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Quick painting question: paint the top/bottom edges?

4179 Views 23 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  Michael Bush
A quick question for those who paint their own hive bodies:
Do you paint the top and bottom edges, where it contacts with the next hive body?

I did last year, and I think the paint-on-paint contributed to some of the sticking of the bodies together.

Comments? (not that this is the most pressing issue facing beekeepers... :) )

-- Steven
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Nope, usually just the outside sides. For the very reason you stated. You learned a valuable lesson.

Some folks paint the insides too. But, if I paint at all, I don't paint the insides.
I only paint the outsides and even then, they stick for the first few months if I use latex paint. I found an old gallon of oil base this spring and I did a bunch of boxes. It dries harder and those don't stick at all. If you do want to paint the inside edges, you may want to try an oil base.
I paint the top and bottom edges for the fact that they might contact water if the boxes are not aligned perfectly straight. But, once they are dry I rub them with a little beeswax. That helps a lot.
Sure, paint the edges; the bees won't have to propolize them. But here's a trick; take a jar of Vaseline and get a little on your pointy finger and run it down the edges. The boxes won't stick, the Vaseline will eventually disappear and, as usual, the bees don't care. :D
I painted the top & bottom edges on my first couple of deeps and had the sticking problem mentioned, so I learned that lesson. I also worried about the alignment exposure issue mentioned.

So I paint the top edge now, and not the bottom edge. I haven't had sticking with the newer boxes. But I will rub them with wax now too!
When I paint boxes it is 40 or more at a time, they get stacked and painted, doing edges would triple the time it takes to paint. BTW the get enough paint in there to stick even without trying to.
i use linseed oil on the top and bottom edges and have never had them stick together but they dry slowly.
Ravenseye mentioned using oil based paint. Are there some opinions on oil vs. latex?
The paint will not stick so bad, if you let the paint dry for a couple of weeks.
I miss the older paint that was oil based. Even today's oil based paints aren't as good as the old stuff. They should go back to those original recipes!

We live in a 200+ year old house and I can walk around and show you where latex or oil was applied. Latex is good at "stretching" and "moving" with the wood but it seems to be more of a surface application. Nowadays, the the very least....gets an oil based primer wherever I'm working on it, even if it gets a latex top coat. For hives, I'll use latex to go over existing paint. But new hives get oil...primer and topcoat. I have some boxes that got that treatment and don't need touchup while others that had latex coats show bleeding or fading. They're not bad, they're just not the same. Finally, I gave up on latex for my house windows. They always stuck after I painted them. Switching to an oil based paint solved the problem. The paint just hardened up better and the windows stopped sticking. I even stripped one window of the latex that I put on and re-applied oil base. That solved the problem. Mind you, latex is fine paint. It just has some characteristics that aren't ideal the way I use it. Oh...I do like the cleanup process with latex. Oil base is a pain.
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Well first I dont like to paint but I have found that different "brands" of latex stick worse than others, I generaly use "oops" paint but once I wanted a different color from what I had in oops so I paid the BIG bux for a gallon (dont remember the brand) and that stuff stuck forever.

I have a bee bud that hangs with me in the shop so I put him to painting (it keeps him outa my way) but he demands the best primer.

Oil paint---I dont remember the last time I used it, it is hard to clean up and I B lazy. I do have some oil paint that some one gave me but---its some kinda dark green.

OH we do paint the edges and the frame rest.
I like the vaseline trick. Another related thing; If your joinery is too good when you make your own boxes it is tricky to get your hive tool in - there is no gap to pry apart the boxes and you are in danger of damaging the boxes more than the weather will.
I have heard of two ways to avoid this: The first was not to stack the boxes perfectly so there is room for the tool; The second was before painting take a wood plane to one corner edge and take off a shaving to leave a place to get your scraper in.
I grew up with a dad that was a painter. I learned to paint with oil early on. Still only use oil for interior trim. What's missing in the oil of today is that nasty lead. If people would just quit eating it, it would still be in there. That's what preserved our old homes. Mine is only 125 years old, Ravenseye. I still always use oil primer, interior and exterior.
Ravenseye mentioned using oil based paint. Are there some opinions on oil vs. latex?
Personally I prefer oil paints (old school) :), but the fact is that wood painted with latex can breath, and that is very important during winter moisture in the hive.
Also, latex paint doesn't blister, but it fades faster than oil. My paint supplier told me that in a couple of years there won't be oil paint on the market, he said in California it is going to be ilegal this or next year, and you know that eventually every state/province follows the path
I'm not sure that latex fades faster than oil paint. I think that the most toxic/dangerous/expensive pigments have been phased out.

Solvent based painted are going to be harder to find, due to concerns about what the Volatile Organic Compounds do to air quality, and thus to human health.

I'm a professional painter, and I really like Benjamin Moore Impervex Wood and Metal Enamel. It's exterior grade, and dries hard.

One big mistake people make is rushing. You really have to let your paint layers *cure* not just dry. If you are planning on painting more than one coat, wait a day or two between layers. Otherwise, you're just encapsulating gummy gooey skinned over (but not truly hardened) paint.
I miss those god old paint fumes that made your head spin. :p

It was the EPA that killed the oil based paints in my area.
One big mistake people make is rushing. You really have to let your paint layers *cure* not just dry. If you are planning on painting more than one coat, wait a day or two between layers. Otherwise, you're just encapsulating gummy gooey skinned over (but not truly hardened) paint.
Where were you yesterday while I was rushing through all those coats of paint? Once I have "gummy goo skinned over", will it eventually cure, or does it need air and I'll have to strip them and start over? I'm kind of in a hurry for some additional equipment for a swarm I captured.
The "cure" for this is good air movement and time.

If you can, point a fan at your project.

(Remember that old saying? Haste makes waste.)
... Also, latex paint doesn't blister, ...
Tell that to my neighbor who bought top of the line paint (Rodda Paint, a local company)
and it blistered every where on his house. They'll give him free paint to repaint, but he doesn't want to do the work.

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