Varnished/shellacked wood trim?

Old 06-04-01, 07:01 AM
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I'm redoing a room, and want to paint the wood trim for the first time. The house is 40 years old, and all the trim still has it's original finish -- something clear, that lets the wood grain be seen.

I would like to use a high gloss white enamel paint (oil based) on this trim & the door. Will this work all right? Do I need some special primer or coating first, or is sanding lightly all that is needed?

Does it matter if the current finish is shellac or varnish? If so, how do I tell which it is? (Yes, I'm very new at this.)

Thank you for any advice.
Old 06-06-01, 06:39 PM
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SusanBeth, The longer I'm in this the more I hate to see old stained trim go under paint but I know stained trim is out. Regardless of what is on the trim now sand lightly with 220 grit sandpaper and prime with an oil primer like KILZ Original and that will be a great base to work with.....Mike
Old 06-06-01, 09:00 PM
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Thank you, Mike. I know what you mean by wood trim in general, but this is plain as can be and utterly charmless.

<adds oil primer to shopping list>

Old 06-06-01, 09:05 PM
Sonnie Layne
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Mike's right,

As long as you don't go with some exotic finish and the undercoat happens to be shellac...but... Mike, you'l be pleased to know the following:

In the process of painting interiors along with custom texture and removal of load bearing walls, and re-finishing oak flooring in this house, we discovered this weird lookin base moulding that wouldn't, because of it's shaping accept an oak shoe mould. Client and I decided to just rip out this weird looking base (I've never seen it before) and replace it with a more standard base and stained shoe moulding. Well,... we started pulling off the base and realized it was at one time a custom milled solid red oak moulding that had been painted with two coats of white latex enamel. Needless to say, we stripped the paint, laid the base back down on top of the freshly painted walls and freshly finished floors,... looks so damned good I wanted to move in!!!! Enlightening isn't it? I work on a lot of old properties and usually (not always) manage to salvage the original concept of interior finish. I'm lucky.

Your amigo,

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