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One Hour Enamel Paint: Expanded Guide & Tips

Our One Hour Enamel Paint is a total game changer for both professionals and DIY’ers alike! With its built in Satin top coat, this quick cure formula knocks out projects in record time.

One Hour Enamel: Expanded Guide and Tips

One Hour Enamel Paint, also known as OHE, is an incredibly tough, tenacious, fast-drying acrylic enamel for interior and exterior use on surfaces that require a quick return to service and an abrasion-resistant finish. Our One Hour Enamel (OHE) is a total game-changer for both professionals and DIY’ers alike! Our water-based enamel formula has a stone-like Satin topcoat built-in. It is a great choice for painting cabinets, trim, or updating exterior and interior doors. This quick cure formula knocks out projects in record time.
In this article we will cover OHE Prep, Primer, and Painting "best practices".

Quick Tips:

  • One Hour Enamel paint will adhere to anything that is clean, dry, and dull.
  • Wise Owl Paint™ Stain Eliminating Primer is recommended to give extra bonding so your finish will last the longest.   Our primer also has the added benefit of tannin and stain blocking properties.
  • We recommend 2 coats of Stain Eliminating Primer and a minimum of 2 coats of One Hour Enamel paint.
  • If there is a current paint or finish that is chipping or peeling, you will need to remove that first before beginning.  Painting over it will not fix the underlying issue.  To strip the finish, we recommend GreenEZ Stripper for this.
  • For best results, paint in a climate-controlled environment above 65 degrees F.
  • We suggest wearing gloves to prevent skin oils on your hands from transferring to your surface.

Step 1: Prep The Surface

One Hour Enamel HATES surface oils and wax; oils and wax will repel paint. It’s extremely important to make sure you have removed all oils from the surface. Clean well with an oil free degreaser/delgosser such as GreenEZ cleaner, available under “Painting Prep” on our website. Do not use products such as Murphy’s Oil Soap. Often dish soap is not enough to remove grease and grime worked into wood from years of use.

Make sure to rinse the cleaner off completely with water and allow to thoroughly dry. If you prime over a wet surface, you may experience a crackled finish due to the different dry times of water and primer/OHE.

AFTER you have thoroughly cleaned the surface, lightly sanding before beginning your project can help slick surfaces by increasing the quality of adhesion. Use a sanding block or green scrubby sponge to scuff up the surface.

After sanding, wipe your project down with a lint free rag to remove any residue. You can also blow sanding dust away with compressed air, use a vacuum cleaner, or use your Blow Off Tool on your Wise Owl Stingray Sprayer. A final wipe down with a 50/50 denatured alcohol/water mix will remove any lingering dust or oils, and it evaporates and dries quickly. Do NOT use tack cloths; these are embedded with Beeswax and can create adhesion problems.

Step 2: Prime!

Choose the best Wise Owl Primer color according to your desired final paint color as follows:

Primer Color Final Paint Color/Finish
White Whites or very light colors
Light Gray Light to medium colors, yellows
Dark Gray Medium to dark colors, reds
Clear Distressed finishes, all colors

Do NOT use shellac-based primers; these are known to cause the OHE to dry too fast and cause crackling. Wise Owl Primer has been tested extensively with the OHE and will give you the best results.

Stir primer very well and brush, roll, or spray to apply. When brushing, use a large, flat synthetic brush such as Cling On B12, Cling On B10, Cling On Flat 50, Cling On S50, or the Wise Owl Premium Micro Angle 1.5 inch brush. If you are rolling, we recommended roller a 3/8” woven or high-quality microfiber roller. If you are spraying, you may thin with up to 10% water.

The primer will self-level. If you need a smoother substrate, you may fine sand lightly after the last coat is dry before applying OHE. This is optional, but it may help ensure you have a buttery smooth finish to begin painting.

Wait 4-6 hours after each coat of primer to apply the next coat. 2 full coats are recommended.

Step 3: Painting One Hour Enamel

Make sure your primer has thoroughly dried. It is recommended to wait 6 hours after the last coat or even overnight to be sure.

Stir well before and occasionally during use to ensure an even, smooth finish. Never shake the OHE; shaking incorporates bubbles.

One Hour Enamel paint dries quickly and is 90% cured about 4 hours after it is dry, so you may return your items to service the next day! Try to limit exposure to water as a precautionary measure for the first month. OHE is fully cured in about 10 days, but it will continue to strengthen over the period of a few weeks.

You may roll, brush, or spray OHE. Wait 2-4 hours before applying a second coat to ensure the finish is totally dry.

To brush OHE:

Never use a wet brush. Recommended brush is a large, flat synthetic brush, such as the Wise Owl 1.5” micro angle brush. Apply the paint in the direction of the grain and do not overwork. The paint will self-level and dries fast, so if you overwork it will not level as well. Let the paint do its magic! Watch for drips or runs. When possible, paint on a horizontal surface to let gravity help the finish self-level. Apply in thin even coats and don’t overload your brush. This will help you achieve the smoothest finish. If you are painting a vertical surface, offload your brush and then smooth the paint by brushing in an upward motion, against gravity. This will help avoid sags and drips.

To roll OHE:

Recommended roller 3/8” woven or high-quality microfiber roller.
Watch for drips or runs. We recommend you use a technique called flagging or tipping off immediately after each roll is complete. To do this; simply brush paint smooth in the same direction with a quality brush like the Wise Owl 1.5” micro angle. This must be done immediately after each roll to ensure you don’t overwork the paint. This will eliminate drips or runs and pop any bubbles incorporated by the roller. Maintain a wet edge and make sure your roller is evenly loaded with paint by rolling well in the tray gradient before application.

To spray OHE:

Recommended sprayer: Wise Owl’s Stingray 3 stage HVLP.
The One Hour Enamel does not need to be thinned. Enamel paints are thinner than traditional latex and no thinning is required.

Spray on a horizontal surface when possible to allow gravity to help the paint self-level. When painting vertically make sure not to overload the paint and apply it in thin even coats.

Additional Tips for Painting Cabinets:

During the prep stage, make sure to focus on cleaning areas that get the most exposure to skin and cooking oil, such as around the handles/pulls and near the stove.

Make sure to remove all hardware doors and drawers. Label and number your doors and hardware as you remove them, so you replace them with the same ones for best fit.

Elevate your drawers and doors to ensure you don’t miss painting edges.

Scuff sanding before priming ensures your paint has something to grip on to. This really helps extend the life of the finish.

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