Highland Woodworking Wood News Online, No. 149, January 2018 Welcome to Highland Woodworking - Fine Tools & Education Learn more about Highland Woodworking View our current woodworking classes and seminars Woodworking articles and solutions Subscribe to Wood News
Finish Adhesion
By Alan Noel
Professional Wood Finisher

I remember while in college I was doing almost anything to make a buck and sometimes my main line of work at Otis and Willard was slow and didn't have much for me to do. During those times I would ride my bike around the neighborhoods hoping to find some construction or lawn work.

One day I came upon an older fellow painting a very large front porch. I sure could smell that oil-based paint because he was using turps to thin and clean up with. He didn't hesitate to ask me if I wanted a job and I gladly took it. He immediately introduced me to the scraper, which I learned to loathe very quickly. He began to explain why it was important to scrape and sand the existing painted surfaces and he said to me, "oil over latex but never latex over oil, unless you scrape and sand first."

He then went on to explain that in order for a new coat of paint to stick to the surface there has to be something for the paint to "grab" on to. And since oil paint dries very slowly it tends to flow out to a very smooth, glossy finish. Latex will not adhere to the surface unless it's sanded first to create a "tooth" for the next coat to grab on to if you are using latex over oil. On the other hand, if you are painting oil over latex, one can get by with less scraping and sanding because the texture of latex paint is very coarse after it has dried so less prep is necessary in order to achieve good adhesion with either oil or latex.

This little nugget of info sure has served me well and applies to all of the traditional wood finishes that most of us use all of the time. Very simply, ANY finish can be applied over any other finish as long as the surface has been properly SANDED to create a tooth for the new coat of finish to adhere to and the original surface is completely cured to begin with.

CLICK HERE to visit the Highland Woodworking Finishing Department

Alan can be reached directly via email c/o Alan Noel Furniture Refinishing at anoelfurniturere@bellsouth.net . You can also visit Alan's website by CLICKING HERE .

Visiting Atlanta? Attend one of Alan's upcoming highly informative Highland Woodworking wood finishing seminars:

January 17, 2018  French Polish Workshop
February 7, 2018  Finishing the Finish
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