The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Unwanted colors

wall painting with a brush
It has taken me a long time to wise up to the fact that you usually get what you pay for when it comes to paint products.

A lesser grade paint may have needed a 2nd or even a 3rd coat to look good, but this Kilz stuff has what it takes to cover a wall right the first time.

We got lucky and found a few cans of this high quality paint discounted where someone had ordered a mixed color and wasn't quite happy with it.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Kilz is a primer.
Comment by Errol Tue Nov 2 17:15:00 2010
  • good
  • fast
  • cheap

You can pick two out of three.

Comment by Roland_Smith Tue Nov 2 17:56:14 2010

Daddy --- the label says "Primer---Sealer---Stainblocker". We asked the guy in the paint section when we bought it and he said it is a good exterior paint. Since sealing is really what we want it for, I'd say it would work based on the label.

Roland --- I guess this is good and cheap, with the slow part being that we had to check a few stores before we found the right mismatched paint. :-)

Comment by anna Tue Nov 2 18:06:55 2010
Every board on this ranch gets a coat of Kilz, especially if we can pick up some cheap that has been tinted at a Habitat ReStore. We lather the first coats on, do a good caulking job and the cover the last coat with plain white. THEN we put on the exterior color that matches up with our color theme for the ranch. We try to be good neighbors and keep the place looking good as we have an access road through our property, but what's under those pretty paint colors that are matched by tint & hue is pure practical frugality.
Comment by Titus Wed Nov 3 01:14:13 2010
The funniest thing about the mismatched paint, in my opinion, is that it nearly matches the color of the trailer. I really didn't plan that!
Comment by anna Wed Nov 3 08:48:34 2010
Kilz is a bargain primer paint designed to conceal dark colors, it therefore does appear to go on nicely thick and opaque but a single coat of kilz will not protect outside wood for even a year. While the primer is fine for using on the exterior walls you then need to follow it up with a coating (preferably 2)of an exterior paint. primers do not have compounds in them to stand up to weather and UV.
Comment by Rebecca Wed Nov 3 15:46:16 2010
I was hoping someone would chime in about the differences between primers and paints and not make me look it up myself. :-) As best I can tell on the internet, a primer is made to stick very well to the surface it's painted on, but it isn't meant to be as long-lasting as a paint. So you're probably right that we should hunt down another round of off-color paint to throw on top of it. Since I don't care what the building looks like, I'm tempted to leave a patch of primer uncovered to see if it really does break down faster than the other paint....
Comment by anna Wed Nov 3 16:07:45 2010

Primer has many possible functions depending on the material it is to be applied on. But basically it's function is indeed to improve adhesion of the paint to the substrate. Therefore the composition of primer can and will differ from that of paint.

On many metals and plastics primers or other treatments are often necessary to get any adhesion. Aluminium is typically primed before painting or bonding. There are primers for iron that convert rust into a passivated layer. On wood one of the functions is to fill voids.

So always use a primer that is meant for the substrate it is used on. Usually it is OK to leave a wood primer unpainted for a couple of weeks; it is not always possible to paint it immediately. But it will not have the protective abilities as paint.

For future reference, there are several kinds of wood that weather well and don't need paint. Red Cedar to name one. There are also new types of (non-toxic) modified wood like aquawood that do not absorb water anymore.

Natural and renewable alternatives for oil-based paints are linseed oil and tung oil.

BTW, from the pictures it looks like the east wing is finished with plywood. Did you use a grade suitable for outdoor use? Because not all of them are.

Comment by Roland_Smith Wed Nov 3 19:11:18 2010

I was hoping you would chime in.

That makes a lot of sense. We plan to paint the rusty roof, and bought a special primer that adheres to rust so that we don't have to clean the rust off first. Perhaps we didn't even need a primer for the plywood.

Honestly, I can't remember what kind of plywood we used now... :-)

Comment by anna Wed Nov 3 20:51:11 2010

1) dry interior conditions

2) humid interior conditions

3) exterior use

Comment by Roland_Smith Thu Nov 4 03:12:35 2010

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