Weather strip sticks to paint on door

Does the weatherstripping stick to the paint on your door?

Weatherstripping is certainly not glamorous like fancy doors or hardware but it’s a very important part of a quality door installation. Most of the time in new construction we use a product called kerf style or kerf applied weatherstripping. It seals very well and does not stick to paint but it can only be used in new construction because the door jambs have to be modified to accept the product.

The weather strip that we are talking about was used before they invented the kerf weatherstrip described above.  It would have been installed on exterior doors that were installed before about 1990.  It is called jamb-up, jamb applied or stop applied weatherstrip. It is cut to length and installed pressed against the door with a vinyl bulb to create the weatherseal.  It’s this vinyl bulb that causes the problem.

The important thing to know is that the standard vinyl bulb that comes with this type of weatherstrip sticks to the latex enamels that most people use today. It doesn’t make any difference how long the paint dries, the vinyl bulb interacts with the latex paint (especially during warm weather), sticks to it and peels off the paint that it touches.  It’s this vinyl bulb that causes the sticking.

Very common problem with a simple solution. Two companies that I know of make this item with an optional silicone bulb. The silicone bulb does not stick to latex paint and as an added bonus provides a better weatherseal than the vinyl. I have been using this product for several years with excellent results.

The two manufacturers are:
Columbia Aluminum Products the part # is 320S
Pemko Manufacturing The part # is 297S

This is a picture of this product and some of the available finishes.
weatherstrp sample picture

If you live near San Luis Obispo, California you can purchase the Columbia product from me if you like. Otherwise you should be able to special order one or the other from a quality local hardware store near you…Probably not a big box store.

I hope that helps!

14 Responses to “Weather strip sticks to paint on door”

  1. Marcia says:

    I’ve read your info on why my newly painted front door (latex paint) is peeling. I’ve also called around locally (Thousand Oaks) for the silcone weather stripping to replace the existing one. So far, no luck. Question: Do I have to replace the entire weather stripping, or just the “bulb” ? And, can I buy it from you, as so far I’ve called three places and can’t find it. Thanks, Marcia

    • TheDoorGuy says:

      Hi Marcia,
      Thank you for your inquiry.
      Can you send me a clear picture of the weatherstripping that you have?
      I can tell by looking at it if it is the one that I use.
      If it is, you can replace the bulb.
      Getting it to you would be a bit of a pain….
      I am not really set up for mail order stuff.
      You should be able to special order the Pemko product through a local full service door shop
      or an Ace or True Value Hardware.
      Please write with any more ?
      Thanks again!
      RC/DG
      BTW….I lived in Lynn Ranch from about 1957 to 1962….My parents bought one
      of the first houses in the development….It was wide open spaces then!

  2. George says:

    Hello,

    I read your advice on weather strip that sticks to and pulls latex paint off a door. I am having the same problem – except my door is not painted with latex it is covered with oil base polyurethane, the finish is at least 10 years old. It started when I replaced the weather stripping with the vinyl bulb type. It pulled the varnish off only certain areas, and feels very sticky on hot days. Do you think I installed it too tight? And why would the strip actually feel sticky?

    Thanks for any advice, will be waiting to hear from you before I try to install the weather strip again.

    George

    • TheDoorGuy says:

      Hi George,
      Thank you for your inquiry.
      If you are certain that the door is finished with oil base urethane I am not sure what is causing the problem. The vinyl bulb on standard inexpensive weatherstripping does not usually stick to oil base products. While a too tight installation certainly contributes to this problem I think in your case that the bulb itself is defective or just an inferior product. I think this is the case because you say that the bulb itself feels sticky…This is not normal!
      You can try to address the stickiness by rubbing some vaseline on the bulb. I don’t really like this solution because it is temporary and kind of messy.
      I would suggest treating yourself to a set of the silicone bulb weatherstripping that I describe above. A local Ace or Tru value hardware store or a lumber yard or door shop should be able to order the Pemko product for you . A big box store would be less helpful because they do not usually carry Pemko products. Plus, I like to support small business anyway! :) It might cost about $50 but it has always solved the problem for me for the 12 or 13 years that I have been using it. I use the Columbia product but they are not quite as well known as the Pemko company.
      Once again, regarding installation: Press the weatherstrip gently against the door when you install it. Put screws in every other hole and check your work by opening and closing the door. You don’t want to see the bulb getting crushed by the door especially on the hinge side. Check to be sure that you are blocking out the light as you go and before you install all of the screws.
      I hope that helps a bit….Please re-comment with any more questions.
      RC/DG

  3. Gerry K says:

    Hi Richard,

    My name is Gerry and I live in L.A.

    It’s time to re-do the jamb-up weatherstripping (metal frame with vinyl/silicone bulb) on my front door. I’m doing it because all of the hardware (knobs, locks, and other decorative elements) in our building has been changed to the now-more-popular silver/brushed chrome/nickel look and the weatherstripping around my door is brass-colored.

    Here are my 2 questions:

    1) If I want to replace the brass jamb-up weatherstripping kit with a silver-colored jamb-up weatherstripping kit, do you have any helpful hints? [I have read elsewhere on your site that I should get a silicone bulb instead of a vinyl one to prevent the paint-peeling that happens with vinyl, so I’m glad for that tip.)

