Ask the Pros!

Written by on January 3, 2014 in Ask the Topcoat Team! with 6 Comments

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Scott Burt

Scott Burt is a contractor and freelance writer whose column "From the Field" has appeared in American Painting Contractor magazine (www.paintmag.com) since 2008. His writing and projects also appear in other print and digital venues. This site is an extension of Scott's publication work, and he encourages readers to leave comments and questions about articles published here. Hope to hear from you!

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  1. Ask the Pros at Topcoat Review | Blogging Paint... | January 26, 2014
  1. Stan says:

    I have just completed building a home in Moloka`i, Hawai`i. I’m located in an arid part of the island. There’s about 800 sq’ of lanai and another 300 sq’ of deck, all Ipe. I was considering using Woodrich products, but had so many problems with the company and samples and trying to place an order with them, I gave up after four (yes, four) months. I am prepared to do whatever it takes in terms of maintenance, e.g., every couple years. What can I do to keep this deck looking great? The photo is about one month after install, and after a rain (a rarity!)
    Really appreciate your site! Well done.

    • Scott Burt says:

      Stan, nice looking deck. Annual maintenance is the key. A light pressure wash with a mild soap usually cleans the deck up well enough for another oil application. Follow all the tips that our readers have shared regarding not overapplying, making sure to wipe excess thoroughly, etc.

    • Mike says:

      Stan, Wow! looks like a great place. I’ve spent quite a bit of time over on Moloka’i, specifically in Kaluakoi. The weather on the Island is Extreme at best. One of the windiest spots in the World! Where else to you see trees that are permanently at an angle because they grew up in the wind? The Red Dirt is also killer there. We use to get it coming out of our shower heads when you turned on the tap! I know you posted this a year ago, but you might want to look into OneTime Wood sealant. onetimewood.com I used this product on a fence and it was a breeze to apply. You cannot apply it over other coats though. it needs to go into the surface to work, but you can remove other coats and then apply. Not cheap, but is supposed to last 7 years before re-applying (longer in areas of the Mainland). What side of the Island do you live on? Looks like you’ve got the Ocean to compete with as well. Now that’s maintenance!!!

  2. Ed Sherman says:

    Hi Pros!
    The stair risers in my home haven’t been painted since construction in 1996. Scuffed, yellowed & highly trafficked; it’s time. Original paint unknown – do I prime first & w/ what? Then the biggie: waterborne acrylic enamel in semigloss or something else? Which brand for this non-pro working vertically w/ stained & sealed hardwood above & below with a wonderful wife raised in a home her Daddy built with His Own Two Hands!?!
    Thanks,
    Ed

    • Mike says:

      Ed,
      Some of your questions might be better answered by other pros, but here is some advice I can give you. Whenever I’m not sure of a paint’s origin, I use Goof Off on a terrycloth rag and rub it on the paint. If it gets gummy, then its latex. If it doesn’t effect the paint, then it’s Oil-based. Denatured Alcohol can also be used for this test.
      If it is Oil based you should sand lightly, prime with an oil-based primer or perhaps Shellac then paint it. What you use for paint is a matter of choice. Oil is a pain to paint with and will leave your staircase out of commission for a while while it dries, but will handle scuffs better than most latex-based paints. There are some Latex paints that dry very hard that may be more practical for the application. Devoe use to make one. Now they are owned by PPG (Glidden). Ask for “Non-marking” paint from whatever store you go to. Skip the Big Box stores; they wont have what you need.

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