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Frankg

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Reply with quote  #1 
What's the difference? Anyone use both together?
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phantom scroller

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Reply with quote  #2 
I never use a primer just a sealer or two coats to three coats of paint. Unless it's already painted and I need to change the colour then sand and paint.
perhaps I need to change my methods [redface]

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Udie

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Frankg
Primer vs Sealer

Very interesting question Frank and not that simple to answer. Each product has it's own advantages and disadvantages.

Primer

It’s purpose in life is to prepare the surface for painting. It aids in providing a surface for better adhesion of the paint. It does seal the surface which helps the top coat from sinking in. Primer does leave a texture to the surface.

Because of this, that is why many people use the Krylon primer, it is thicker, it will seal the wood and does provide some filler to mend minor imperfections. Yes – multiple coats will be required with sanding in between as defined in many of the plan sets instructions. The better the surface preparation prior to adding your top coat the better.

 

Off topic a little but look at it this way. You cannot paint your stippled ceiling with a water based latex.

The stipple is water based and your paint is water based, when applied it dissolves the stipple. That is why most ceils use oil based products. Now that oil base is being phased out, you have to prime the stipple, sealing it, and the primer sticks to the oil base, and provides a surface that your water based paint can stick to without soaking thru again removing the stipple.

 

Sealer

Here’s a confusing word. Sealer can be applied to bare wood as your wood preparation prior to applying your top coat and it can also be used to describe your treatment after the top coat has been applied as in poly’s, varnish, etc.

Let’s talk about using a sealer as an alternative to primer for wood preparation.

Using a sealer, just like a primer, seals the wood stopping the surface form absorbing paint.

A sealer evens out the surface, filling in the gaps of the porous material you are using where the primer follows the contours of the wood. Bad wood prep will show unfavorable top coat results.

Applying multiple coats of sealer with sanding in-between fills in the grain of the wood for a smoother finish.

In many of my articles and videos, you have seen me using a Delta Craft Multi-Purpose Acrylic Sealer.

It’s a personal preference for me. I like it, sands nice and give me a smooth surface for my top coats.

But, my problem is - Delta is no longer available in CANADA. That is why I purchased the stores entire stock as I described in my article “Wheels (Bargain Wheels)”.

 

Let’s talk about the wood you wish to prime or seal.

If you are using any woods which have visible knots you know they need special attention if the wood is not left natural but is painted. Primer and general sealer will not stop the sap/oils in the knot from bleeding thru later, making your project look amateurish. That why knots in pine, for example, need a stain blocker or shellac applied to them prior to your top coat.

Apply the shellac, dry, sand and apply a second coat for added protection.

You could also apply shellac to the entire surface to make the surface equal across it which will result in a flawless finish.

 

I was in a typing mood this morning, hence the long reply.

Hope some of this helps.

sjc5454

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Reply with quote  #4 
Udie, I have looked for craft sealer at Hobby Lobby and Micheals, but have had no luck. Is there a specific site where I might find a multi-purpose craft sealer? I did not like the way the spray paint with primer took so long to dry, so now I want to try using the non-toxic acrylic paint method. Will a spray on primer take as long as a spray paint to dry? I think the primer/paint went on too thick and then the weather changed on me and caused the paint to take too long to fully cure. I am going to try "gess", a canvas primer used by artists, this was suggested by the lady at Hobby Lobby after I explained what I needed it for. Will shellac produce as smooth a surface as the primer after it has been sanded? Do I need to sand the shellac if I decide to use it? 

I know there are many different finishes possible on the toys, but I have found the kids like colors best, the brighter, the better. I realize you probably get lots of requests for videos about toymaking, but having one that explains some of the easier and more basic finishes would be great for us beginners. If you have time, I am sure it would be appreciated by all. If there is a video or article with good pictures showing the process, can you post the link please?

Sorry about all of the questions, but I am in Colorado where it gets pretty cold and have an unheated garage to work in, so I need to be able to glue and paint inside the house without major fumes. Shellac will dry in the garage if I let it sit overnight or all day before handling it. Is there anything I need to do before glueing or painting other than letting the wood sit overnight to allow it to reach room temperature?