    Here are a few kits that I like the look of:

    I like this one because the silicone bulb looks silver colored- that’s a nice touch: http://www.niagaraconservation.com/Door%20Sweeps,%20Aluminum%20Door%20Weatherstripping%20Replacement%20&%20Vinyl%20Door%20Sweeps?object=5253

    I don’t like how this one looks as much- but it mentions a feature called a “back seal” which apparently does away with the need for caulking? http://www.amconservationgroup.com/weatherization/weatherstrip/silicone-bulb-weatherstrip/the-wright-stuff-silicone-door-weatherstrip.html

    Elsewhere on this site you yourself have recommended
    Columbia Aluminum Products part # is 320S and
    Pemko Manufacturing part # is 297S

    ========

    2- It seems like the newer style of weatherstripping is called “kerf” style. Would it be practical/impractical/possible to try to switch to that style? Other buzzwords that I’m coming up with when I search this topic are “conservation technologies” “Q-Lon” and “Interlocking Metal.”

    Which should I do (I bet you’ll say just to do option #1) but then, which jamb-up kit should I pick? What about the various options in #2? And what are the approximate prices of each?

    I wrote this to you in an email, but you asked me to ask you on your blog.

    Thank you very much,
    GERRY

    • TheDoorGuy says:

      Hi Gerry,
      Well, you found a couple of sources that I did not know about….Thanks for sharing! They are both saying the right things. The silicone bulb is very important for this type of application because it does not stick to latex paint which is what almost all painters use now. The silicone bulb is usually a bit softer and more pliable than the vinyl bulb and will create a better seal against the door. Looks like the AM company requires a minimum purchase but it would not hurt to call. The back seal is a part of the bulb that extends around behind the aluminum part of the weatherstrip. It seals against the door jamb as it is screwed into place. Most of the better jamb up systems have this feature. Here is a picture that might help a bit: Weatherstripping cut away view . The Columbia product is the one that I have used for many years and have had consistent success with. You should be able to order either Pemko system or possibly the Columbia product from a quality hardware store or lumber yard. Don’t bother with big box store for this one.
      Question # 2: The kerf style (Q lon) weatherstrip is the modern product that we use in almost all new residential door installations. Unfortunately it does not lend itself to your situation because it requires about 3/8″ of space and a groove to attach the fin of the weatherstrip. Here is a picture that might help you visualize this a bit better: Kerf style weatherstrip installation . The interlocking metal system that you mentioned requires special tools to install and is pretty unforgiving as the building settles and shifts. I am sure that it is still in use but I don’t see much of it at all. Another solution for a concealed product that works well is a stick on silicone v product that installs inside the part of the jamb where the door is located. You peel of the backing paper and attach it to door jamb near the stop. The flap on it pops out and presses against the edge of the door to create a seal. It is a good alternative if you do not want to see the weatherstrip screwed to the door stop area. Here is a picture of the insert that comes in the package: Pemko stick on silicone V flex weatherstripping . You should be able to order this fairly easily at the quality hardware store that I alluded to earlier.
      Between the two viable alternatives that I have outlined above, I would say that you will probably get a little better seal from the silicone bulb screw on type of weatherstripping and the Pemko S44 makes for a cleaner installation. Both would probably serve you well. I don’t talk about pricing on anything because it varies in different areas.

      Thanks for contacting me and I hope that helps a bit!
      RC/DG

  4. dave says:

    Does the above apply to rubber weather strip or just vinyl? I have not seen anything but a single strip of rubber on garage door here in Florida.

    • TheDoorGuy says:

      Hi Dave,
      My article and comments below only apply to weatherstrip on pedestrian doors….Swinging doors that you walk through. It looks like your question might be concerning weatherstrip on roll up overhead garage doors. If that is the case, I do not have much info to share with you.
      I did find an online forum that might help:
      http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=192172 . If the posted comments don’t help, you could register and ask your own question.
      Another approach might be to check with an established overhead door company in your area and see if they will sell you a quality product for you to install.
      I hope this helps, if your question IS about “people doors” . Please repost and we can bat it around a little more.
      Best of luck with project!
      RC/DG

  5. Dan says:

    I purchased what I was told was silicon weather stripping from the local ACE hardware, but the manufacturer is MD Building Products, Oklahoma City (#MD01073). The door sticks worse than before. Was I misled?

    • TheDoorGuy says:

      Hi Dan,
      To my knowledge MD does not offer a silicon bulb for their weatherstrip, only vinyl. That darn vinyl bulb will always stick to the latex paint. It doesn’t have anything to do with letting the paint dry for a certain amount of time (Even a month). It’s some type of interaction between the latex and vinyl. Seems to happen after it warms up a bit.
      Two companies that sell professional grade weatherseal products are Pemko and Columbia Aluminum Products.
      Here are the part #s:
      Pemko 297_S
      Columbia 320_S
      The finish code goes where the underscore is.
      Perhaps you could return that MD stuff for credit and have them order one of these two. Pemko will be more readily available. I use all Columbia products in my work and have never had a problem with sticking.
      Best of luck with fixing that really annoying problem!
      RC/DG

      • Dan says:

        RC/DG:
        While awaiting your answer, I called MD’s Customer Service line. They were quite helpful and said that they don’t make a product with a silicon bulb. The gentleman went further to explain the interaction (chemical) between the vinyl and the latex paint. He recommended a special order of their EPDM Rubber bulb product through Lowe’s or HD.
        I’m doing this research for my daughter and son-in-law in Mill Valley, CA, and this may take some time. I’ll keep trying to find the Pemko 297_S or Columbia 320_S, which sounds like the safest bet.
        Thanks.
        Dan Bergtholdt

        • TheDoorGuy says:

          Hi Dan,
          I don’t understand the chemistry of it but it’s real.
          You will be far better off using professional grade products from Pemko or Columbia.
          Best of luck, Sir!

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