I know you are all madly painting everything in sight in preparation for the winter holiday season! Here’s a bit of info on Shelf Painting.
So. I have painted a lot of shelves in my day and I have noticed that with some paints there is a tackiness that never goes away. The books, vases, or objects that I find visually irresistible that I place back on the dry newly painted shelf, mantle or tabletop kind of stick to it.
And because I sometimes (OK. Often, before I started working with the paint company!) didn’t prepare the surface correctly, paint would even peel up as a lifted a vase to dust during a cleaning spree.
So annoying, and aesthetically upsetting as well.
Now that I hang out with housepaint professionals and overhear all the advice they give to customers searching for answers, I know about how to do away with the tackiness that has plagued shelf painters ever since latex paint was invented.
When oil-based paint was the main or only choice, books and stuff were set upon a painted shelf without incident. Oil-based paint dries to a very hard finish. But cleaning up with solvents is a smelly mess and the fumes linger, so the friendlier latex, water-based paint was developed.
I love the easiness of latex paints, but latex stays flexible even when dry, and that means tackiness on horizontal surfaces.
Long story short: use an alkyd paint for shelves, cupboards and bookcases. The paint science people developed the alkyd formula, a combo oil and water-based paint that has a lot of the hardness of oil and all the easy clean-up of water. Benjamin Moore’s ADVANCE formula is the one I have here at the store and it’s a great one.
Here’s what Joe and Jeff, here at the Ardmore store, say about prepping and painting with the ADVANCE formula:
- Sand and clean whatever you are about to paint. A clean, clean, clean, roughed up surface is what you want! Give the paint something to grab on to.
- Brush the paint on. Cover it all really well while the paint is wet. Best to not have to touch it up afterwards.
- It will have brush strokes showing at first. Relax. ADVANCE will level itself out during the first 2 hours of drying time.
- If you missed a spot, cover it during the second coat painting.
- Let the shelves, or whatever it is you have painted, dry completely before using. It will be dry to the touch in a few hours, and seem dry enough to use in the next day or two. But resist! It takes a FULL MONTH for the paint to cure, so if you can manage to not use what you just painted so beautifully for a full 30 days – that is the best course of action. Plenty of time to simply admire your excellent painting skills.
Have a grand holiday time, Everyone!!