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Painting 'pre primed' stair spindles - problems

Discussion in 'Decorating and Painting' started by DanDan74, 10 May 2016.

  1. DanDan74


    10 May 2016
    Thanks Received:
    United Kingdom

    Have used these forums many times over the last couple of years, they have been proper helpful in progressing our house renovations so thanks to all. I've now hit a stumbling block so here goes with my first question!

    We recently had new spindles, base rail and hand rail fitted to our stairs. The handrail and knewel caps we are leaving as oak finish, but the spindles we plan to paint white.

    When the chippy installed he put in what he said were pre-primed spindles and base rail (magnolia colour), now i've worked with pre-primed materials before (skirtings, architraves etc) and they normally have a slightly powdery finish which will happily accept a coat of paint (waterbased or oil based).

    The spindles however look more like fully finished, very smooth to touch and almost like a semi gloss / laquer finish and I'm having touble getting the paint to adhere. I tried a standard undercoat on one spindles with disastrous results, then I invested in a tin of Zinsser BIN 123 primer, applied this to another spindle and although the adhesion was better I could still scratch the primer away with my finger nail the next day.
    Has anyone had any experience of this sort of problem? - Could it be that we've been given fully finished spindles rather than pre-primed?

    I am beginning to think my only option will be to sand all the spindles to provide a key to accept the paint, however this wasnt the way I wanted to go which was the whole point of getting pre-primed in the first place.

    I'm not shy of grafting, but I wanted to check to see if I've missed anything obvious before I get the sandpaper out.

    Any ideas?

    Many thanks
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