Steve Currier                                                                              

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ctowne

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Reply with quote  #5 
Hi Steve -
Painting has been my longest learning curve this year.  You can do a search on the site and it will pull up everything about painting or finishing.   Something I never do that may make people cringe is put on a primer.  I consider my first coat of paint as the primer.  I typically only need 2 coats of paint, no more than anyone else that I've read on this site.  I do sand between each coat up to 300 grit. And because the end grain of wood will raise more after painting I really try to take extra care there.    I think my finishes look fine without the primer.  I have not had much luck with the spray paint finish and I think it is because it is applied too thick (operator error).  Because of my weather here it has been better for me to do the painting and finishing in the house and at least get one method down good.   I use the 2 coats of any craft type acrylic paint after sanding the piece I also just picked up some house paint samples at the local big box store.  They were on sale and had about triple the paint quantity that the little craft bottles have.  Sand between each coat and then apply water based poly.    The craft paints dry within an hour.   On some of my items I have used child safe water based Dyes.  These allow the wood grain to show through and I like that finish as well.  That is applied the same.  2 coats and 2 coats poly. 

I don't know everything about this as I have just started this year but hang in there, experiment with what works best for you. 
Cindy

Udie

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Reply with quote  #6 
sjc5454 (Steve) - Wow, lot of great questions there and concerns, let's see if I can help a little.

   From many of my posts, WTN's and videos you can see that I like to use craft paints, and seal, paint, varnish and apply the bee's wax formula. I am like you and spray large projects only in the summer when deemed necessary. The craft paints dry very quickly and in one evening on multiple components or assemblies I can seal, paint and varnish in one evening.
   Sprays do dry quickly, in about 10 minutes and easy handling in 1 hour and sanding in 4 hours. But I do not spray paint indoors.
   Craft supplies like the sealers and varnishes should be available from Hobby Lobby or Michaels. They are usually in another isle where the Mediums/Sealer/Varnishes are. I know that Delta (Plaide Enterprises) not longer supports or ships to CANADA, that is why in one of my posts I mentioned that I purchased the stores stock at a reduced price, they wanted the shelf space and I needed the products I was most comfortable with. But for you in the USA, you should be able to purchase either Delta Ceramacoats or Americana sealers or FolkArt and varnishes easily. If not off the shelf, ask the manager if this an item you will have to order in.
   Shellac, I use shellac when I wish to conceal knots when using the lower grade of woods. It stops the knots from bleeding to the surface which will be seen in a couple of days and ruin the top coats you have applied. It can be sanded with no problems.
   Gesso, it comes in regular, clear and thick and is a great way to seal the edges of plywood and the voids that are sometimes associated with it when using, again, a lower grade of plywood, meaning 3 to 5 ply construction. I have used it as a primer with great results also. Also works good on MDF and the edges of pine and spruce. Sands great. I am currently working on a article discussing various products that produce great results on the edges of MDF, Plywood, framing lumber and Pine and articles on painting techniques/results.
   Metallic paints I found are really exciting, no priming necessary, quick drying, easy sanding with a great finish after the 2nd coat. A little more expensive, so I only purchase them on sale. Check out the attached link on a post I did with the Play Pals ... Metallic Craft Paints on the Play Pals. You may also like to take a look at the other posts about using metallic paints referring to Paint Story Sticks.
   The WTNs on the Top Gun Aircraft Carrier discuss and demonstrate my painting techniques and the Freaky Ford WTN and video shows you how I apply the sealer, paint and varnish.

So my friend, I hope some of the above helps.

