Painting Over Olympic Waterguard Wood Sealant

Olympic Waterguard is a popular waterproofing wood sealant designed to protect exterior wood surfaces like decks, fences, and siding. But can you paint it after application? What special considerations need to be made? This article will cover painting over Olympic Waterguard, including proper prep work, recommended paint types, cure times, and other tips for success.

Painting Over Olympic Waterguard Wood Sealant

Overview of Olympic Waterguard

Olympic Waterguard is a water-based acrylic sealant that deeply penetrates wood to provide water repellency and protection against moisture damage. It contains zinc nanoparticles for enhanced UV resistance as well.

Some key features and benefits of Olympic Waterguard include:

  • Water-based acrylic formula
  • Deep penetrating sealant
  • Repels water to prevent moisture damage
  • Zinc nanoparticles for UV protection
  • Low odor and fast drying
  • Available in clear and semi-transparent tinted versions

It can be used on all types of exterior wood like decks, fences, siding, outdoor furniture, and more. Olympic Waterguard is designed as a stand-alone protective wood coating and sealer.

Can You Paint Over Olympic Waterguard?

Yes, it is possible to paint over surfaces treated with Olympic Waterguard wood sealant. However, there are some important factors to consider for proper prep work and paint compatibility to ensure good adhesion and prevent issues like peeling or chipping.

The key is allowing proper curing time before painting. Olympic recommends waiting at least 3 days for solvent-based paints and 60 days for water-based latex paints. This gives the Waterguard sealant enough time to fully cure and bond with the wood surface.

Additionally, priming first with a high-quality oil or latex-based primer will improve paint adhesion. Then, 2-3 coats of a 100% acrylic latex paint formulated for exterior use can be applied.

Oil-based paints are not recommended over Olympic Waterguard since they do not bond well to water-based sealants. Stick with 100% acrylic latex paint only.

Prep Work When Painting Over Olympic Waterguard

Proper surface prep is crucial for getting paint to adhere correctly over Olympic Waterguard sealant. Here are some tips:

  • Allow full curing times – Wait at least 3 days for oil-based paints, 60 days for latex paints.
  • Lightly sand – Use 220 grit sandpaper to scuff up the surface slightly and improve paint grip. Avoid over-sanding.
  • Clean and degrease – Wipe down with a solvent like mineral spirits to remove any contaminants.
  • Check for over-application – Thick layers of Waterguard can cause chipping or peeling issues when painted over. Apply in thin, even coats per manufacturer directions.
  • Prime – Apply a high-quality priming coat designed for exterior wood. Oil or latex-based primers work.
  • Use latex paint only – 100% acrylic latex paints bond best. Do not use oil-based paints.

Proper prep allows the paint to mechanically and chemically bond with the sealed, water-repellent wood surface. Rushing the process can lead to paint failure down the road.

Recommended Paint Types When Painting Over Waterguard

As noted above, 100% acrylic latex exterior paints are recommended for painting over Olympic Waterguard wood sealant. The water-based formula provides good adhesion.

Oil or alkyd-based paints do not bond well and can peel or delaminate over time. They are hydrophobic and repel the water-based Woodguard sealer.

2-3 coats of latex paint should be applied for best coverage and durability. Adding a primer coat first improves adhesion even further.

Some top-quality 100% acrylic latex paint options include:

  • Behr Premium Plus Ultra Exterior Paint
  • Benjamin Moore Aura Exterior Paint
  • PPG Timeless Exterior Paint
  • Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel
  • Valspar Duramax Exterior Paint

Look for “100% Acrylic” or “100% Acrylic Latex” on the label when selecting paint. Avoid cheaper vinyl acrylic or other latex paints. Stick with premium brands designed for long-lasting exterior performance.

Cure Time Before Painting Over Olympic Waterguard

It’s crucial to allow proper curing time before painting over Olympic Waterguard wood sealant. This gives the water repellent formula time to fully bond with the wood.

Here are the recommended cure times:

  • Oil-based paints – Allow at least 3 days curing time.
  • Latex paints – Allow at least 60 days curing time.

If cure times are rushed, the sealant may not have fully bonded leading to possible adhesion issues when painting over it. The sealant needs time to deeply penetrate the wood grain as designed.

If unsure of cure status, always allow for longer cure times. 60-90 days is ideal for latex paints to be extra safe. Proper prep work is also still required even after longer cure times.

Priming Over Olympic Waterguard Before Painting

While Olympic Waterguard can be directly painted over if proper cure times are allowed, applying an oil or latex-based primer coat first provides enhanced paint adhesion.

The primer fills in any porous areas and gives the topcoats of paint an improved surface to bind to. This helps prevent chipping, peeling and premature paint failure.

For oil or latex primer options, some top products include:

  • KILZ Original Oil-Based Primer
  • Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Water-Based Primer
  • KILZ 2 All Purpose Interior/Exterior Water-Based Primer
  • INSL-X Prime Lock Plus Acrylic Universal Primer

Be sure to apply the primer evenly according to the manufacturer’s spread rate recommendations. Most quality primers only require one coat for proper coverage and adhesion benefits.

