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I have exterior PVC lumber (e.g. Azec) as brick molding and would like to paint it. Should I use regular water based primer or oil based like with metal surfaces?

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You'll likely need a bonding primer as they are designed to provide better adhesion to hard to stick surfaces such as plastics and metal.

Call your local paint stores and see what they have available or go to the big box hardware store and get your self a spray can of Rustoleum Bonding Primer.

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  • "better adhesion to hard to stick surfaces such as plastics and metal" -- can i just use oil based primer, which does that also?
    – amphibient
    Oct 28, 2023 at 1:09
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    Not all primers are the same, oil primers are designed to penetrate porous surfaces like wood/wood products. In this case, I would look for a bonding primer that specifically states it will bond to plastics.
    – matt.
    Oct 28, 2023 at 1:12
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If it is AZEK (tm), then https://azekexteriors.com/resources/painting and https://azekexteriors.com/docs/paint-pro/ss-azek-paintpro-paint-guide.pdf (tldr: no primer needed).

As an aside, I found this contrary to my expectations, which is why talking to the manufacturer of your specific product is often useful.

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  • The link provided has some great info on LRV and such, however, I would say that a primer is still advisable as most paints require a properly prepared surface which means clean from dirt/debris and a suitable primer applied before painting. +1 for LRV info, excellent thing to consider.
    – matt.
    Oct 28, 2023 at 16:39
  • @matt — I’d ordinarily agree with you, but the second link, the pdf, is pretty specific. Oct 28, 2023 at 16:46
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    Interesting, it does clearly state priming is not required. I'm surprised to say the least. Good catch.
    – matt.
    Oct 28, 2023 at 17:22

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