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vinyl shutter paint question

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by Marlene, May 17, 2018 at 5:12 PM.

  1. Marlene

    Marlene Major Contributor

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    I have a question for a friend who is having issues with paint drying. Her husband bought paint at Lowes and was told which to buy and use to re-paint their vinyl shutters. The paint isn't drying and Lowes said it could take a month to dry. I am asking here as I know there are a lot of us who paint and was wondering if this is true or not. I've painted a lot of MDO and ACM but have only used oil based paints so I am no help with this. That long of a dry time seems way off to me.
     
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  2. unclebun

    unclebun Member

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    No paint should take a month to dry. What in the world did they sell him?
     
  3. Marlene

    Marlene Major Contributor

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    I am trying to find out the brand and what type but haven't heard back from her yet. I've never heard of a paint that could take a month to dry.
     
  4. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    I have vinyl and wooden shutters at my home. I've used oil-based and made it into a spray. Dried in a few hours. In fact, I'll be doing it again, probably this summer, unless I run outta time. Other than garment screen ink, I've never heard of anything taking that long to dry. Ya better make sure, he followed directions. I would never use latex, but even that will dry in a few hours. It could take 3 months to cure, but that's not about drying to the touch.

    Possibly..... did he thoroughly clean them before painting them ?? There could be residue or bug juice all over them.​
     
  5. Marlene

    Marlene Major Contributor

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    She said he painted them a week ago and they are sticky like tar. Something is wrong. Thanks for the reply as I wasn't totally sure what to ask her. I wonder if it is latex or oil. Also need to ask her about the prep. Do you just clean them or is a primer needed?
     
  6. unclebun

    unclebun Member

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    You can paint vinyl shutters with latex paint, but for the paint to have good adhesion requires a primer. Even without a primer the paint will still dry. You could also use Krylon Fusion (without a primer) but you'd go broke buying it, and spraying outdoors with even the slightest breeze is a losing proposition.

    That said, some shutters are made of polypropylene, which is essentially unpaintable--except with products like Krylon Fusion which can actually bond to plastics like that. Polypropylene is the plastic that requires high strength adhesive vinyl for sign products to stick to it. In the sign industry it's typically called "low surface energy" plastic.
     
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  7. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    Our wooden shutters are about 55 years old, so all I did was scare them up and painted away. Did both sides to prevent mold and rot. The vinyl ones were new and about 25 years old and we just ran some turps over them and painted away. We re-did them about 4 or 5 years ago and she wants to change the color, slightly. I'll be most likely running a 320 grit over the wooden ones and slopping some turps on them and the plastic ones, just scaring them up with a scotch pad and then running turps over them. Will use oil based paint, again. I forgot, I sprayed the whole thing, but used a brush for a secondary color along the edges, like a border. Two toned.

    Anyway, if they're like tar, someone most likely added something they shouldn't've. Like anyone will tell the truth at this point ?? If they had a color mixed at Lowes, they could've easily put some additive in by mistake.
     
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  8. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    Not on shutters, but I tired that primer first, then latex over top routine. Never again. That is a buncha total crap. Scratches like crazy and ya hafta repaint about every 3 months or at least touch up. At least oil paint, even without lead still has holding power.
     
  9. equippaint

    equippaint Active Member

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    Maybe too heavy of a coat so it dried on the skin and left the inside trapped. Our shop neighbors did that with a bunch of structural steel and an alkyd enamel.
     
  10. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    Ive sprayed vinyl shutters and had no issues, they must of sold him some oil based paint. Why anyone would use oil over latex is beyond me. Oil does not last like it once did
     
  11. Marlene

    Marlene Major Contributor

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    Thanks for the help. She and her husband are such a sweet couple who have been going thru a lot lately. She is at her breaking point and I want to do what I can to at least give her some help on this. I don't paint house stuff, only signs.
    She asked me and your replies will give me something to pass along to her. If it doesn't get resolved at least she knows someone cares and it will lift her up when I tell her I people here tried to help.
     
  12. Jean Shimp

    Jean Shimp Member

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    Sounds to me like they got a batch of bad paint. As someone said, maybe the store mixed it wrong. I hate to think they painted all their shutters with this stuff. If it is bad paint it will have to all be stripped off and repainted. And the best you will probably get from the store is the cost of the paint reimbursed, which in no way compensates for the amount of time the job will take. We paint vinyl with latex DTM (direct to metal) paint. It takes a month to cure, but dries to the touch in less than an hour.
     
  13. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    I remember reading a thread on here a few years ago about something similar, If I remember correctly it was caused by painting a sign with a paint that wasn't compatible with the paint underneath
     
  14. signbrad

    signbrad Member

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    This has happened to me, too.
    I have put paint on plastic that would not dry. This happened a number of times in the past, always with One Shot enamel. Once I was given some banner material by another shop and asked to paint it and cut it up into pennants. It was two or three weeks before the paint was dry enough to allow me to cut the material without marring it. This was in the 1980s and I have not seen this problem happen for a long time.

