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Alternatives to Joncryl acrylic primer


(spectric) #1

Hi all

I have not done any house / wood painting for some years except using emulsion on walls and ceilings. I have used industrial paints on landrovers with a roller and they are the sort that makes you float due to the fumes but cover really well, and you use lots of roller sleeves because they just sort of fall to bits. Now I have used water based primer on wood for the first time, Johnstones Joncryl Acrylic and it took me back to when I was a kid using them paint sets you diped the brush in water and then the little pot of paint, thats the sort of wish washy finish this primer is giving. Three coats and I can still see filler and a pencil mark from making the cupboard, its like I am using thickish semi skimed milk. So I assume that with water based paint there is a bigger difference between cheaper Johnstones and say Tikurrila where as I think there was not such a huge difference with oil based unless you went for Wickes or B&Q wonder paint.

So am dumping the Johnstones and need advice as to what primer I can cover this with, is Zinster the product to use or what ? Then for a semi matt finish what top paint to use ?

       all the best Roy

(Andy Crichton) #2

Hi Roy

A bad question to start with, but covering bases, did you stir it properly? I am not familiar with the Joncryl.

The Zinsser primer line is basically a water based Bullseye 123, an oil based Coverstain and a shellac based B-I-N. They are all designed to be overpainted with any water or oil based one pack paint. Essentially they are the go to primers in the trade really. There are other “old fashioned ones” like alkali resisting primer, aluminium leafing primer, which do the job of course, but dont offer the convenience. They can all be tinted too, to add depth of coverage. (Holmans are the ones for tinting shallac primer)

BIN is the only one, in my experience that you can rely on to seal knots and tannin. The aerosol is a handy one to have around for spot knotting.

Coverstain is a super all round primer, undercoat and general full body quick sand for a smooth solid base. The downside is the aroma. Floaty time at times!

123, I would use it as quick drying primer on your woodwork if the knots have been dealt with another way. Otherwise, look around, personally I don’t see what all the fuss is about, it doesnt stop rust in my experience, if it is applied over a stain and left a few hours to cure and then re-primed without softening up, I still have no reason to trust it for that. I would use it on ceramic, I would also say it is a cracking basecoat on walls before emulsioning.

Outside of “problem solving primers” Mylands is getting a good run going. So if you have sealed knots, a simple and effective spec would be the Mylands primer and Mylands eggshell. Or acrylic only, Little Greene undercoat and eggshell. There is Sikkens Satura which is a satin and may not be a first time good experience for you, being “runny”.

The other Scandinavian high performance paints like Alcro, Eicó and Porslin, would need some advice from Ben who supplies those at Paints and Interiors.

For high performance, Tikkurila have a few options - over shellac primer, the Feelings undercoat and topcoat in satin-matt.

And these waterborne paints all seem to work with the Fox brush!


(spectric) #3

Hi Andy

Thanks for the reply, I really stirred it well, but then thinking along the same lines I poured it into another container to see if there was anything thick and goey in the bottom but no it was well mixed. Think I will get a tin of this Zinnser Bin and if nothing else it will give me something to compare with and also try coverstain to find something I am comfortable with using.

               all the best Roy

(spectric) #4

Hi all

Well there seems to be a knack to painting wood with these new freindly water based paints and I think it is harder than with good old oil based. Is it me or do you have to work faster before the paint refuses to flow, even with floetrol. I accept that I am now older but even so it feels like you are in a rush which makes things harder!

           all the best Roy

(Andy Crichton) #5

Hi Roy

Which paint did you apply over BIN or Coverstain?

I would say the takeaway point is that pure acrylics don’t like to be fussed with. The basecoat can be porous and reduce working time, conditioner can extend working time, heat or draughts can reduce working time. But generally, if you apply steadily to manageable areas, maybe get used to a mini roller for applying to flat panels and stiles and rails, and lay off with a fine bristle, you will get there.


(spectric) #6

Hi Andy

Well I ended up with three coats of Johnstones joncryl primer just to use it and not waste, then two coats of Jonstones acrylic eggshell with floetrol added. used a Purdy Monarch to finish using a roller to apply and I am happy wth the finish for its given application. Next job will be Bin Coverstain as the primer, I will not use the Johnstones again as it may be cheaper to purchase but it is to time consuming and will try Little green paint rather than F&B which seems to get a lot of bad publicity as I want a really matt look.

                        thanks Roy

(Andy Crichton) #7

Thanks for sharing that information. Send us some photos of the next one, it sounds like you have upped your product performance requirements :slight_smile:


(greenpainting) #8

Andy do you find the BIN and 123 need only one coat before top coat or is that not enough on new wood? I’ve been working with the Dulux Eco stuff and the primer/undercoat goes on ok but would never do the job in one or even two on bare wood. So I am also looking out for something I can use as my own regular source of WB eco-friendly primer/undercoat. I know there’s no such thing as an all-rounder but it would be nice to have something close.


(dave D9 decor) #9

For w/b undercoat I like Mylands - superb adhesion, opacity and levels out to give brush free surface. Johnstones Acqua is very good too - significantly better than Johnstones Joncryl. Opacity with Acqua is excellent


(greenpainting) #10

The Mylands sounds worth a bash then. Thanks for that.


(Andy Crichton) #11

The “posh” paints and niche Scandinavian paints are the ones leading the way for quality, they havent sold out, and would be the benchmark, not the default regular trade paints. If the mainstream catches up, great for everyone, but they are price driven so much, it will need a sea change at the top to raise the bar across the trade. I hope the little guys try and cooperate not compete and together can raise awareness of why premium paint is and knock chunks out the mainstream