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Wood isn't what it used to be? It's not the wood its the paint

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thick_mike

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I've never used it. But when I look at (say), a car that is ten years old and the paint is still perfect given minus 10 degrees to plus 30 degrees, together with all the flex a car can go through - one has to wonder why, for example, "paint for external metal" (i.e. railings) can only last "up to" five years.
Car body paint is usually applied in several coats; electrocoat, primer, base coat and clear. It is also baked at 150C for half an hour. The plastic components are painted elsewhere and applied in three coats; primer, basecoat and 2 pack clear then baked at 80C for half an hour. The electrocoat has had the biggest effect on corrosion resistance, the switch to clear over base has improved the appearance (colour and gloss retention).
 

eribaMotters

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I cannot fault water based paints, I think it's down to a chain of events making the timber rot before its time.
In 1995 we moved into previous house, about 1/2 a mile form the coast.
I replaced all casements on the back of the house, made two large sets of patio doors, 2 sets of garage doors, porch doors and windows and a bay window.
I used unsorted joinery grade softwood, clear preserved, knotted and aluminium primed before installation. Sills were in mahogany. All facia and soffit replaced with wbp plywood and again aluminium primed.
From there on it was water based. Sadolin Superdec on the facias and soffits, Dulux Weathershield Aquatec [it's got a new name now] on all other woodwork.
Each year everything got a wash down, every 3 or 4 years a wipe down and one coat. Using this regime on a 4 bed, 3 reception house I could do this in a weekend.
After 20 years, when we moved I had not had to sand, spot-prime or repair one single area. Preparation and a good maintenance schedule are a must.

Colin
 

mr rusty

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Everything focuses on increasing volume growth and te trees are harvested as young as possible which means that the growth rings are wide and the precious little heartwood there is will be full of huge knots so one has to use sapwood for window casements for which it is totally unsuitable due to lack of rot resistance.
IMHO this is the reason. Traditional materials and well seasoned slowly grown softwoods last for decades. But modern softwoods just seem to move around too much, so paint finishes crack, and that's the end of it.

I have had good success with Accoya and modern paint systems (I have been using Teknos). To me Accoya is the ideal timber for external painted joinery these days - easy to work, almost perfectly stable, doesn't rot etc. If it has a weakness, it is that it is quite brittle. The material cost difference is minimal in the contect of the finished product and the labour to produce. I can totally understand using linseed "slow" paint, but personally I just don't have the patience.
 

Jacob

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[QUOTE="mr rusty, post: 1471761, member: 26957".... I can totally understand using linseed "slow" paint, but personally I just don't have the patience.
[/QUOTE]Yebbut patience not required - you do something else while you wait for it to dry!
It's only a bit longer than normal oil paints
 

Jacob

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I cannot fault water based paints, I think it's down to a chain of events making the timber rot before its time.
In 1995 we moved into previous house, about 1/2 a mile form the coast.
I replaced all casements on the back of the house, made two large sets of patio doors, 2 sets of garage doors, porch doors and windows and a bay window.
I used unsorted joinery grade softwood, clear preserved, knotted and aluminium primed before installation. Sills were in mahogany. All facia and soffit replaced with wbp plywood and again aluminium primed.
From there on it was water based. Sadolin Superdec on the facias and soffits, Dulux Weathershield Aquatec [it's got a new name now] on all other woodwork.
Each year everything got a wash down, every 3 or 4 years a wipe down and one coat. Using this regime on a 4 bed, 3 reception house I could do this in a weekend.
After 20 years, when we moved I had not had to sand, spot-prime or repair one single area. Preparation and a good maintenance schedule are a must.

Colin
That's a high spec and intensive maintenance schedule compared to what most do.
Linseed oil paints, no preservative, no primer and you can leave 7 years or so without touching it at all, other than normal window cleaning.
 
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Adam W.

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And for those lost souls who dwell out there on the extreme fringes of normality, here's how to make your own paint from nettles.....


Only joking about the nettles, but it might make a nice leafy green pigment.
 

johnnyb

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I heard that prewar(don't know which) linseed and alkyd had about the same market share. houses weren't painted for over 5 years during the war. when the trades restarted after the difference between alkyd and linseed paint was striking the linseed was universally dropped and alkyd was adopted. just what I read...somewhere.
 

johnnyb

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it may be the it had yellowed on pale colours and the alkyd was whiter. durability is a main criteria for modern paints way back when keeping pale colours from going yellow was more important as people painted every few years. alkyd was an American product initially and had several formula changes over the years.( alkyd still contains linseed or other oils btw)
 

Jacob

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I heard that prewar(don't know which) linseed and alkyd had about the same market share. houses weren't painted for over 5 years during the war. when the trades restarted after the difference between alkyd and linseed paint was striking the linseed was universally dropped and alkyd was adopted. just what I read...somewhere.
Postwar everything was brown, green or cream. Modern paints give more choice of much brighter colours, shinier finishes and quicker drying but they peel off faster, cracks allow water in and prevent it from drying out, followed by rot.
 
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ivan

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I think linseed is breathable so moisture can permeate out. It's also flexible so can move a bit with timber without cracking. Father used to mix a lot of linseed in his alkyd paint, said grandad reccomended it, worth the extra coat. Interestingly some of the modern breathable paints (ie a coating not a stain) are very thin and dry soft; easily damaged, but not a problem externally on a window, and can flex with movenment. We have a garden shed that was thus painted black almost 30 years ago, and only washed down (for Devon algae) now and then. In permanent shade, (no UV) and coating still sound. In hot dry parts of US apparently they like linseed/thinners/beeswax, so our US rellies tell us.
 

Woody2Shoes

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Chestnut, oak, pine, hazel, they've all been used.

