Needed: Advice on repainting ugly dark trim in newly bought house.
March 9, 2015 11:33 AM   Subscribe

We did the final walk through of the house we bought. Yay! And now that it's approaching emptiness, it's time to plan a paint job. Difficulty: dark glossy old trim.

So yes, we're closing tomorrow, moving in at the end of the month (some other renovation work is being done which is why we have time to paint with no worries about furniture or cats), and yeah, I cannot stand the wall colours in any capacity in my new living/dining room areas.

The house is over a hundred years old, in pretty great shape, but the people we bought it from really leaned toward the very Gothy side of things in terms of decoration. (The master loft bedroom has black velvet flocked wallpaper, which I sort of dig, being a former Goth myself.) Lots of dark red curtains, cream-coloured walls, and all the trim is in dark, nearly black, brown colour. We want to spackle/clean/primer everything white so as to figure out our own eventual colour palette. Stripping the trim is not an option because it is very very likely that there is old lead paint under all that heavy dark gloss. I cannot afford to get it professionally stripped, so I need to add--sigh--yet another layer of much much much lighter paint over everything.

What is the best way to do this? Sand the old trim gently to get it ready for some primer? Hope me, Hive Mind, as this is the first house I have ever owned and I have a lot of time before moving all our crap in to get the paint job right.

Pictures of the said living/dining room area here.
posted by Kitteh to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'd probably hit the trim with a coat of degloss (aka "liquid sander", like this stuff), then a coat or two of Zinsser B-I-N, which can cover up ANYTHING, theeeeeeeen your paint of choice. You may want to rent a paint sprayer for this, because you're talking a bare minimum of four or five coats of various fluids on a lot of non-flat surfaces and that sounds rather crazy-making.
posted by julthumbscrew at 11:40 AM on March 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

We had almost exactly the same situation (old house, dark moldings) except add in lots of dark burgundy and pink walls, a clothes closet painted inside with flat, black paint (wtf?), it was like living inside a bavarian chocolate cake/serial killer's lair and my feet ache just thinking about it.

For the trim, a light sanding where needed and then a deglosser should prep the area. You don't need primer, just get a good quality paint like Benjamin Moore or Pratt and Lambert and you should get good coverage with a minimum of a couple coats of paint.
posted by nanook at 11:42 AM on March 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

I am doing EXACTLY this as we speak, like literally I am posting this on a break while I wait for a skim coat to dry. My trim was BLACK (on brown walls! what the hell?!) and I'm painting it creamy white.

You should *probably* be fine with a sand-prime-caulk-two coats of paint deal for trim. I do prime trim because it makes it easier to caulk.

Speaking of which, dark walls and trim might be preference for the sufficiently Goth-y, but it's oh so convenient how they also happen to hide faults, especially in old houses. When I went to finally repaint paint my hundred-year-old bungalow, I discovered that there would be a LOT more prep than I had planned if I wanted to paint any other color than devil's food cake. Use a work light and go over all the walls and trim; mark faulty spots with tape and decide if you just need to patch or if it's bad enough that you need to put on a skim coat. Or if you should go ahead and paint in a non-white color now so you can get away with a less perfect patch job.
posted by peachfuzz at 1:07 PM on March 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

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