Michael Dresdner

straight talk about wood finishing

Do it right or do it over

Q: I built a box of marine plywood to attach to the underside of the roof allowing a column to be mounted. After three coats of acrylic latex paint, the majority of the box is a nice white. However, there is a zig zag in the side of the box which either won’t accept paint or disposes of it almost immediately, leaving the zig zag looking almost unpainted. What should I do?
A: Before you paint, you prime. Before you prime, you clean and sand. It sounds like you did neither. Cleaning removes contamination; sanding removes mill glaze; priming seals and unifies the surface to make it accept paint evenly. It’s too late to clean off contaminants, if that’s the problem, but not too late to go back and sand, then prime, then paint. As the adage goes, do it right or do it over.