You don't want to paint the inside of your box's , but I prefer to paint the edge but be prepared for the box's to stick together unless you coat them with something , you can paint the edge of your inner cover but I don't paint the inside . I don't paint my entrance reducers if they get old and funky there easy to make , I do paint my entire bottom board ( solid ) and I paint my top covers and put aluminum on them . Basically try to paint anything that comes in contact with the weather and not paint anything that would bother the bee's .I use Bin primer one coat and two coats of a good latex topcoat.
Correction the correct primer is Zinsser 1-2-3 , good product .
Don't paint the inside of brood boxes/suppers. don't paint the screen. I paint all the wood on the bottom board that I can get a brush to, although many folks just paint the exposed parts. I've never seen a painted entrance reducer I guess because they are easy to replace.
Latex paint tends to stick things together if you paint the edges (I do) -- there is an active thread about how to lessen the sticking together.
I do pretty much the same as laketrout, except, I do not paint the entire top surface of my bottom boards...I do paint the complete shim that the hive sits on and maybe 1/2" into the hive from the edges.
One tool that I love is Wooster brush company has a 4" roller set up. This roller has a roller cage like a normal one. Two dips and I can get enough paint on then a quick brush out. Known if I could only get enough boxes built to make it worth while to just spray them..one other tip you can store your roller cover in a zip lock bag for a long time.
David of David's painting
I used to paint the edges of the boxes too. With latex paint the boxes continued to stick together, long after the paint was "dry". Very frustrating.
Now I will just spread Titebond III wood glue on the box edges a couple of times before painting, and the sticking problems are gone. It does a great job at soaking in and sealing off the end grains on the corners too. Eventually the bees end up shellacing all the edges with propolis anyway.
I used exterior latex flat paint..wondering if I should have gone with a gloss or eggshell. The hives are going to be more visible that I initially expected & I already have dirt on the boxes I was using to lay out my yard for installing fencing. First yr & still a week or 2 til I get my nucs so I could re-paint. I tend to be like "Pigpen" of the Peanuts gang... Dirt finds me..
I did my top bar hive with deck stain, just the outside and the edges...I'd post a pic but my ipad doesn't cooperate with forums/pics. I used home depots house brand...Says that it is good for 6 years, we shall see.
As noted, I would suggest painting anything exposed to the weather, including staples or nails used to hold metal on the top cover. This prevents rusting if you use a good alkyd (oil base) primer first. Color is immaterial so long as it's not too dark. Bees don't see reds, so a dark red box will appear black to them, but it really only matters to you.
There is no need to paint the insides of the boxes, the bees will rapidly coat them with wax and propolis and they will be quite watertight.
I've been treating all my woodenware to two coats of boiled linseed oil before the alkyd primer these days -- I've had some problems with adhesion of the primer to the bare wood, and linseed oil sinks into the wood a bit, should greatly increase the adhesion. Nothing more annoying that paint peeling off boxes painted only a couple years ago.
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