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paint and even polyurethane doesn't want to dry?

I am painting picnic tables. Using outdoor latex mutiple colors. Paint hasn't wanted to dry it stays tacky. So I tried to put a water based polyurethane over it and it is too staying sticky! I live in kansas and it's been 90 during days and getting down to sixty at night! been letting coats dry in between! I'm just baffled. I painted other one oil and it dried but I hate painting with oil it's so messy and takes so long to dry and then bugs fly into it cuz it's take forever to dry. any ideas on how i can fix this or do i got to start over?

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Posted 2013-07-21T21:32:48+0000  by aalvara5 aalvara5

Oil based paints actually dry from the outside-in (skin over and harden with time).  


   Latex paints are essentially a rubber like skin that need lots of time to cure (or dry from inside-out).  If one layer has not "cured" before any addition coats are added - then the dry time will increase.  Essentially because the first layer has not cured.  This problem is amplified when painting over plastic because of itself being a latex product. The paint has very little to grab hold of and just sits on the surface.


All this is to say that you did everything right..It's just going to take a long time for the paint to "cure" (possibly weeks).  I suggest bringing the piece inside where you can control the environment and possibly dehumidify the air to speed up the curing process.  Most homes with a central air system will automatically pull humidity out of the air.  


Possibly just a couple of days inside will do the trick. :smileywink:

Posted 2013-07-22T12:11:24+0000  by Kevin_HD_ATL


I would agree with what Keven has said. However, I would add that latex paints, and especially exterior latex paints, have an inherently gummy feel to them which will never totally go away, especially when it is humid out. Fo rthis reason, I have never liked them for furniture where people and things will sit on them. Have you ever experienced having to tug at a bowl or vase which was set for some time on a latex painted surface?


Exterior latex paints are more prone to this tendency because they are formulated to be more elastic. They have to be able to expand and contract with the extreme temperatures and humidity which is found outside.


After about a month, the latex should be as cured about as good  it is going to get. At this time, you might try a couple coats of exterior spar  urethane. Urethanes do not exhibit the same gumminess as do latex paints. Spar urethanes also exhibit greater elasticity than regular urethanes.


Hope this has helped.

Posted 2013-07-22T18:34:52+0000  by ordjen

Thanks for the comments. I wish I could bring the picnic tables inside but won't fit through the door except for the little kids one which I painted all the boards before putting together so I can bring those inside. Trying to get my dad to help me make room in his two car garage that doesn't have any vehicles in it! He just thinks he has to own 15 of every tool, 20 tool boxes plus 3 of everything you can imagine or ever need! Because I know we own a dehumidifier or two, sitting out there in garage! So maybe I will try that. I just not trying to sell sticky picnic table to people! I've already got all 3 of them sold. Starting to feel bad because paint is giving me such a hard time! I'm sticking to oil paint from now! I guess I didn't think this would happen, because I love to canvas paint and I will choose doing a painting in oil over canvas anyday except it takes forever to dry but in this case its exact opposite!

Posted 2013-07-22T21:51:42+0000  by aalvara5

lol OOPS....ment choose oil over acrylic anyday! lol 

Posted 2013-07-22T21:53:16+0000  by aalvara5




There are now water based alkyd interior/exterior semi-gloss paints on the market. Many of the Home Depots stores now carry them. They are available on WWW.HomeDepot.Com also.These combined the best attributes of both water based and oil based in one. Fast dry, water clean up, good leveling,  and a hard, non-gummy finish.

Posted 2013-07-22T23:38:25+0000  by ordjen
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