Can You Use Olympic Waterguard Over Paint?

While painting over Olympic Waterguard requires some special considerations, using Waterguard sealant over already painted or stained wood is also possible.

However, the existing paint or stain layers need to be properly prepared first just like any coating:

  • Clean surface of contaminants
  • Lightly sand to improve adhesion
  • Remove any peeling or flaking paint
  • Allow oil-based coatings to fully cure

Then a thin, even application of Olympic Waterguard can help provide extra protection and water repellency over your existing paint or stain.

It works best if the previous coatings are in good shape without extensive peeling or flaking. Severely weathered or damaged paint may need more extensive prep or complete removal first.

Olympic Waterguard Application Tips

To prevent issues like peeling or poor paint adhesion when painting over Olympic Waterguard later, it’s important to apply Waterguard properly in the first place:

  • Only apply to bare wood surfaces or properly prepared painted/stained wood
  • 1-2 thin coats only, avoid over-application
  • Follow spread rate recommendations
  • Allow 2-3 hours between coats
  • Let cure 72 hours before exposing to rain or moisture

Uneven application and too much Waterguard makes it prone to peeling when painted over top. Always check the manufacturer’s recommendations for best practices.

Properly applied Waterguard allows paints to adhere well. But other water seal products may have similar limitations when it comes to paint compatibility.

Painting Over Other Water Sealers Like Thompson’s Water Seal

Like Olympic Waterguard, Thompson’s Water Seal is a popular water-based acrylic wood sealant designed to repel water and protect exterior wood surfaces.

Painting over Thompson’s Water Seal requires similar considerations:

  • Allowing proper cure times before painting (60+ days for latex paints recommended)
  • Proper surface preparation – clean, lightly sand, apply primer
  • Only use exterior grade latex/acrylic paints for best adhesion

Other water-repellent wood preservatives and treatments like DEFY Extreme, Ready Seal, and Wolman Raincoat will have comparable requirements when it comes to painting over them.

Always check the individual product label or manufacturer’s website for specific directions. The wood sealant needs ample time to cure and bond before applying paints.

Signs of Paint Problems Over Olympic Waterguard

How can you tell if paint is not adhering properly over Olympic Waterguard sealant? Here are some signs of paint adhesion problems:

  • Bubbling or wrinkling shortly after paint is applied
  • Paint peeling in sheets or large strips
  • Flaking in small chips especially along edges
  • Cracking or alligatoring as paint dries
  • Dull or patchy areas where paint is not bonding fully

In severe cases the paint may peel off completely exposing the bare wood underneath.

This usually indicates insufficient cure time was allowed, poor prep work was done, or incompatible paints were used. Oil-based paints in particular are prone to adhesion issues over water-based sealers.

How to Fix Paint Peeling Over Olympic Waterguard

If your paint starts peeling or chipping over Olympic Waterguard, here are some options to fix it:

  • Scrape or sand away all loose, flaking paint. Feather edges smooth.
  • Lightly sand entire surface to roughness up existing paint for better grip.
  • Wipe clean and apply primer coat like KILZ Adhesion Primer to unpainted areas. This helps new paint bind better.
  • Allow primer to fully dry. Then apply 2-3 fresh coats of a quality 100% acrylic latex exterior paint.

For severe cases of peeling, it may be necessary to completely remove all existing paint coats and start over.

  • Use chemical stripper, power washer, or sand down to bare wood
  • Ensure Olympic Waterguard is fully cured before re-painting
  • Clean, sand, prime, and re-paint correctly with latex acrylic paint

This process is time consuming but results in a beautifully refinished wood surface protected by Olympic Waterguard sealant and new paint coats.

Going forward, be sure to allow proper cure times before painting over water-based wood sealants like Waterguard. Prepping correctly and using compatible paints prevents adhesion issues.

Olympic Waterguard vs. Thompson’s Water Seal for Painting

Olympic Waterguard and Thompson’s Water Seal are two of the most popular water-repellent wood sealant products. How do they compare when it comes to painting over them?

Both products are water-based acrylic sealants designed to penetrate into exterior wood and repel moisture. This also makes them trickier to paint over compared to traditional oil-based products.

However, Thompson’s recommends waiting 14 days before painting over Water Seal while Olympic recommends 60+ days for Waterguard. So Olympic likely needs a bit more extended cure time.

Additionally, Thompson’s can be used under stains while Olympic recommends using Waterguard by itself.

Either product requires proper prep, full cure times, priming, and 100% acrylic latex paints for success. Strictly follow each manufacturer’s directions for painting over their specific wood sealant.


Painting over Olympic Waterguard wood sealant is possible but works best when:

  • The sealant is allowed full cure time – 60+ days for latex paints
  • The surface is properly prepped through cleaning, light sanding and priming
  • Only exterior-grade 100% acrylic latex paints are used
  • Waterguard is applied evenly in thin coats per the manufacturer’s directions

With proper prep work, allowing for full cure, and using compatible paints, Olympic Waterguard can be successfully painted over for long-lasting beauty and protection. Always check the product label for the most up-to-date directions.

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