How to Turn Vinyl Into Wood

PROBLEM: You like the classic look and warmth of wood brackets, but you don’t want the upkeep and maintenance that comes with keeping them fresh and new looking. Not to mention, depending on the size, wood can be very heavy and very expensive. Vinyl is a good alternative. It lasts forever and requires very little maintenance, but it’s white. You could paint it, but that still doesn’t give you the look you wanted. What do you do?

SOLUTION: We recently discovered an amazing product and are happy to share it with the world. It’s called Stainable Primer. It’s crazy how good it is. You simply brush on the primer to the vinyl, let it dry, and then brush/wipe on your preferred stain in the brand and color of your choice. The look is so real, it’s uncanny.
(DISCLAIMER: We do not typically endorse products, nor are we compensated by Stainable Primer to do so. We just think their product is too impressive and too cool not to share!)

So, let us share some details about Stainable Primer and how we came about discovering their product with a short Q & A session with Spence Butler, Vice President of Arnon Fasteners Corporation/Stainable Primer and Mike Sheehan, Owner of Durabrac Architectural Components.

What makes Stainable Primer™ different from other primers?
(SP): Stainable Primer is the only primer on the market today made up of actual hardwood giving it the unique ability to absorb any type of stain. Most primers only leave 18 to 22% volume solids when dry, Stainable Primer™ leaves up to 60%. Stainable Primer™ is water based and has very low VOC ( less than 30g/L). It’s advanced polymers and resins give it its excellent adhesion qualities.
A before and after demonstration.

A before and after demonstration.

2015-01-21 08.44.19

Durabrac 0818 Corbel under the counter and stained to match the finish of the island.

What is your experience with using finishes on vinyl products?
(DURABRAC): Painting is easy. Latex paint has excellent adhesion.  Elastomeric paints designed for stucco and concrete also have excellent adhesion.  Any other kind of finish really requires a professional. A person experienced with synthetic stucco application can spray a finish coat directly on our components and trowel to match surrounding areas.  Acrylic Polyurethane paint is a finish that bonds on a molecular level plus has a more durable finish.  Because it is catalyzed and requires specialized equipment, it is best left to professionals to apply.  This is how you get your realistic metallic finishes.
Prior to discovering Stainable Primer, what did it take to get a wood-like finish on Durabrac products?
(DURABRAC): Faux finishes applied by experienced artists was the only way.
What is the process involved in staining vinyl with Stainable Primer?
(SP): Like any other substrate, apply Stainable Primer™ with a brush or spray gun and let dry, approximately 1 hour. Using 220 grit sandpaper or finer, lightly scuff in the direction of desired grain pattern. Then apply stain per stain manufacturers directions. Always top coat with polyurethane to protect the surface.
How long will the stained look last?
(SP): Because Stainable Primer™ is wood it must be protected. Stain will absorb into it and will remain. However, without proper protection, like wood, it will fade over time in exterior applications.
What are your recommendations to customers if they want to use Stainable Primer on their Durabrac vinyl brackets?
(DURABRAC): For interior applications I say 100% YES.  It allows the customer the ability to make our non-wood components match stained wood cabinets and trim. Exterior use is fine too.  Just a few guidelines to consider:  Direct sunlight will fade any stain without a seal coat over it.  Fortunately, our components tend to be installed in shaded areas under roof and porches.  It is important to remember that wood with a stain applied and exposed to direct sunlight would fade in the same manner.
2015-01-21 08.46.35

Durabrac 0816 Corbel stained as part of a mantel.

How did you find Durabrac?
(SP): We had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Sheehan at a trade show. Looking at different things to stain in the building industry, Durabrac products were a natural fit.
How did you discover Stainable Primer?
(DURABRAC): They contacted us. We met at the International Builder’s Show and they asked for some sample products to test the Stainable Primer on. The following year, we were pleased to see our product beautifully stained and displayed in their booth (see the pictures in the post). It was unbelievable how real it looked! Made us believers!
2015-01-21 08.56.51

A before and after demonstration at the International Builder’s Show.

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About Durabrac Architectural Components

Durabrac products are made in the USA of the finest virgin vinyl available. All designs are unique and original. Because our manufacturing process does not require the use of expensive molds, we are able to offer a large selection of products in various sizes. Durabrac is a subsidiary of Classic Design and Manufacturing (CD&M), parent company of Durabrac Architectural Components, Classic Sign & Mirror and Classic Mailboxes. Based in Pensacola, FL
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