I hope some of the members jump in and discuss their use of shellacs/primers and top coats. It would really help us all.
sjc5454

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thanks for answering my questions, the information is very helpful. I had not thought of using water based poly as a top coat, I usually use a spray lacquer because it dries fast and leaves a nice shiny, smooth finish. It also can be used in lower temps and still cure overnight vs. the spray paint which took a month to fully cure. I am sure that was because I sprayed it on too thick, and then tried to rush the process when it was dry to the touch, instead of fully dry, before spraying the next coat.
I saw the Ceramacoat brand at Hobby Lobby, so will go back and try looking in the section with the varnishes, primers, and sealers.
I end my sanding with 220 in preparation for the finish, should I go one more step and finish with 320?

Steve Currier                                                                                             

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Currierwoodworks
Udie

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Reply with quote  #8 
sjc5454 (Steve) - Glad some of the info helped. Spray lacquer is great but too cold outside right now where I am. Sanding - if the paint job is a little too rough I start with 220, but my personal method is to continue with a 320 before applying the next top coat. You do not have to do it this way, it just happens to be what I do, some even go higher using 400 to 1000, it's a personal thing.
DavidT

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Reply with quote  #9 
Udie, Do you use the shellac as a sealer underneath paint topcoats? I have always wondered if shellac would be effective for that purpose, so I made a few test items where it served as a basecoat under acrylic paints. Two years later they still look good, but wonder about the long term.
Dave
Udie

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Reply with quote  #10 
Dave (DavidT) - I use shellac to seal knot holes, fill the voids reducing the possibility of the knot from expanding and of course that unsightly bleed out after the item has been painted. This is my practice for yard art and non-toy related projects and is quite standard in the wood working environment.
   Yes you can use craft paints over shellac with success as you have mentioned, but I would recommend giving the shellac a good sanding, a good first coat of your paint, again sand and continue the painting/sanding until you get your desired results. Then apply your protective top coat and of course the magic bee's wax.
   Wood preparation is important. Especially in furniture making as well as toy making. How long do they last, not sure, most of my projects are sold or given away, I never see them again and have received no complaints.
   This is what works for me - using shellac for me is the last resort, with toy making, I find using the craft wood sealers work just fine and may add a layer of hide-all primer if I feel it is necessary.
   Sounds like what you are doing works for you and I think our members/guests will take note of your post.
   It would be great if some of the members jump in and let us know about their success/failures on using shellac on their projects.
Douglas

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Reply with quote  #11 
Hi , I use acrylic paints . I don't use any primer or sealer ,I just paint straight onto the bare wood . I use 3 coats sanding lightly between each coat , then I normally put 2 coats of quick drying varnish on top . ..I use sponge paint brushes to apply the acrylic , I love this paint as it dries very quickly and is totally flat ,with no application marks . ....... Acrylic water based paint is non toxic ....great for toy making . I got the paint spec .from the supplier with a message stating specifically that theses water based acrylic paints are safe for children .  Hope this helps..... Douglas
Frankg

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Reply with quote  #12 
I read Goran Stojanovic's  article about using Cindy's bees wax formula for a water sealer on his boats. Has anyone tried this? The other suggestion in his video was outdoor varnish finish. I'm assuming he's using marine varnish. Which works better? I plan to build the fishing boat. Any help or suggestions I would be most thankful for. I am also concerned about safety for kids using the marine varnish since I understand it can be toxic.
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Udie

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Reply with quote  #13 
Frankg - Good question about Marine Varnish being child safe. I do not know. I am going to guess that Marine Varnish has more UV protection agents that normal exterior varnish.
As far as being child safe - I thing the next step for you would be to contact the supplier and ask them that question directly. Maybe their web site has MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) for you to view.
Let us know what you find.
Douglas

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Reply with quote  #14 
I have had a quick look at marine varnish Health and safety . It is not safe for children .. There are other types of varnish that are .  Just google it to find out . Douglas
Frankg

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Reply with quote  #15 
So Udie,

I would like to get Cynthia's opinion on this as well, if she see's this post. Can I use Cynthia's beeswax formula to water proof a toy boat? Will it last in outdoor river water? How about applying it over paint? Has anyone experimented with this?

Thanks for all your help!
I know about varnish from previous posts. Thanks.

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