Finishing Tips


We have been receiving reports from some customers about paint not completely drying or remaining tacky even after extended dry times. In every instant we have reviewed, the paint used was new generation acrylic latex. These paints often boast “Single coat coverage” or that they are “Self-priming”. While functioning very well on most household surfaces (drywall and wood) there have been reported problems with the paint not drying on non-porous and water resistant surfaces. The polyurethane used in the majority of our products fall into the water resistant category.

Please try a test area before committing to using a particular paint for your entire job, especially if it is a new generation acrylic latex. We are still researching this and will report any of our findings as we uncover the reasons and solutions for this issue.

Your architectural décor is delivered with a coat of primer already applied and is able to accept just about any type of finish from regular household latex to automotive type lacquers. Quality finishes are a product of following good techniques. Below are some general painting guidelines that will be helpful for any project.

Always test your paint or finish technique on a small area before proceeding to finish your whole project. Paint technologies are constantly evolving and we cannot ensure compatibility with every type of paint formula out there so make sure you finish a small area first to insure you'll have no problems.

Clean and degrease the substrate before you start. Use denatured alcohol and wipe down the substrate and allow to dry. The alcohol will remove skin oils and other contaminates from the surface.

Avoid single coat self-priming paints. Some of these are designed to work on drywall surfaces that allow moisture to escape thru the underside of the paint and work great on porous surfaces such as drywall and wood, but you may have problems when you apply them to our moldings. Typically these paints are very thick and designed to be applied with a roller. You'll end up with ugly brush strokes and a very thick coat of paint that will hide the detail of the molding.

Follow the manufacturer's directions on temperature. Modern paints are very temperature sensitive and trying to apply paint outside of the manufacturer's specifications can cause problems, especially when using water based paints (latex). If you are moving the parts from one area to another and there is more than a 30 degree difference, give the parts time to adjust to the temperature of the area they will be painted in.

Apply the paint in thin coats allowing ample time to dry in-between coats. Most manufacturers will have directions for allowing dry time between coats. Take into consideration paint that may pool in recessed areas and require more time to dry than paint on flat areas. A few thin coats are far better than one thick coat and will preserve the detail of the décor.

Consider using spray can paint for the finish. Aerosol paint cans are available in many different colors and glosses and even in special effects. Spray paint often requires less dry time and leaves a thinner finish that doesn't cover up the detail.

Solutions to Various Problems

• There are bumps in the primer.
You can use 80 to 100 grit sand paper to remove any bumps or other imperfections before you start painting.

• I sanded through the primer.
Use a spray can primer to repair the area. We recommend Kilz Original or Odorless primer by Masterchem Ind.

• My paint isn’t drying.
Read the directions from the paint manufacturer and make sure you followed all their directions. The main reasons for paint not drying are: the surface temperature is too cold, coating temperature is too cold, high humidity, bottom coat not allowed to dry before application of top coat, paint is too old, and using the wrong thinner.

Faux Finishing Molding
Learn to install other architectural products in our How To Section.
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