Sunday, 7 July 2013

Getting to the interior

I've made progress during this first week of the summer holiday.  And I had a minor set-back, too.  So here is how it all went --
The first  big job, following the exterior painting, was to fill the Ensolite seams with caulk, and then to paint the walls and ceiling.  There was quite a bit of residue from past caulking jobs in some of the seams, and little bits of seam tape to be removed.  Most of the caulk residue was silicone, which proved to be difficult to remove.  I looked for a paintable caulk that contained no silicone and would retain its flexibility over time.  I chose DAP Dynaflex 230.  Wherever I could, I "injected" it into the seam, and where there was very little gap, I ran a very thin bead over the joint.  Then I textured the surface using a damp paper towel.  The texturing wasn't perfect, but I think the finished product is superior to the look of seam tape.
Adding texture to the caulk using a wet paper towel.
Then I applied a coat of primer.  And this is where I made a big mistake.  I used a product by Zinsser called "BIN", mostly because I'd had good success with it inside my house, and I still had some in a can.  The problem with it was that it is shellac-based, and when it dried it was brittle and flaky -- exactly the opposite of what a soft surface like Ensolite requires.  Now, in fairness to myself, I had tested the BIN on a strip of Ensolite that I had removed from the dinette table mount, and it showed no sign of flaking.  I had wondered if the tackiness I had noticed in the Ensolite right from the beginning was actually a residue of cleanser that interfered with the paint adhesion, and maybe my test strip simply didn't have that residue.  I had cleaned the Ensolite with detergent and rinsed it with water, and maybe since I did my rinse using a sponge I didn't get all of the detergent out of the "pores."
The flaky Zinsser BIN prime coat, scratched with the paint brush handle.
So I did my best to scrape it off (having painted about 3/4 of the Ensolite by the time I realised my mistake) and then I used a power-washer to remove the rest.  It was a huge mess, it took a long time, and it saturated one part of the Ensolite where water got in behind.  Thankfully I hadn't installed the new subfloor, so the water drained onto the ground.
When it dried, I applied a coat of a different Zinsser paint -- something called "Bulls Eye 123".  The label said that it retained flexibility, and would adhere to just about everything, including PVC.
These are the paints and the caulk that I used.  Warning: don't use BIN on your Ensolite.
 Of all the choices at the hardware store, it seemed to be the best.  I applied it with a brush so that I could work it into the pebbly surface, and it took quite a while.  Then came the top coat.  My wife chose an off-white called "Wedding White" (Premier, from Crappy Tire.)
Here you can see how the caulk-filled seams aren't as obvious as the old  taped seams.
I think it looks pretty good.  I used a 4" wide roller, having cut in around the windows using a brush.  You'll notice that I left the holes from the curtain rod brackets unfilled.  They were filled from the outside just in case I chose a different kind of mounting hardware, but as it turns out I was able to find pretty much the same kind of bracket at Home Despot.  But more on that later.  I'm eager now to re-install the cupboards and benches, and to get going on the kitchen.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Louis. I am starting minor restoration on a 1978 Boler. My first task is caulking the seams, cleaning the Ensolite, and painting white. I am finishing up the caulking and am looking for any suggestions on the best way to give the Ensolite a good wash down before I prime and paint. Any advice?