Time and constant use can wear out even the hardest wood. The paint starts fading and cracks and scratches start appearing on the woodwork. This is especially true in case of wood trim as the elaborate design and carvings on them can lose their glory in a few years time. Since, trims fulfill the function of borders and frames, they are the first to catch the eye. Changing them in every few years is not a viable option, as apart from the cost involved it also requires a lot of labor. The best you can do so it to give it a new coat of paint. However, before you take up the paintbrush it is necessary that you know a few things. First, if you simply paint over the old paint then in a few months time the new paint will start developing cracks, and in some cases will start peeling off. Second, the wood trim must have developed numerous blemishes, which should be treated effectively, so that after applying paint the woodwork looks as fresh as new. If you don’t take all these trouble then the basic purpose of painting the trim, that is to give the house a new look, won’t be met. The whole process looks huge but it is in fact not as time consuming as say, painting your house or remodeling your kitchen. To help you repaint the wood trim, read below to know more on how you can go about it.
Tips On Repainting Wood Trim
- The first step is to prepare the trim for the repainting. If you do not remove the existing paint then the new paint won’t last long. So, you will have to prepare the trim so that it is free of paint residue and gloss.
- Soak a scrub sponge in non-soapy detergent and then wash the trim with up and down strokes so that the grime is removed.
- Now, if there are any stains in the trim then use stain removers to remove them. If the stain removers are ineffective then you can cover the stains with a stain-blocking primer.
- Take sandpaper, preferably one that is clog-resistant. Use the sandpaper on the trim to smoothen the surface and remove the shine. It is better to use a fine 180 grit sandpaper. If there are any imperfections like globs of paint on the trim then you can use a 120-grit sandpaper to smooth those.
- To smoothen the crevices that are hard to reach with a sandpaper, you can use a sanding sponge. The sanding sponge can reach the curves and crevices and so smooth them. You can also do the same task by folding the sandpaper and applying finger pressure on the corners and crevices.
- You can check to see if the old paint will hold by scratching the old paint with a razor blade. Then put a duct tape over the scratch and then pull hard to remove the tape. If any paint sticks to the paint then you will have to remove the old paint. If no paint adheres to the tape then you can repaint over the old paint.
- To remove the old paint you can either use commercial paint removers or scrape the paint with a carbide-blade scraper. Use the paint remover according to instructions. As for the carbide blade, you should pull the scraper in the direction of the wood grain and rake the paint off. It is also better to scrape the detailed areas of the trim with a putty knife.
- Now, clean the dust from the trim with a wet cloth or a vacuum brush. Use a paintbrush to remove the dust from the crevices and corners.
- Check for any flaws in the trim by shining bright light across the wood surface. In this way, you can detect any rough edges or loose paint. With a pencil, mark those areas.
- If there are any cracks or fissures in the trim then you should fill them with a spackling compound. If you use a heavy coat of paint on the cracks then the areas will reopen after the paint dries up. Use a putty knife to press the spackling compound into the cracks.
- If you find any damaged corners in the trim then use a two-part wood filler to mend those corners.
- Then apply a thin bead of caulk into the crack where the wood touches the wall. Using a putty knife remove all the extra caulk.
- Use a sandpaper to smooth all the filled up areas and then dust with a paintbrush. Then wipe with a wet cloth if you are using a water-based paint. For oil-based paint, you can use a tack cloth to wipe the trim.
- Now paint the trim as you would paint a normal woodwork.