I love the color and am happy with the look... except for now the peeling of the one coat of polyurethane that I applied.

Thanks in advance for any advice/suggestions.

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Oil based finishes can take several days to weeks to cure(not just dry) so a water based top coat can be applied.

Without trying to be too harsh, you first used the wrong primer---I like 123, but it is not a furniture primer. Was it oil or water based?

I cannot accept a paint/primer combo is acceptable, even recognizing many wonderful advances made by modern science. And certainly not over another coat of primer---was the Olympic oil or water based?

Have no idea what happened with the spray paint, other than possibly a bad can of the clear.

Then you put poly over the bad clear, which obviously was not cured.

So, first make sure the paint you buy is fresh. I've learned the hard way paint in a home improvement store can be years over the use by date. Go to a real paint store(I prefer Sherwin Williams). They will have their version of the BIN primer.

So, strip, clean, and use a thinner primer if you intend to paint. Like Zinsser BIN, instead of Zinsser Bulls Eye 123. Use the water based variety.

Let it dry 24 hours. Then use a quality water based paint, preferrably one designed for wood, not a paint-it-all paint. Let that dry 24 hours. See if there needs to be some hand sanding or another coat of paint.

Then use a water based spray poly after the entire piece has set another 24 hours.

Can it be done faster? Like primer, dry 4 hours, paint, dry 4 hours, poly? Possibly, but the procedure I outlined will definately work.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 1:57AM
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Bummer. Ok. Thanks for the feedback.

I didn't know a water-based coat could ever be put on an oil-based coat successfully.

Everything was water-based except the spray coat. I made the assumption the spray was water-based because it said nothing on the can, and finding an oil-based paint is like looking for a needle in a haystack now. (I live in So Cal.)

I def didn't realize that primer couldn't or shouldn't be used on wood. That confuses me because I know it is done all the time. I'm painting it, not staining it due to one place where I had to make an extensive repair with wood epoxy.

I got the primer/paint in one first (first mistake which sort of snowballed) but it was pulling on any areas that weren't completely totally bare wood, areas where I might not have gotten every scrap of the prior finish off, so I decided to prime first and then use that paint.

Not meaning to make excuses, just trying to provide further clarification. I appreciate the feedback. Sounds like I have to strip. Again.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 10:17AM
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Water base cannot be put on top of an oil base. You have so many products on top of each other and they are probably not compatible.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 8:50AM
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