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Old 09-19-2009, 10:39 PM   #1
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Good shower wall covering on reno?

Does anyone know of a clear coat paint product that will seal 1/2 pine board walls so they can be used as walls to the shower? If not, how about a paint that will stick to both the aluminum curved wall and wood walls and seal it off from soaking any water into it from the shower?

Background:
We have a 1979 31' center bath AS. I am just about complete with the exterior and ready to move on to the interior. We have stripped all paneling, walls, cabinets, etc. out and stored everything for now. I pulled out the walls for the bath and left the shower pan, toilet, sink/medicine cabinet in place. I have to do a little fiberglas work on the outside corner of the shower pan and we plan on using that Retrobright to get the plastic back to original color.

My plan with the bath is to redo the walls in pine 1/2 board frames with paneling inserts except the shower walls which I will use pine 1/2 boards as the walls toward kitchen and hall. I was hoping to find a clear, water-resistant sealer I could paint on the inside of the shower walls to keep the wood finish to the inside but according to Olympic, no clear coat will work in that wet of an environment. I have come up with many ideas but they all add additional weight to these walls (aluminum, plastics) and I would rather keep it wood if possible.
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Old 09-20-2009, 01:57 AM   #2
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Very interesting question.

What about outdoor deck/fence type sealers? Sure you'd have to re-seal every year or two, but it would be worth checking out.

Mary
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Old 09-20-2009, 04:56 AM   #3
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Hello.... We used a pieced shower kit and used that , took off the vinyl coveriing on the shower walls and used contact cememt to glue it on with .... painted the curved wall and shower pan seat with Por 15 Brilliant white.... we used eraserboard for the walls in the bathroom area... it is standing up very welll....
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Old 09-20-2009, 06:45 AM   #4
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Have you considered the weight of those boards?
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Old 09-20-2009, 07:46 AM   #5
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A marine spar urethane would be a good solution on wood that is going to be wet often. It is going to be a maintenance deal where you are going to have to recoat it as needed to protect the wood. It would be wise to insure your shower walls are made in a way that they don't allow water to sit on any flat surface (no horizontal flat parts, for example). You could bevel any horizontal boards to force water to roll off them.
Marine urethane can be had at most good paint stores and I think the big box hardware stores carry it. It is about $40 to $50 a quart. 3 to 4 coats a day apart sanding very lightly between coats. It is a solvent based product--keep the fresh air moving.
My bigger concern would be how to seal all these wood parts to each other and to the existing vinyl wall so that you would not allow water behind the panels. In water environments, simple is better. That is, the less the number of pieces of material and joints you have, the less likely water will find a way in and cause trouble.
Good luck.
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Old 09-20-2009, 05:22 PM   #6
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Thanks for the responses.

Happycamper - Was the pieced shower kit a bunch of plastic panels? Did you get it from Lowe's/Home Depot type store? That sounds better than re-sealing the wood often as far as maintenance goes.

Cantrell and Maryw - My plan is to use straight board on the shower walls so there will be no lip/flat area to hold water. I plan to screw the boards together from the outside (side that goes toward the kitchen hidden where the track doors are) and against the aluminum curved wall from the outside with aluminum angle (re-using the original angle piece). I will seal all abutments of the boards inside with a colored silicone bath caulk. I am keeping the shower pan and seat area original (plastic stuff) so the flat areas will be there. Thanks for the info on the marine sealer type Cantrell.

LI Pets - We have been going over and over on the weight issue and took a long time to decide whether to keep the original interior or rebuild it. Seeing all of the original "sticker" wood grain peeling off the paneling and the plastics for all of the tambours rotting and breaking, I was mainly concerned with maintenance issues that we would run into since everything seemed to be on its last leg. We will be working with paneling mostly, just framing it in with 2" x 1/2" boards, using a joiner to cut a groove to hold the paneling. After taking out what was in there and seeing the construction, the increase in weight with a sample piece framed was minimal in some cases and equal in others.
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Old 09-20-2009, 06:48 PM   #7
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Take a look at Sikkens which is made by Cetol. I used this product on my sailboat deck and other teak trim for years. Try westmarine.com. Sikkens comes in Marine Light, Matural Teak, Marine and a Gloss @ about $45.00 per quart. Call the vendor to discuss your useage @ 1 800 631 7481. You need to put 3 to 4 coats on and may not have to replace it for 5 + years. You touch up when you see a spot that needs it. I'm speaking from experience in the marine environment - using it in your AS you may have a much longer time before removal and replacement is needed. Great product for wood around water.
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Old 09-20-2009, 07:53 PM   #8
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We just used the corner piece of the shower surround to make the corner a smooth finish and have some built in shelves for soap etc. the other straight panels we used dry eraser board. We got the surround at Home Depot and the eraser board at a lumber specialty store. I don't have any pics of the shower but I can take some Wednesday as I will be out of town till then.

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Old 09-21-2009, 07:04 PM   #9
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I would love to see pictures of how you did it when you get the time to. Thanks.
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:48 PM   #10
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clear plastic

have you considered clear plastic skin over wood

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Old 09-22-2009, 09:18 PM   #11
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My experience with lots of exposed wood on the outside of our house is that urethanes or varnishes will not hold up at all. The absorption of moisture in this environment, expansion, and subsequent contraction of the wood when drying will crack the finish, allow water to penetrate, and its all downhill from there. Pine also does very poorly when exposed to moisture. Best to start with a water tolerant wood such as cypress (clear grade), that is also one of nature's most beautiful woods, and apply a top quality clear preservative such as Sikkens. Cypress has been used in showers, but needs to be wiped dry after each use. I would think there may be a mold problem, and standard shower panels would be better.
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Old 09-23-2009, 07:39 PM   #12
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Thanks for all of the responses. I think I am going to take the safe way out and go with a plastic surround. I found some 4' x 8' plastic sheets at a box store and corner trim that is self sealing. It is very light so shouldn't have any weight issues adding that in. It only comes in almond and white unfortunately and probably won't match the shower basin. I really didn't want to epoxy the plastics but we'll see what color the bath gets with retrobright and see if almond is close.
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:16 AM   #13
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plastic

Have you considered clear plastic panels inside of your preferred finish. You would have to leave a small airspace between the panel and wood with a small air intake vent (very small) at the bottom in the outside layer...wood. The heat from the shower would cause the airspace to heat up creating an upward draft in the air space to prevent condensation or clouding. Just a theory.

z
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:23 AM   #14
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added side note

A transparent shower enclosure might be worth a look. These are complete and don't leak.

Shower Enclosures, Glass Shower Enclosure, Shower Stall, Bathroom Shower

z
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