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View Diary: Saturday Morning Home Repair Blog: Knowing when to call in the pros (107 comments)

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  •  painting my front door (10+ / 0-)

    Mrs. Turbonerd wanted to paint our front entry door to match our new siding. Actually, she wanted to replace it but it just wasn't in the budget. The house has settled over 40+ years, leaving the frame somewhat out of true. The door itself is warped. It's steel, and the front of the house gets direct sun all morning. It can get pretty brutal during the warmer months.

    Anyway - bought good exterior paint and got the door repainted before the weather got too cold last Fall. Then we started occasionally noticing a funny smell, like insulation burning in the front hallway. Long story short: I had failed to account for the darker color on the door being behind a sealed glass panel (the storm door). We had unwittingly created a near perfect solar collector. By the time I had figured out what was going on, the new paint had started bubbling and the plastic accents that are supposed to make it look like a four-panel door were melted and warped.

    Is there some kind of special paint I need to use? Or do I just need to advance my door replacement timeline?

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    by Turbonerd on Sat Jul 05, 2014 at 09:24:29 AM PDT

    •  I debated myself on answering this (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ninepatch, LIcenter, Turbonerd

      Since I'm the "paint guy", it seems natural for me to tackle it, but I just don't have enough info to give you a good answer. "Metal door" "good exterior paint" and bubbles don't tell me that much. But I can maybe give you a few general pieces of advice.

      Prep is 90% of that type of situation - steel door in a hothouse, aka with a full-sun-exposure glass storm door in front of it and the house behind it. Obviously the temp plays an important part, but the bubbles indicate something more like lack of adhesion. Did you completely clean and abrade the factory finish? I sand with fine grit AND clean with solvents to remove all traces of grease. Factory finishes are usually baked on over special primers, or electrostatically applied, and they are what I consider "closed pore"or hard finishes, so there's not much for a latex or acrylic finish to bond with. (hence the bubbles) Even a good "exterior" finish needs a pristine clean, abraded surface, but it will always be comparitively "soft" and easily damaged when applied over such a finish.

      I know, my kitchen door is similar and to save time and money I applied an exterior acrylic (aka water based) finish, which years later is still soft enough to scratch off with a fingernail, and I'll have to refinish it again. Better to use a solvent-based finish, like an automotive finish, in which case you must treat it as a system - use the recommended products all the way, from prep to prime (you must prime!) to topcoats. And follow directions to the letter. It costs a bit more, but the results won't disappoint.

      Another option would be a one-part epoxy finish; tougher to work with and more expensive, but the results last. I've used that several times in high-humidity places and have never had a failure, so it should work there as well.

      KMP, or contact me via Kosmail to discuss further if you want. I ain't an expert but had many years of experience with coatings of all kinds.
      John

      "When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson

      by CodeTalker on Sat Jul 05, 2014 at 05:48:30 PM PDT

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