Chestnut doesn't grow here, although where I coppice a guy is having some success which is great as it grows fast and coppices well, I guess it's why it's known as The Sussex Weed.

Oak's what I have, so it's home riven oak lath in my ceilings and walls with hairy lime plaster and limewash over that.
I think it's the oak that's the 'Sussex Weed' not the chestnut (as generally the latter's been deliberately planted) :p
 

Woody2Shoes

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water based paints erode from the surface.

The detailing of joinery has a big influence on time between redecoration cycles and longevity.

V joints at all joints
3mm radius on all edges
Avoidance of water entrapment
Suitable water shed angles.

Most premature paint failures on windows and doors are due to joinery design faults rather than the paint.


I do think though that the linseed paints can be a really useful option for DIYers, but no good for commercial application.
I think you're right - "defensive detailing" is all important. Not just the detailing of the window design itself, but the architectural details of the opening into which the window is installed. Most older buildings have windows inset into the wall, and often older houses have greater eaves overhang - therefore the window is better protected from wind-driven rain. Modern buildings often have windows flush (or near-flush) with the outer surface of the wall, and eaves overhang is usually small/negligible.
 
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AlanY

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I think it's the oak that's the 'Sussex Weed' not the chestnut (as generally the latter's been deliberately planted) :p
I think it might be the sycamore that is known as the 'Sussex Weed'. So-called because the bloody things grow everywhere. We had two in the drive at the front of our house and it was a real pain if you parked near them: they would drop sap like it is going out of fashion. I got fed up with washing the cars and had the trees felled. This is when I first heard the term 'Sussex Weed' from the tree surgeons. Have since noticed two more sycamores have taken root, but nowhere near the cars so they can live for a while.

I cannot imagine ever calling the mighty oak a 'weed'.
 

planesleuth

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Lol ... £52 for a litre of linseed oil 'blackout' paint that ain't even half black! bonkers. You got too much money matey. I follow Eriba's advice...Spend less time groaning on here and use a proper maintenance regime. Btw now we have left the euromix it should be sold in pints.
 

Jacob

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Lol ... £52 for a litre of linseed oil 'blackout' paint that ain't even half black! bonkers. You got too much money matey. I follow Eriba's advice...Spend less time groaning on here and use a proper maintenance regime. Btw now we have left the euromix it should be sold in pints.
Yes expensive compared to normal paints but saves money at every other point in the process. Price per litre is just a detail compared to the cost of putting it on, maintaining it or having to repair rot.
It's a huge money saver. I wouldn't be interested in it if it wasn't - that's the whole point and I'm fairly skint, not to mention tight fisted.
 
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Woody2Shoes

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I think it might be the sycamore that is known as the 'Sussex Weed'. So-called because the bloody things grow everywhere. We had two in the drive at the front of our house and it was a real pain if you parked near them: they would drop sap like it is going out of fashion. I got fed up with washing the cars and had the trees felled. This is when I first heard the term 'Sussex Weed' from the tree surgeons. Have since noticed two more sycamores have taken root, but nowhere near the cars so they can live for a while.

I cannot imagine ever calling the mighty oak a 'weed'.
People everywhere refer to sycamore as a weed. Unfairly, I think.
 

Woody2Shoes

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I think it might be the sycamore that is known as the 'Sussex Weed'. So-called because the bloody things grow everywhere. We had two in the drive at the front of our house and it was a real pain if you parked near them: they would drop sap like it is going out of fashion. I got fed up with washing the cars and had the trees felled. This is when I first heard the term 'Sussex Weed' from the tree surgeons. Have since noticed two more sycamores have taken root, but nowhere near the cars so they can live for a while.

I cannot imagine ever calling the mighty oak a 'weed'.
I think if you come up to the weald you'll see what's meant. I have self-seeded oaks everywhere (and ash and sycamore, for that matter)!
 

Terry - Somerset

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I've read this thread with interest and it raises a few thoughts.

Why linseed based paints - I assume that (a) it is natural in a way which acrylics etc are not, (b) as an oil it dries (albeit slowly), (c) flax is native to the UK. Do other oils not have similar properties.

It is also odd that nothing better has been developed in the 800 years since (AIUI) linseed oil was first used. Or is it related to costs and attitudes.

100++ years ago holed socks would be darned, today we just get a new pair! 100++ years ago a window frame was craftsman made to size and expensive. It was worth maintaining.

Given the maintenance regime required for painted wood it is no wonder that UPVC has become the default material for exterior use.

Soffit and fascia needed attention. Painting meant cutting out some small bits of rot, primer, undercoat, topcoat. Repeat in 5 years.

Or UPVC cladding for little extra cost. Repeat in 20 years ++. I chose the latter (1970s detached house). Listed or historical interest may lead to a different conclusion.

I like wood, its appearance and enjoy working with it. I started to wonder why I was happy for UPVC outside the house but don't like foil covered particle boad inside.

The only major difference is maintenance of the finish. With moderate care a dining table will last decades - an occassional polish may even enhance its appearance. Outside, paint is just a chore.
 

Artiglio

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My father was a carpenter joiner all his life , started when he 14 in 1950, for a while he had a joinery shop with a couple of older joiners working for him. Opinions varied but common threads were,

People forget about the old timber that rotted and was replaced ( Little Ron, spent his apprenticeship in london replacing / repairing rotted sash windows in the 50’s)

Best timber in the world won’t survive poor - construction, installation , care and maintenance. It’ll just last a bit longer

Never under estimate the importance of the elevation timber is on when considering why it rotted.

Just about any paint will work if applied properly to good joinery and maintained after.

People just don’t understand or want to know about maintenance and repair.

It would have been interesting if they were all still with us today to see what they made of accoya.
 
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