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Zinsser BIN paint in aerosol cans or Sata 3000 HVLP minijet or brush

Listed under Blog, preparation, products, spray painting Posted Mar 01 2018

Updated from original in 2012 We cover the options to apply Zinsser BIN paint in aerosol cans or by spray, brush or roller.

Zinsser BIN is for you if you need to paint over knots in pine, tannin in oak, or old water stains or nicotine on plaster. These all affect the pigment in conventional paints, but the white shellac-based primer will prevent topcoats from being spoilt by leaching ugly brown stains. BIN is probably the most relied on problem-solving primer in a decorator’s toolbox.

The short story of BIN, over a stain apply two quick coats of the paint in aerosol cans, or spray, brush or roll it on. Within the hour you can safely paint the surface with the first basecoat / undercoat.

The bad news first – be prepared, Zinsser BIN stinks. At about 500gm /litre VOC content it is about 60% more “air polluting” than oil based gloss or eggshell! Therefore, if you are going to use a shellac primer, work in well ventilated areas only.

The good news – it dries very fast. Quick touch-ups and occasional use is temporarily unpleasant, but for extended use, I would consider the full monty Health and Safety approach: a half- or full-face respirator.

Brush on Zinsser BIN

It dries really quickly. The usual complaint about BIN is that it is hard to brush on, looks patchy and can leave ridges, which need sanding back and re-priming. The re-priming step shouldn’t be viewed as a downside because 2 coats are much more preferable to one. But for sure, brushing is no fun.

One way round brushing purgatory is to just brush the fiddly bits, ie edges of a door or the moulding on a panel, and use a microfibre mini roller to paint the flat surfaces. Dilute the BIN primer 50-50 with meths. Roll it on as evenly as you can and let it settle back on its own. Repeat when dry. Lightly sand to a smooth surface.

Enter Zinsser BIN paint in aerosol cans

BIN comes in a 400ml aerosol can. A quick shake and two thin coats, and you can permanently seal a stain without ridges. This assumes you can handle a spray can. Zinsser also supply a can with a vertical spray nozzle for ceilings.

On the downside, aerosols are about £10 for a can and cover about 2m2. Aerosol cans can be expensive when they fail with loads of material still inside, so you need to be fastidious keeping the nozzle clean. Keep a pot of meths handy. The control of the spray fan sometimes leaves something to be desired. But overall, paint in aerosol cans is well worth considering. For instance:

Speedy spec using areosols

If you have a fiddly wine rack or a picture frame, there is definitely a case for leaving brushes and rollers in the box and tackling it all with aerosols.

– Clean the surface with a degreaser like Krudkutter.

– Lightly sand the surface to remove any nibs. Tack rag it clean to be doubly sure.

– Spray 2 thin coats of BIN, leave it to dry for an hour

– Denib if necessary and finish with a RAL colour aerosol spray paint

You could go for an even more hi-tech aerosol paint finish if you google 2-pack paints in an aerosol!

Go beyond aerosol for spraying shellac primers

Enter the Sata Minijet 3000 HVLP, a small format compressor gravity feed spray gun. It offers a super fine controllable spray pattern with minimal overspray. If you buy BIN in a tin and dilute it and spray it with this, you have a very reliable aerosol at the cheapest price.

I used the 1mm tip and 250ml cup. This gun set-up is like an airbrush with attitude. It is definitely practical and precise and takes only a few minutes to clean out with methylated spirits. All the cleaned paint went back in the tin. No waste. Overall this option overcomes the cost and inefficiencies downsides of aerosol, ideal if you have a lot of knots or surface area to seal.

Flints Theatrical Chandlers specified and supplied this gun for kitchen painters who need to spray ornate cornice along the top of wall cupboards. It is an equally effective production tool for wine racks, boxes and nifty touch ups. Apparently it is also a spray gun favoured by many lady film set decorators, it suits smaller hands.

Wot, no paint pads?!

I didn’t mention paint pads as a way to apply BIN on flat areas because the pads I have used separate from the handle within a very short time! It disintegrates the glue. The separated pad material is however ideal for wiping BIN onto door knobs…

Mathys Isofix is an alternative brand of shellac primer that delivers slightly better results for brush or roller application. It can be tinted to accurately match most colours as well. If you want to spray a shellac primer, the end results between Isofix and BIN will be identical, so it makes sense to use the cheapest product you can find at the time.

Clear shellac is the best bet for sealing bleed through in chalk paint. Solid spots of BIN tend to create a different texture which can sometimes be seen in the finished chalk paint.

Check out Tikkurila Unica Varnish as an alternative sealer for oak tannin. It is oil based and more user friendly than shellac. It also means you can specify a full Tikkurila-only paint system for kitchen cabinets: Unica varnish, Otex plus Helmi or Empire or Unica topcoats.

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