    There are a number of online forums and blogs for commercial painters where the problem of painting plastic shutters has been discussed. Painting contractors would be the true experts in this area since they paint plastic shutters frequently. The following is a blog by a commercial painter:
    Tips for Painting Vinyl Shutters

    Bad paint?
    I expect that getting a bad batch of paint is possible, but a rarity. And the retailers that have in-house mixing stations have them set up so that even a child can operate the system. I should know, as I was practically a child when I worked at one. We did not add anything to the paint but colorants, which were either powder or liquid colors, and that was done carefully and precisely. There was a limit to the amount of colorant we were allowed to add, and we were not to add more, even if a customer insisted. Too much color degraded the integrity of the paint. Any additives, such as fungicides, dryers, dispersants, etc., were already in the mixing base. Unless a worker does not shake the paint the required amount of time, there's not much he or she can do to mess it up.
    My lettering enamels that did not dry, mentioned above, were in fine condition, so the problem was elsewhere.
    Incidentally, old paint may present problems, such as slow drying. Paint components tend to separate and even degrade over time. Unopened paints may even lose dryers. All paints have a shelf life, often measured in months. Most Matthews paint products, for example, including their One Shot enamels, have an unopened shelf life of 48 months, according to Matthews. Product Shelf Life

    Rather than bad paint, it is far more likely that other factors are causing adhesion or drying problems. There are both acrylic water-based paints and oil-based paints made for plastics, but not all paints will work on all plastics. Plastics vary, as alluded to by Unclebun above. Not only are there different plastics but different grades within a plastic type. Among plasticizers, for example, there are cheap ones and expensive ones, and the characteristics of the end product are affected.
    Plasticizer is the term for the compound that is added to plastic in the manufacturing process that makes it flexible and stretchy. Plasticizer migrates, that is, it leaches out, over the life of the plastic, leaving the plastic brittle and stiff eventually. A plasticizer can affect the life of an applied paint film (or an applied adhesive film for that matter. This is the reason sign vinyl has a shelf life. The plasticizer gradually migrates into the adhesive, contaminating it). Because of the abundance of plasticizer present, fresh plastic may not accept paint as well as older, weathered plastic that has lost much of its plasticizer, although abrasion and a solvent wash can make a difference with adhering paint to new plastic. Krylon Fusion, made by Sherwin Williams, works so well on plastic because of the aggressive solvents it contains. It actually seems to melt vinyl sheeting a little as it bites into the surface. It overpowers the plasticizer.

    The comments made by painting contractors who paint plastic shutters vary considerably. Some claim to never have problems and have been painting plastic shutters for years. Others have had failures with both water and oll based paint. I have also noticed that some experienced painters tend to use the same brands and products over and over. Maybe the ones who never have problems painting plastic shutters have simply stumbled onto a good combination.

    The real answer to Marlene's question may involve the specific brands/lines of paint used on specific brand shutters.
    I noted, too, a comment on one of the painter forums that some shutter retailers sell both "paintable" shutters and shutters that are not.

    Of course, poor prep can always be a factor. I tend to over-prep. As a sign painter, I would use products I am familiar with. I would solvent wash first with something like Matthews Plastic Prep, or Dupont Final Klean. Then I would abrade, using red Scotchbrite on a DA sander (I have a cheapie DA at home that's electric). Scotchbrite would work well on textured plastic, as many shutters are textured. I would then do a second solvent wash after abrading, probably alcohol and water, sloshing it on liberally with a clean paintbrush and then let the panels air dry.
    What paint? Primer? After the reading I have been doing in connection with this thread, I would probably fall back on the products I am used to. I would spray with Matthews Tiebond, an adhesion promoter for plastic, then topcoat with Matthews acrylic polyurethane. Expensive? Not if it avoids an early repaint.

    Asking a commercial painter
    What if I had no choice but to use products from the paint store? I would ask for advice, but not just from the paint store counter people. They will tell you only what they're told to say. It may be accurate. Or not. The quality of advice from paint store employees can be spotty. I would, in addition, ask two or three painting contractors what they recommend for longest life. Some commercial painters will even give you a choice. They will sometimes use one product for their "best" jobs and then a "go-to" choice for everything else. The good stuff may even carry a limited "lifetime" warranty, but cost 65 or 70 dollars a gallon instead of 35. So they buy what fits the job. The general rule among many commercial painters is that the cost of the paint is a rough guide to its performance.

    Many paint manufacturers have online information on how to paint plastic shutters. These websites may be useful. But I would not hesitate to print out the advice from, say the Sherwin Williams pages about their "vinyl safe" paints, and then show it to a trusted commercial painter for his opinion.

    I hope Marlene's friends are able to resolve the issue without too much expense.

    Brad in Kansas City
     
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