Tips on Painting OSB

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Oriented strand board consists of several layers of wood particles that are bound by an adhesive and compressed tightly together into a 4-by-8-foot panel. You can apply virtually any type of topcoat on OSB, but it is best to start with a primer that will block the transfer of moisture that can cause the panel to delaminate.

Acrylic Latex Primers

  • If your OSB panels are used indoors, an acrylic latex primer will be an ideal base coat because it's so easy to work with. Latex primers are fast-drying, so they can be painted over in as little as an hour. They are nearly odor-free and do not contribute to indoor air pollution. At the same time, these moisture-barrier primers provide a sound footing for all types of interior latex paint.

Alkyd Primers

  • If your OSB panels will be exposed to moisture or high humidity, your base coat should be an alkyd -- also known as oil-based -- primer sealer. This type of base coat blocks the flow of moisture to and from the panel to form a lasting protective barrier. These primers can be used under both latex or alkyd paints.

Liquid House Wrap

  • If you're planning to paint your exterior OSB sheathing, a fluid-applied air- or moisture-barrier coating can serve the same purpose as a plastic house wrap and still allow your OSB panel to be topped with a conventional paint or a stucco finish.

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