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Phil, Mechanical Engineer
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 8702
Experience:  Retired contractor, 51 years experience
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I am building a 1/2 size locomotive and coal car for my grandson

Resolved Question:

I am building a 1/2 size locomotive and coal car for my grandson
It is made of cheap redwood and splinters easily (still cost $500 in wood!). When I saw the Behr Deck Over ad that said it was good to protect feet from splinters, I wrote them and they said they do not recommend it for painting this toy. Then they said there ARE products at home improvement stores that would work. But I can't find them. I want the train to look real (so black, dark grey, slate, etc) and I'd like to add some accent colors. I was originally thinking of just sanding the heck out of it and using varathane but thought there might be a thicker safer answer. Any ideas? Check the link above to see the intended finished product. The plans said to use "all pressure treated wood" but in California, there are no 1x4 pressure treated planks at home improvement stores, so I had to buy what they had, 1x4 redwood.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Phil replied 4 years ago.
Welcome to Just Answer!

I will stay with you until the situation resolves.
I hold questions open after positive ratings to allow for unlimited follow up.

I am surprised that pressure treated wood was recommended, especially without a specific brand and treatment specified... much of the pressure treated wood is quite toxic especially to children.

I would use two coats of KILLZ brand oil base paint, the first coat thinned 20% so it penetrates, then sand lightly, then a second coat. Have the KILLZ tinted the same color as the final coat of paint you choose for each area. That primer has an adhesive added, and amounts to your primary splinter protection.

You will need to buy the Kills in quarts, one for each color. Then the final coats in the best wearing house paint you can find compatible with the KILLZ primer. I would use a mix of flat, semi gloss and Gloss paints. The trim in gloss, the bulk of the train in semi gloss, and some of the details in flat finish.

I am mentioning the KILLS primer because it has mold inhibitors that you might want in some areas, although most other high quality oil base primers will work well also.

If you sand between coats. and use a fast, light touch. random cross grain brush stroke as the paint begins to set, you can get what looks like a high quality mat spray finish. I use the $2 hog bristle brushes for that.

Sand the surface between coats.

Buy exterior grade paint with a UV protectant added so it doesn't fade as fast as paints without it.

The chances of getting splinters from this sort of finish are nearly zero if you keep the finish maintained... it may last 10 or 15 years between repaints.

Let me know if you need more elaboration, we can go from there without any time limit as long as you continue to rate my advice positively.


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