We've gotten several questions about 1 Shot paint since we painted our French doors in their high gloss black last year, including this question from Andrew in Utah.

Hi, I was reading your post about painting your French doors. I am really interested in using the 1 Shot Paint. I am looking for an extremely high gloss durable mirror finish. Now that it has been up a few months, do you still like it? Any further information you could provide? Did you feel that the roller was better than the brush?

Thanks, Andrew

I think this is a great question, especially since it's been about six months since we painted. So we're answering this question for Andrew and any other people out there thinking about using 1 Shot on some of their outdoor projects.

Old Town Home's Answer

After spending so much effort on the various aspects of our salvaged French door project, the last thing we wanted to do was make a major paint misstep in the final stage of the project. Choosing a paint we had never worked with before, and one that had a very specific method of application to achieve a smooth finish, made me a little bit uneasy going into, but we figured it would be very unlike us if we didn't just take the plunge.

For those who don't know, 1 Shot paint is a very high gloss, oil based lettering enamel. We used it to paint our salvaged French doors in hopes of achieving a very shiny and reflective look, similar to London's 10 Downing Street. We wrote at length about the painting process last year, but didn't know exactly how it would turn out over time.

The results, especially when first completed, were wonderful. Though we were assured of the long term durability of the paint by the manufacturer, you are always worried if the product is truly "as advertised."

Now that we're roughly six months in, and the doors have seen both frigid winter and scorching summer temps (yep, it's been 100 degrees lately), I can report that we're still quite happy with the results.

We've experienced a few small cracks near the base of the doors due to expansion/contraction in the wood, but nothing too substantial. I think the bottom of the doors take the most abuse form the sun and any splashing rain, so this isn't completely surprising. We'll probably end up putting another coat on the flat portions a bit later this summer, just to fill in the cracks and seal them all up. But I'm looking at this as normal maintenance that could have been prevented if I had done one or two things differently with the project.

The main thing I would do differently the next time around is use a simple, tinted primer. The cracks we're seeing aren't down to the wood, but just down to the primer, so we see little white streaks from behind the top coat. If we had used a black tinted primer I don't think we would even notice anything. The primer we used was new to us, but I now know you can tint it if desired.

The second item is a bit more significant in the prep stage, but I didn't know about it at the time. I believe the cracks are showing up due to growing and shrinking in the dry wood. Since we painted these doors, I've learned you can treat the wood with a 50/50 mix of boiled linseed oil and high quality turpentine. This mixture can then be painted onto the wood and will be sucked right in, making the wood far more stable and able to accept paint without cracking in severe outdoor conditions.

I think if I had treated the doors with this mixture before sanding and painting, the small cracks we've seen probably would have never shown their face on our street. Unfortunately, I didn't have this insight at the time, so now I'll just have to maintain the paint like any homeowner would. But you can still see how reflective the paint is given I'm clearly taking a photo with my iPhone in my green soccer shorts and a blue t-shirt.

As far as the 1 Shot in comparison with the Bejamim Moore Alkyd high gloss paint, it is definitely more glossy and reflective, but must be applied flat, so you have to take your door down to paint, and give it 24 to 48 hours to dry. We painted the Benjamin Moore on another door (actually our garden gate), and have noticed a similar number if cracks over the same amount of time on that door, so I don't think the cracking is the fault of the 1 Shot specifically.

I hope this info is of help to you in your decision making process, Andrew, and that you'll come back to share with us what decision you ended up going with and the end results of your labor. And don't forget, if your goal is a perfectly smooth and reflective finish, much of your result comes from the methods you use to apply the paint. A few weeks ago we did a pretty lengthy writeup on how to achieve that perfectly smooth finish, and it might be worth a read.

Has anyone else out there tried 1 Shot on an exterior project and have any details on how it's held up over time? I know I had a hard time finding anything when we were first researching the paint.

Disclaimer: Ask Old Town Home is meant simply as a friendly bit of advice and is provided free of charge. It is your responsibility to fully research any and all items related to projects or suggestions to ensure proper safety and code precautions and regulations are fully followed. In other words, any advice we provide is just our opinion, and our opinion is only worth the price we charge for it. :-)

Comments 7


6/24/2012 at 3:35 PM
Thanks for the info!
Glad to help. Good luck with your project!
6/24/2012 at 7:08 PM
I just love your site and I LOVE LOVE your home its so my style!
Thank you so much!!
6/25/2012 at 1:52 PM
I'd never heard the linseed/turpentine trick before! Good.to.know.
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