Using Brads on Exterior Trim - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-26-2012, 03:19 AM Thread Starter
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Using Brads on Exterior Trim

Hi all. New here. Still learning in the woodworking department.

I've used some 2" galvanized brads on the trim of a dog house that will be used outdoors. These brads have what looks to be a red coating on the head. The whitewood (common wood) trim and brad heads are painted with a flat acrylic latex paint. I've read that rust can bleed through paint. Should I worry about rust from the brads. If so, what can I do to prevent it?

Also, is there a clear protective treatment that can be painted onto acrylic latex paint? For instance, can a spar urethane be painted over it. Or is there a clear enamel coat available.

Thank you.
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-26-2012, 06:10 AM
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If the brad heads are seated, filled, and painted over, you shouldn't have a problem.

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post #3 of 6 Old 08-26-2012, 06:43 AM
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You stated the brads were galvanized. If they are of good quality that should prevent any problems.

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post #4 of 6 Old 08-26-2012, 08:49 AM
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You shouldn't have any problem with rust on your galvanized brads. The only problem I've ever had with brads on exterior wood is not holding the wood. Sometimes the wood will warp and pull right off the brads. I prefer to use an adhesive with brads or a nail with more of a head if possible on exterior wood.

I would not put any clear coating on latex paint, especially a spar varnish. A spar varnish will add a yellow color to the paint and will continue to yellow more and more over time. Once you have put latex paint on the dog house I wouldn't put anything other than latex over it. If it is the sheen you are concerned about, latex paint is available in different sheens. If it is durability I would use Duration from Sherwin Williams. You would probably never need to paint it again.
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-27-2012, 03:20 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help and responses, cabinetman, GeorgeC and Steve Neul.

The brads came with the DIY caliber Campbell Hausen compressor (Lowes). I'm not sure if stock brads would be considered quality or not.

Fortunately I did use some wood glue on the trim before bradding the trim to the house. I guess only time and weather will tell if it holds up. I'm also hoping that the exterior flat paint will hold up well outdoors. Sheen is suppose to add durability but I'm not sure if that means flat will flat out fail much sooner compared to something else.

Thanks, I'll stay away from spar over latex and consider simply painting a latex sheen paint over the flat if need be.

As for brad seating. My gun has a blind knob that supposedly allows you to set the depth of the brad. It's not completely accurate. I must admit though that I kept shooting it at flush level depth as I figured that it would keep the wood looking seamless after being painted over. With my gun, if I shoot it at a recessed/countersunk level, the head of the gun causes a dent in the wood along with a hole twice to three times as wide as the head of the brad.

So I guess my options are to either paint over the brad points that are flush with the wood and hope for the best that it doesn't rust through the paint....or, should I take the end of a small bolt and hammer it into all the brad heads until it countersinks the brad into the trim..then fill with putty and paint? I tried this on a few brad heads today. It's doable but definitely sloppy as it mars and damages the wood.

Thoughts? Thank you very much for any advice.
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-27-2012, 03:22 AM Thread Starter
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BTW, cabinetman, may I ask what the background is on the "Welcome" photo? Was that machined or hand made or what? That looks amazing.
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