Scraping paint.
May 7, 2009 4:17 PM   Subscribe

How will I know when I'm done scraping the paint off of this window molding? What are the final steps before painting?

I've been using a combination of a stripper and scraping to remove paint from a reasonably ornate window molding. Some areas are bare wood, some are close, and some still have several layers of paint on them. Do I need to go to bare wood all over, or is some paint left ok as long as there aren't abrupt level transitions between areas?

My assumption has been that the final step will be to use a coarse grit paper to get rid of any leftover paint nubbins. What is the best way to clean off all the paint dust after that? Should I be doing something else?

The whole will be repainted with latex primer and enamel.
posted by OmieWise to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you have gone that far you should probably finish the job and go to bare wood, since if you can see any bumps later you will hate yourself for cutting corners. If you're tired of all the sanding, take a day off and go back to it later. You can use a file for getting into the tricky inside-corners.

As for the dust... a damp sponge, plain water, and then some drying time. Water won't hurt wood (obviously) as long as you give it time to dry.
posted by rokusan at 4:27 PM on May 7, 2009

Invest in a Black and Decker Mouse...and several grades of sandpaper. These things are just brilliant. They have a little point so you get in the corners and save you tons of arm work..You'll be amazed at how much faster it goes and you will find yourself using it for all sorts of sanding projects.
posted by AuntieRuth at 4:35 PM on May 7, 2009

ummm... just to let you know, if this is an old (older than the 80's) ornate painted window it almost certainly has lead paint at some level... you need to be wearing a mask when you sand, and be totally anal about clean-up. there are lots of guides about how to deal with lead paint: GO READ ONE!

also, i wouldn't feel the need to go all the way to wood, just so what remains is flat and mechanically solid, i.e. no flaking off the wood or bubbling etc. make sure to neutralize the stripper before you prime.
posted by geos at 4:41 PM on May 7, 2009

let me repeat, especially if you feel compelled to sand:

this can give you and your loved ones or your neighbors loved ones instant lead poising, especially if you are using an electric sander. please be smart about this.
posted by geos at 4:43 PM on May 7, 2009

I've taken all the proper lead containment measures.
posted by OmieWise at 6:01 PM on May 7, 2009

After you've stripped all the paint, sand with 100 or 120 grit sandpaper. Then after you've put a coat of primer on there, sand again lightly with 220 since the primer will raise the grain on the bare wood, especially if your using a water based primer.
posted by octothorpe at 7:33 PM on May 7, 2009

If the stripper took some parts down to bare wood, I'd wash it down before painting to make sure none of the stripper chemicals were still on/in the wood. 2nding the Black & Decker Mouse. I have something like that with all different shapes for getting into concave mouldings which saved me countless hours even if the sandpaper is pricey.
posted by x46 at 7:48 AM on May 8, 2009

I would use thinner rather than water to wash it. Water will raise the grain and you will have to sand again. I probably would not go for 100% of the paint, but would smooth and feather the transition between paint bare wood. Buy a really high quality primer and do two coats, sanding lightly between coats.
posted by LarryC at 9:42 PM on May 8, 2009

I used a green scrubbie to make the first pass at the paint flakes before sanding. It worked like a charm.
posted by OmieWise at 2:55 PM on June 7, 2009

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