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drew2000 01-22-2013 04:45 PM

Painting a desk, am I using the wrong paint?
Hi All,
I keep running into problems painting a desk. The desk is actually an old door which we prop up on top of two file cabinets.

I sanded it down all the way to primer, then primed it with Kilz gold label primer. Then, I waited 24 hours. Then I painted the first coat with Valspar Interior Semi-gloss Latex paint (the kind that is paint and primer in one, because that is all that I could find). Then I waited another 24 hours, then added a second coat because the first coat didn't cover all the way.

I am using a roller, for what that is worth.

The result is that the dried paint is tacky and slightly gummy. I can dent it with my finger nail and peel it off after a week. I guess I thought semi-gloss latex paint would be ok, because it dries very hard on my wood trim.

The funny part is that I did this same thing 5 years ago, same door desk with semi gloss paint. The paint was gummy then too, and wore away.

My Question: Am I using the wrong type of paint for this desk?

Semi gloss dries nice and hard on wood trim, I thought it would be great for this desk.


kok328 01-22-2013 04:47 PM

you could be putting it on too thick, multiple thin coats is best. I would opt for a Alkyd paint not semi-gloss latex.

CallMeVilla 01-22-2013 06:05 PM

The KILZ is great stuff. Should have dried nicely to accept water-based latex. For me, I don't brush woodwork like that ... I use spray paint in multiple light coats. Also, I gently pre-heat the can of paint in a pot of "almost" boiling water for a few minutes, then shake it vigorously. This makes the paint lay down like glass.

Come back after a day, touch sand with 1000 grit sand paper and hit it again.

Three coats and it is not only beautiful but bullet proof. :D

oldognewtrick 01-22-2013 06:21 PM

Drew, what was the temperature of the area you were paintng in?

drew2000 01-22-2013 06:26 PM

@kok328 - I looked that up and it looks like an oil base. I could do that, I just usually go with Latex since there seems to be so much more of that available (not that availability makes it better!)

@CallMeVilla - The Kilz actually did dry very nicely, it was the paint stage that got tacky.

@oldog/newtrick - It was a bit cold, probably 65F (finished basement, but not a humid one).


Wuzzat? 01-23-2013 04:22 PM

I don't know if paint is supposed to cure or to dry but you could try putting a hair dryer on an area of this and see what happens after a minute or so.

nealtw 01-23-2013 04:33 PM

It will dry; I've done that and finished it with a couple coats of diamond clear, Varathane.

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