Durabond Over Paint (Will It Stick?)

Durabond’s high-strength bond and low shrinkage make it one of the best joint compounds for finishing drywall seams.

In typical applications, Durabond is often used over drywall, gypsum panels, tape, or beads. But can you apply it over paint?

Even though such a scenario is rare, in this article, I will look into the possibility of using Durabond over paint, some of the obstacles you may encounter, and how to overcome them.


Can You Use Durabond Over Paint?

You can apply Durabond over the paint. However, adhesion is usually the biggest hurdle you may face. Most types of paint have some level of sheen in them.

This sheen or soft surface makes it impossible for Durabond and other types of joint compound/drywall mud to adhere to the paint.

Therefore, if you want to apply Durabond to paint, you must rough up the surface so that the drywall mud can have something to grip onto. Failure to scuff the paint’s surface will result in Durabond failure.

Why Would You Need to Apply Durabond Over Paint?

People mainly apply Durabond over paint to fix imperfections that were not discovered in the early stages. Before painting, you need to ensure that the drywall mud is smooth and free of bumps.

However, if you proceed to paint over imperfect drywall, the paint tends to accentuate the imperfections. This is what leads to the application of Durabond over paint so that it can conceal the bumps or blemishes.

Another reason people or contractors may apply Durabond over paint is to fix cracks developing over drywall. Cracks can be caused by various factors, such as moisture damage, gradual wear, or heavy impact.

In this case, the Durabond fills in the cracks on your walls and improves its finish.

How to Apply Durabond Over Paint?

Here is a quick guide on how to correctly apply Durabond over paint.

Step 1: Gather Essential Materials

You will need fine sandpaper, preferably 200-grit, some Durabond, and a drywall knife.

Step 2: Sand the Paint

Begin by scuffing the paint with your sandpaper. Don’t be too rough, as you don’t want to dig deeper into the existing drywall mud.

Step 3: Apply Durabond Using a Drywall Knife

Apply the first coat of Durabond using the drywall knife. Avoid being too generous because we aim to ensure the surface sits flush with the rest.

Feather it out with the knife and let it dry. The drying period of Durabond depends on the type you have bought.

If it’s Durabond 90, it will dry within 85 to 130 minutes. Please refer to the packaging and identify the drying time.

Step 4: Re-sand the Durabond

It’s crucial to re-sand the Durabond as it guarantees a smoother finish. In this case, you can use ultra-fine sandpaper. By running your fingers over the Durabond, you should be able to feel how smooth the surface is.

Step 5: Apply A Thinner Coat and Lightly Sand

Proceed to apply a thinner coat of Durabond using a larger drywall knife. Give it time to dry before sanding it once again. By now, you should have a smooth wall free of imperfections.

Do You Need to Clean Paint Before Applying Durabond Over It?

After sanding, most people usually dive straight into applying Durabond over the paint. However, that is not advisable. During sanding, a lot of dust is often produced.

Also, some of the paint particles are left on your wall. The presence of dirt and these particles can significantly hinder the adhesion of Durabond to a painted surface.

Therefore, before you apply Durabond over the paint, make sure that you clean any contaminants or dirt. A vacuum cleaner can easily suck any dirt particles.

If you suspect that there are stubborn contaminants on the surface, you can use a more potent cleaning product, such as soapy water and a sponge.

What about the Vice Versa: Can You Paint Over Durabond?

The vice versa is a standard and acceptable practice. All you need to do is use a primer to promote adhesion. You should also ensure the Durabond is fully dry before painting over it.

You should wait for around 48 hours. When painting over Durabond, always go for latex primers and paints. They are best suited for such a surface.

Will Durabond Stick to Flat Paints?

Durabond is more likely to stick to flat paints than its high gloss counterparts. Flat paints don’t have a shine. And when you touch the surface, it’s usually chalky and rough. Therefore, when you apply Durabond on top, it has something to bite.

Even though Durabond is more likely to stick to flat paints, I would strongly advise lightly sanding the surface to increase adhesion. Also, don’t forget to clean contaminants and dirt.

What are the Risks of Applying Durabond Over Paint?

When you apply Durabond directly over paint, a couple of things may happen. For instance, bubbling or peeling may develop in areas where the Durabond did not adhere to the paint. This is what I was referring to earlier as Durabond failure.

This is a massive risk because should Durabond fail, you would have wasted a lot of time, money, and product. Also, any repairs that would have been made would no longer be there.

So, there is no need for you to make such a huge gamble. Always ensure that you scrub paint with sandpaper before applying Durabond over it.

Is There a Way You Can Promote Adhesion Between Durabond and Paint?

You can enhance the bond between Durabond and paint in several ways. However, scrubbing the surface with sandpaper is the most effective. I have already explained why in the above sections.

Please do not be misled that there is an adhesive that can enhance the bond when applying Durabond over paint. These adhesives will eventually weaken, causing the Durabond to fail prematurely. To be safe, use the method recommended above.

Doesn’t Durabond Contain a Bonding Agent that Allows It to Adhere to Paint?

Durabond indeed contains a bonding agent. But you need to understand that it wasn’t formulated for smooth surfaces such as paint.

The bonding agent in Durabond only works with surfaces such as drywall, gypsum panels, beads, or drywall tape. The bonding agent is useless on paint and can’t be relied upon.

Should You Scrape Paint Before Applying Durabond?

This is the best method to guarantee Durabond adhesion to a painted wall. When you thoroughly scrape paint from the wall, there won’t be anything affecting adhesion.

The only problem is that scraping paint from a wall is labor-intensive and time-consuming. This is why I am only advising you to sand the paint.

If you have the time and resources, you can always scrape all the paint before applying Durabond. But if you have a limited time, the sandpaper method is the most convenient.

Will Thicker Layers of Durabond Stick Better to Paint?

Absolutely not. More layers of Durabond do not guarantee better adhesion. As long as there is nothing for Durabond to grip onto, even if you apply ten layers of Durabond, it will not stick.

It’s also worth noting that more layers of Durabond introduce newer problems, such as excess weight.

When Durabond layers are heavy, they are more likely to crack and fall. Stick to the recommended Durabond thickness of ¼” when applying it over paint.

How Long Will Durabond Last Over Paint?

If you didn’t sand the paint, I would give the Durabond a few weeks or months before it starts peeling, cracking, or bubbling.

This may even take days, depending on how much sheen the original paint had. However, if you sand and clean the paint before applying Durabond, it can last for years or even decades.

Durabond is a pretty durable drywall mud that can withstand the test of time, but only if it’s applied correctly.

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