Ten years isn't very long -- my brother's "old" hive will be eight years old this year, and we are thinking it might need another coat of paint.
The Behr Ultra-Premium is wonderful stuff -- very easy to apply and dries very hard, unlike some other paints I've used that never really seem to set properly, you can peel them off with a fingernail.
Sealed, primed, and properly painted boxes should last quite a while so long as you don't pry on the rabbet or leave them out in the rain without a proper cover. You will need to repaint every ten years or so.
More important is to make absolutely positive that the end grain is sealed and that the box joints do not have open gaps. I finally quit screwing around with my old box joint jig after nearly ruining a couple boxes tonight and made a new one. Perfect this time, the joints require a tap with a mallet to fit completely together, which means a small amount of glue will seal them properly.
I suspect the eco-treatment is milk paint without filler. If so, it should last quite a while. I still prefer paint, mainly because my boxes have knots!
I think sometimes we put in too much effort worrying about stuff like paint/stain types. I have a stack of boxes that have whitewash on them and are dated from the early 50s. I still keep bees in them. I did try painting over some of them, but paint doesn't stick well to layers of whitewash.
Always question Conventional Wisdom.
Funny, when I was researching paints, I found no brand so consistently hated as Behr. I really have no experience with it myself. I was scared off by the reviews. Interesting to read about happy cutomers here though - I guess you never know until you try things.
I ended up using Sico solid stain in a dark brown.
Can you paint or stain over Eco Wood treatment?
Last edited by Adam Foster Collins; 01-29-2013 at 11:35 PM.
Perhaps this link won't work for most as access to ratings need a membership (about the best $20 you will ever spend). In short it shows Behr and Glidden as the top rated paints in the semi-gloss (unless you choose to spend $60 per gallon for Sherwin Williams.
Don: I can't vouch for every Behr product but I will just say that as an independent testing lab (that is beholding to no one) Consumer Reports generally rates Behr and California paint products very highly. It's a bit odd in my mind because I don't have a very high opinion of the overall quality of products sold in HD
"People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney
Did Benjamin Moore make the list at all? I think their paints are some of the best.
To those using stain. Does the stronger smell of oil-based stain affect the bees? We had some one in our club use stain last spring, and when he opened the back of his car, the smell was overwhelming, and he had stained them two WEEKS before (they sure were pretty, though).
If you are going to use stain you have to allow them to completely dry and off gas. Depending on weather could be upwards of 6 weeks.
Let me clarify our 10 year opinion on the life of a super. From a business perspective 10 years is what we use as a maximum for woodenware replacement. Constant moving takes its wear and tear on boxes and we take pride in our equipment. We repair and replace as necessary - it is usually less expensive to replace if you pay labor. As a marketing tool, our hives look pristine, we keep medication records, and have a method to inventory our equipment. If you were looking for pollination services would you tend to contract out to someone who's boxes are falling apart and look worn, or would you tend to think that nice boxes, well maintained equipment, lots of bees and a high level of professionalism offers more? It's not only about having healthy bees - perception plays a large role especially if you want those corporate farm contracts. Remember there are many external factors that effect wooden ware lifespan.
I am not saying what we do is right or is the best method, all I can report is what we do and what works for us. Even after 25 years there is still a learning curve and a more efficient approach. Always be improving in order to exceed survival.
Thanks Jim. I've been happy with Behr overall. Still use Moore Impervo for interior trim and like their exterior house paint as well. I know they've been changing their products recently. I'll give your Behr exterior a try.
I've been experimenting with numerous paints and stains. I have a gallon of Behr (purchased as an "oops" can) and thought that something was wrong as it was so thick compared to other paints. I just put it on thick and as it dried it seemed to soak into the wood. I was really impressed with how easily it went on and I put on two coats. So far, it is doing very well. The only place I am having problems is where I painted over joints sealed up with exterior wood filler. I'm inclined to think that is a problem with the filler (Elmer's) and not with the Behr paint. (I've recently begun using some Red Devil Crack Patch "premium acrylic spackling" to see how well it holds up. I've read recently about using bondo and may try that, as well.)
As I said, Behr is THICK - the thickest I've ever used - at least, until I got some Cabot Solid Acrylic "Stain". Now, that stuff is REALLY thick - like painting with Pepsodent. But it, too, soaks in really well and allows for two coats. A local big box had 5 1-gallon cans of that Cabot solid stain for just a smidgen over $2 per can on the oops rack. I couldn't resist for that price and plus the fact that it is white.
FWIW, I've tried some Glidden and found that it inhales rather sharply, if you know what I mean. The worst I've tried so far is some from Wal-Mart.
Maybe in a few years I can report back on what works in my area and what doesn't.
Admittedly, I had one bad experience with Behr. It has been a few years, and probably does not reflect all their paint.
I found some of the Cabot solid color acrylic stain on the table for $5.00. It was normally $38.00. I'm liking it so far. Trying to figure out how to thin it for the airless.
Drys fast and the stacked boxes don't stick
I go to either Lowes or Home Depot several times a month, when I go I always check the oops paint area. This is a shelf where they place any paint they messed up in mixing colors. I just look for exterior grade paint, they will always place a drop on the lid so you can see the color. If its a light color then I will buy it, most of the times they are $5 a gal. I have even seen the 5 gal buckets of paint for $25. I then paint 2 coats on each hive body.
I used Kilz for the primer...
Then used olympic (two coats) for the top coat.....
On all of my hives. Looks like I painted them yesterday.
Then, just to test, I satined one of my hives with this stain...
Lasted four months before it started weathering. I'll stick to paint.
I buy the 25 yr caulk for about $2 and put it on the end grain, knots and cracks where boxes are put together.
Also use titebond 3 and screws.
Make my boxes out of 2 X 12 lumber (better quality then 1 X lumber at the retail level and cheaper)
Paint them with kilz primer and opps paint.