What paint for my bathroom window frame?

21 Sep 2007
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United Kingdom
The paint is peeling off my bathroom window frame (interior) already, after four years. I'm going to strip it and redo it, but I want to get it right this time. Please can someone tell me where I went wrong!
The wood was sound and dry, and well rubbed down.
Two coats of Dulux quick drying primer / undercoat (water based).
Three coats of Wickes exterior satin (oil based).

Would I be better off using oil based primer and / or undercoat?
Should I use a better top coat (is Dulux OK).
Would gloss be better than satin?
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Was the woodwork bare or prepainted if the former did you apply a knotting agent, also did you sand between each coat of paint.

The wood was stripped and sanded before I started. I don't recall applying any knotting, but I do have a bottle so would have done any knots that I saw. I didn't sand between coats, I've never heard of anyone doing that. If the primer coat shows up defects I will often fill and then sand, then another primer before undercoat and topcoat. I thought that as long as you applied further coats within a few days there was no need to sand.
By not sanding the primer/undercoat your top coat as failed to bond as a result is peeling off, sand well back and apply your primer/undercoat when dry lightly sand dust off and apply another coat. Again when dry lightly sand and dust then you can apply your topcoat, satin or gloss would be ok yet try and go for a brand name such as Dulux, I dont much care for wickes paint myself.

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Agreed, I don't rate Wickes' paint very highly, along with many others.

I know you say the wood was dry but one other possible cause could be condensation which can be a big problem in bathrooms. Does the window get a lot of condensation after showering etc? If so, this will need to be stopped otherwise the problem is likely to re-occur regardless of the use of a better quality paint.
I think I've come to the same conclusion about Wickes paint, I'll definitely go for a proper brand.
The woodwork does get wet from showering, although I've finally got round to fitting an extractor so it should at least dry off reasonably quickly now.
Is there nothing that will survive this sort of thing? I thought that an exterior paint should be able to survive regular and prolonged water exposure?
Is gloss better than satin for this? I prefer satin, but will use gloss if it will last longer.
By not sanding the primer/undercoat your top coat as failed to bond as a result is peeling off
The paint has peeled off the wood, it's not like the primer is still there and the topcoat has come off it.
Well gloss would be perhaps a better choice, yet with condensation it will tend to creep under the paint causing it to lift.

If that is the case then I would say that this is almost certain to be an issue with condensation, the extractor fan will certainly help bit like trial and error really.

So it's just good prep and a decent top coat then, nothing else I can do.
How about the Dulux water based primer / underocoat? I like this as it's easy and quick to use, and I've got some already, but is it as good as oil based?
Well there is no substitute for good prep and I think in your situation an oil/solvent borne system would be the better choice, when you cut in the window take your paint around 2ml onto the glass this will help to seal the paint system making it more difficult for the moisture to get underneath it.

when you cut in the window take your paint around 2ml onto the glass
It's actually a wooden frame round an aluminium double glazing unit, but I do the same thing anyway, make sure he paint goes onto the ally and seals the join. I might put silicone along this line as well, just to be sure.
You should'nt really apply any water or alkyd based system over aluminium, before the appllication of grip primer such as dulux trade ultra grip primer.

It's not bare aluminium though, it's coated. I'm not sure if it's paint or plastic coating. Maybe just paint the wood and silicone the join then.

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