Historic Resources Committee

Renaissance Schallaburg Figures in a facade

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The mission of the Historic Resources Committee (HRC) is to identify, understand, and preserve architectural heritage, both nationally and internationally. HRC is engaged in promoting the role of the historic architect within the profession through the development of information and knowledge among members, allied professional organizations, and the public.

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Mad Dog primer

  • 1.  Mad Dog primer

    Posted 08-26-2019 08:51
    The painter for a historic house in Baltimore has proposed using Mad Dog Primer. He described the product as a combination paint and glue that is good for bonding to layers of old paint. This is a new product for me - any recommendations pro or con?

    Ward Bucher AIA
    Encore Sustainable Design LLC
    Baltimore MD
    20.09.24 John Parkinson AIAU course

  • 2.  RE: Mad Dog primer

    Posted 08-27-2019 17:35
    I don't know about "Mad Dog" but we have used several primers that do just that. PPG makes a product nationally available called "REZ Permanizer Plus" that I specify on spongy, weathered wood. In my opinion it is a better preservation answer than sanding to sound wood, or replacement of the member, either of which would be recommended by most paint manufacturers. Without removing the deteriorated wood fibers a typical primer – latex or alkyd – will only give the topcoat a few years before it fails. The penetrating nature of a remedial primer provides a good sound base for paint.

    Robert Graham AIA
    Motley Design Group LLC
    Phoenix AZ

    20.09.24 John Parkinson AIAU course

  • 3.  RE: Mad Dog primer

    Posted 08-28-2019 10:03
    The product description seems to have more advantages for the painter than for the historic house.  

    Painters do not want call backs, so their motivations are driven by their needs.  Glue in a primer may compensate for inadequate surface prep, or reduce the likelihood of further alligatoring pushing off the new paint, or help encapsulate old lead paint.

    And, once applied, how will it affect subsequent painting cycles?  Will it bond strongly to exposed wood and be difficult to remove?

    I would first ask why the painter is recommending the product, then decide if it is the best interest of the project.

    John A. Burns, FAIA, FAPT, LEED® AP
    Chief Appeals Officer, Cultural Resources
    Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program
    National Park Service
    1849 C Street NW, Mail Stop 7508
    Washington, DC 20005
    Voice:  202-354-2118
    FAX:  202-371-1767

    The National Park Service cares for special places 
    saved by the American people so that all may 
    experience our heritage.


    20.09.24 John Parkinson AIAU course