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superjedi 09-16-2009 09:58 PM

"High adhesion" latex primer for paneling?
Hi all,
I'm Eric, just registered on the forum tonight. :)
My wife and I are buying a home which has paneling in the den. It's an older home, built in 1964, and there's no drywall behind the paneling. We want to redo the room and we're considering just painting, or texturing then painting.
I've read about high-adhesion primers and how they're good for these types of applications.
Now someone smack me over the head if I'm way off base, but what I'm considering (if we go the texture route) is to roll on a coat of high-adhesion primer, then go in with some mud to fill the small grooves in the paneling, which is not real wood. Once that's done, I was thinking of applying mud all over and doing a knockdown texture, then painting.
Does anyone have any recommendations for the best type of primer? Are high adhesion primers really better for this type of use?
Thanks for any replies!

Nestor_Kelebay 09-17-2009 07:25 PM

If it wuz me, I would fill the seams in the panelling by mixing white wood glue 50/50 with water and using that solution to thin drywall joint compound to make a joint filler that will spread easily, but stick like chewing gum to the underside of a church pew. To get that smooth, just hold a bright light close to the wall, and scrape off any bumps with a tungsten carbide paint scraper. Drywall joint compound shrinks as it dries, so you'll probably have to do that twice; once to fill in the seams, and again to fill in the shrinkage. Use less glue on the second time around because you may want to sand the top coat of joint compound smooth with a screen sander in preparation for priming and painting instead of texturing.

Once you have the seams filled, and smooth (or not, depending on whether you want to paint or texture), I'd paint over the whole thing with Zinsser's Bullseye 123 latex primer, which is a high adhesion primer like you're wanting to know about. Home Depot sells it.

There are several high adhesion primers on the market, notably Zinsser's Bullseye 123 and Zinsser's BIN shellac based primer. Zinsser's boasts that both will stick to smooth substrates that other primers won't stick to, like high gloss polyurethane, galvanized sheet metal and even glazed ceramic tiles. If I were planning on painting over a relatively smooth surface like old 60's and 70's wood panelling, I'd use an adhesive primer too.

superjedi 09-17-2009 08:23 PM

Thanks for the reply. Hadn't ever heard of using wood glue mixed with joint compound.
I may just begin by using an adhesive primer to get an idea of how the walls would look before I delve into texturing.

Nestor_Kelebay 09-17-2009 10:09 PM


Hadn't ever heard of using wood glue mixed with joint compound.
That's because drywall joint compound comes in three kinds:
1. Regular or Taping - which has the most glue, so it sticks best and dries the hardest, and you use it for the first coat that holds the tape in place,
2. Finish or Topping - which has the least glue in it, so it has the least adhesion, but also dries soft and easy to sand smooth, and you use it for the top coat, and
3. All Purpose, which is a compromise between 1. and 2.

Most other DIY'ers buy their joint compound in a cardboard box just by reading the printing on the box. They look for words like Finish, or Regular to tell them what they're buying.

I buy Synko Pro Set 90 Lite Sand as powder, and make it as sticky and hard drying as I want by adding more or less white wood glue to it. I mix the white wood glue into water, and then use that water to mix the plaster powder into a slurry I can spread easily with a trowel. The more glue in my mixing water, the stickier the slurry will be, but the harder it will dry, and therefore the more difficult it will be to sand smooth. By contrast, if I don't add any white wood glue to my mixing water, I get Synko Pro Set 90 that sticks OK and sands smooth very easily. Lots of times you want sticky joint compound that dries strong and hard for sticking plastic corner beads on. Other times you want a joint compound that sands smooth quickly and easily. I can do that just as well with a gallon of Weldbond as you can with three different boxes of joint compound.

And, I've been doing that for over 20 years, so if it didn't work well, I'd probably have noticed by now.


I may just begin by using an adhesive primer to get an idea of how the walls would look before I delve into texturing.
Yeah, but if you prime the walls first, then you can't really sand or scrape the joint compound in the seams smooth. The reason why is that scraping the joint compound in the seams down flush with the paneling could also result in you scraping off the primer. And, you couldn't sand the joint compound smooth without plugging up your sanding screen or sand paper with primer. That means the filling of joints and scraping or sanding them smooth has to come before you apply the adhesive primer.

Besides, you'd be best off avoiding texture. It's harder to repair a texture wall. It's harder to clean a textured wall, and it's harder to paint a textured wall. Flat is beautiful.

Personally, I think you're putting a lot of work into paneling you don't want. Why not live with the paneling until you can save up some money for drywall and then replace the paneling with drywall?

But, keep in mind that the difference in thickness between paneling and drywall is going to require that you: build out your electrical boxes for receptacles and switches, and that you build out your door frames 3/8 inch on each side or so as well.

Typically, you can buy small rectangular metal sleeves that fit inside electrical boxes to allow you to build out the electrical boxes easily enough. And, the usual practice is to simply glue and brad nail a 3/4 inch wide by 3/8 inch thick strip of wood molding to each side of the existing door way to build out the door frame flush with the new drywall. And, you'll need to accomodate the thicker drywall around any basement windows in that paneling.

I'd rather see you tear out that paneling as is, rather than spend time and money on it, and then tear it down and throwing it out along with your investment in time and materials. You'd be as well of wasting the time on a beach, and drinking the money if the ultimate destination of that paneling is a landfill site.

So, if I wuz you, I'd learn to love that paneling until you're ready to tear it down, and have the bridges crossed in advance; that is, what you're gonna do with the electrical boxes, the door frames and any windows that might be in those paneled basement walls. If you still wanna pursue Plan A, then I'd proceed with filling in the seams first, making sure they're smooth, and then priming, and then deciding between flat or textured.

If you wanna see what your basement would look like with painted or textured walls, you can buy cheap software ($5 to $15) where you can change the colours of the walls, ceilings and floors on a picture of your basement. Some of that software should have the option of texturing walls and ceilings too.

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