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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all, new to the forum, 35 years of experience,

Last summer I painted two large exterior gates in Atherton, CA. They were previously painted with solid oil base stain. The stain had weathered severely, fading, mildew forming in some areas, and some bare wood.

I treated the surfaces with a bleach solution for the mildew, rinsed thoroughly, let dry for 48 hours, and sanded everything within an inch of its life.

I then applied two coats of the new Cover Stain (water cleanup) because I was concerned about tannins and other stains. First coat of primer: sprayed and back-brushed into the wood. Second coat: sprayed, after the first coat dried overnight.

Then I sprayed two coats of Kelly-Moore 1245 Low Sheen Acrylic. After the first rain, the Cover Stain failed, forming large bubbles which when scraped off, go right down to bare wood in many areas.
I am now looking at having to strip everything down to bare wood and start over - it will take 2 to 3 weeks at a minimum.

I will approach Kelly-Moore for help but I don't expect much. It may turn into a legal issue. I think some of these companies change their products and put them on the market without proper testing, and we get to be the beta testers.

I think the Cover Stain failed because of the new formulation. I've never had a problem with it in the past. Anyone else had a problem with this?

Any help appreciated.

BTW, I always use acrylic primers, such as 1-2-3 on exterior wood. Of course I regret not using it in this instance. I only used Cover Stain to be sure not to get a call-back for stain bleed later on.
 

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If the " new" cover stain is oil you should never use two coats
It traps moisture in
So in theory it is your bad not some one else's
We thin our oil primers to allow the escape of moister yet we get the benefit of bleed control
Also, gates and fences are more problematic than most surfaces. There's no way to keep water from penetrating, so you've got to provide a treatment/ coating that will let the substrate dry.
 

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It is possible that your surface could not longer accept a coating. IE. prolonged exposure to moisture and the elements might have weathered the wood so bad that wood fibers just fall away from itself and are no longer a solid wood organism.

Does the peel have wood fibers on the back? If so, the entire gate needs to be replaced, even if you sanded it down like you say, there is just no hope. Wood does not last forever if neglected.
 

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I've never heard of the WB cover stain. Sorry to hear about that. Is it failing everywhere? Mostly on the horizontal surfaces? As previous post asked , are there wood fibers on the back of the peeling coatings?
I'll touch base with our regional Zinsser rep and see if there's any widespread negative feedback on the product.
Any idea what the moisture content of the wood was prior to priming?

I specifically exclude fences, decks, gates and galvanized metal from our exterior warranty. There are simply too many entry points for water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the replies.

As I said in my post, acrylic primers are my typical choice for exterior wood. I've done side by side tests with many acrylic vs. oil primers over 20 years, and the acrylics outlast the oils by far, especially on older, weathered raw and painted wood. Their breathe-ability and adhesion are superior. This is a debate for another time.

I only used the Cover Stain in this instance because the existing solid oil stain was weathered and badly stained. The Cover Stain seemed like the best choice at the time. I is recommended for exterior work and I have seen it perform satisfactorily in the past. I found out later that I could have purchased the original formula in quarts. I didn't know this at the time and chose the water-cleanup Cover Stain in gallons for the reasons stated.

We all know better in hind sight. I did not make this choice lightly, a lot of internal debating was involved. And of course I wouldn't use the product again.

I contacted my Kelly-Moore rep. because I have a 30 year relationship with K.M., where I bought the Cover Stain, and no relationship with the Cover Stain company.

My question again is, has anyone experienced problems with water-cleanup Cover Stain. To add to the confusion, it is not water-based, it is a hybrid oil base, with water cleanup.
 

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Thanks for the replies.

I only used the Cover Stain in this instance because the existing solid oil stain was weathered and badly stained. The Cover Stain seemed like the best choice at the time.
Sorry to hear your troubles but when you say you have 35 years experience and you decided on a water base primer on an existing surface that was oil is a little puzzling.

In my opinion cover stain oil would even be a bad choice. Just dries to fast. Never penetrates, just sits there on the surface. A long oil would have been the the best choice.

It happens to all of us, when we over think things is where we make more mistakes then just going with our first thoughts.

Pat
 

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It's alkyd hybrid. We all rave about them as finishes. I see no reason why it shouldn't perform just as well as an oil primer.
Sorry hmac. I've only used it once for a wax bleed issue. I assume i had no problems with it, at least no callbacks yet...
It seemed to bond tenaciously.
 

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The "new" cover stain is in no way shape or form similar to the old oil based coverstain. Not even a similar product. To me it's a crime that they put the same label on completely different products. They should have just discontinued the the oil based product and marketed the new product with a new name to avoid confusion. jmho
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The "new" cover stain is in no way shape or form similar to the old oil based coverstain. Not even a similar product. To me it's a crime that they put the same label on completely different products. They should have just discontinued the the oil based product and marketed the new product with a new name to avoid confusion. jmho
Thanks, man. You are right on the money.
 
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