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Old 10-12-2009, 06:42   #1
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Refrigerator and Freezer Paint

I am in the final stages of rebuilding my complete fridge a and freezer. I ripped out the original units leaving a massive hole of bare hull in the galley and then built entirely new boxes using Glacier Bay VIP panels, foam board and plywood. I lived the inside of the boxes in 1/4" marine plywood which was epoxy coated twice all around before installation and then the insides of the two boxes were given 4 thick coats of epoxy.

Now they need to be painted and this is where I went wrong. I spoke to the Sherwin Williams people and they told me I had to use special paint or the paint would give off poisonous gasses as the units cooled and it would be unsafe for food. The sold me a gallon of "Freezer Coat" for $75 and assured me this was the ticket.

Well, I took their advice and painted it on without reading the spec sheet on it. BIG mistake. This paint will not cure at any temp over 50 degrees F. The Sherwin Williams guys misunderstood my needs and assumed I was talking about a fridge and freezer ALREADY in service, not new units at regular room temp.

My perfect new boxes thus were coated in a thick, gooey mess of paint that would not cure. So a full days work later with a heat gun, scraper, MEK and lots of rags and I got the boxes back to the bare epoxy. I gave them yet another coat of epoxy to make up for any that was scraped or sanded away and now its time to recoat.

So.... after the long story.... what kind of paint should I use? I am looking for a simple gloss white finish. Is a regular gloss white enamel ok?

Thanks!


Terry
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Old 10-12-2009, 06:47   #2
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paint

When we rebuilt the frige on Slacker I used Interlux Brightside. I let it dry for about 3 days before firing up the holding plate. It did smell for the first couple of days but then it went away when I hung a fan in the box to assist drying.

Good luck
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Old 10-12-2009, 07:20   #3
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I used Interlux Brightside and it seems to be doing well in both places but it has only been 1 1/2 years.

Jim
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Old 10-12-2009, 07:23   #4
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Why paint it at all? Paint only wears off leaving nasty looking scratches and only you and perhaps a handful of others will ever see the inside of the refrigerator. Its hard to beat the durability of epoxy.

If you must paint it I would consider Interlux 3000 which is a white epoxy. As far as the gassing of fumes goes, epoxy only gasses for so long. After a week or two, you won't need to worry about that.

Another option is to add pigment to epoxy and to brush it on.
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Old 10-12-2009, 07:46   #5
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Why paint it at all? Paint only wears off leaving nasty looking scratches and only you and perhaps a handful of others will ever see the inside of the refrigerator. Its hard to beat the durability of epoxy.

If you must paint it I would consider Interlux 3000 which is a white epoxy. As far as the gassing of fumes goes, epoxy only gasses for so long. After a week or two, you won't need to worry about that.

Another option is to add pigment to epoxy and to brush it on.
I just added pigment to my last boat refer and it did fine for the couple years we used it but I read so much (some on this site) about degradation of exposed epoxy even when not directly exposed to UV I got a little worried and put some paint on it.

Are you saying since it is dark in there the epoxy will not degrade?

Thanks,

Jim
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:33   #6
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Jim,
I have never heard of epoxy with a heavy pigment exposed to UV degrading. Clear epoxy over wood, sure, water eventually gets under it plus wood expands and contracts with moisture and heat. Outside, epoxy with the reddish UV filter in the part B intended for varnishing wood only lasts for a few years. If though you have epoxy with a pigment that completely blocks the UV at the surface, then it will last outdoors for a very long time.

I have an afterdeck painted with Interlux 2000 over bare aluminum (its a work boat). The deck has had metal, small cinder block anchors, 1000 pound iron anchors, metal net frames, large magnetometers, submerged floats and all kinds of stuff dragged across the deck and all it has are a few shallow scratches to show for it. So there is no doubt about epoxies strength. The epoxy has also been out in the sun for almost 5 years now and there is no sign of the epoxy breaking down from ultraviolet light.

I would have no problem using it as a finish coat in a refrigerator. You will want to have a large exhaust fan and a positive pressure respirator or chemical respirator when you apply the epoxy indoors...along with someone else there to watch over you.
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:34   #7
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I used system three lpu on mine. Easy, tough and water based.

Bill
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Old 10-12-2009, 17:18   #8
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I went with the gloss white polyurathan West Marine branded Pettit paint. Rolled it on and then tipped it with a foam brush. IT looks great and is drying as per the specs, should be good to go on assembling the rest of the units tomorrow.

I did add a lots of white pigment to the epoxy coating on the box but while it did make the coating a whitish color it was nowhere near a nice looking as the paint.

With the plywood coated all over in 2 coats of epoxy and the insides coated with 4 additional coats I will be shocked if the wood or epoxy degrades, but we will see.


Terry
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Old 10-12-2009, 18:36   #9
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Jim,
I have never heard of epoxy with a heavy pigment exposed to UV degrading. Clear epoxy over wood, sure, water eventually gets under it plus wood expands and contracts with moisture and heat. Outside, epoxy with the reddish UV filter in the part B intended for varnishing wood only lasts for a few years. If though you have epoxy with a pigment that completely blocks the UV at the surface, then it will last outdoors for a very long time.
Thanks. I always think about that type of epoxy as paint rather then just epoxy. I guess it is really the same stuff though, you just have to add a lot of pigment.

Jim
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Old 10-12-2009, 19:15   #10
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The safest way to do this is with a 2-part PU paint that is inert after cure. Single part paints don't cure, they harden by evaporation of solvents which takes a long time to fully evaporate and never does when you cool the box down, in which case they can still leech out.

Also, as you will probably use white paint, make very sure there is no lead in that paint. Lead was always used for the white pigment in the old days but today you must still check that.

So, I used awlgrip, for a perfect finish which is as hard as steel.
When you click on the photo below you get the full album on this project with full size photo's. The photo shows the first layer of awlgrip after two layers of primer. Roll and tip technique.



cheers,
Nick.
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Old 21-01-2010, 18:37   #11
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why not add the white pigment to the epoxy, that is what i did with my box. worked out great
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Old 21-01-2010, 20:40   #12
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Fgci turned me on to a coating especially for water tanks that is fda rated. Fgci.com
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