Paint over varnish


  #1  
Old 06-15-01, 06:59 PM
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Several years ago I painted over some varnished woodwork. I don't know what kind of finish it was--just dark stained natural wood. I obviously didn't prep right because there has been a lot of chipping. I'd like to redo them now--what do I need to do to prep? Do I have to strip down to bare wood? At this point the latex is sort of half-on, half-off.
Thanks for any help.
 
  #2  
Old 06-16-01, 05:53 PM
Sonnie Layne
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Woodwork, chipping. Let's make sure you're talking about chipping and not peeling??? Also matters if the woodwork is subject to abuse, as in baseboards or casing along the edge of a doorway.
There are steps to follow, but let me know if it's truly a failing problem or just maybe not a tough enough finish.

thanks
Sonnie
 
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Old 06-16-01, 08:14 PM
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latex over varnish

Well, I'm not sure I know what the difference is between peeling and chipping. The door frames chipped a lot, and of course the baseboards also chipped, but flat areas of the paneled doors also showed damage. I tried scraping the doors yesterday and the paint came off in sheets, so I don't think it adhered very well. Do I need to get it all off, and if so, how? Can I use a heat gun or do I need chemical strippers? If so, my husband thinks it might be better just to replace the woodwork.
Thanks for the input.
 
  #4  
Old 06-17-01, 03:41 AM
Sonnie Layne
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OK, what you've described then sounds a bit like both. Peeling is what you described as coming off in sheets. Chipping is more umm like what? Like a chip on a porcelain sink or appliance or fingernail polish.

Now, to address the issue, it sounds like there wasn't a proper prep job done the last time the wood was painted. It's not uncommon, but it's not right, either. The paint is not bonded to the previous coating and should be removed. Having said that, it's not uncommon for this problem to be restricted to certain trim pieces or areas of the house. For instance the door and casing may have been dirty when last painted, but the base mould may be fine. Have a scrape around here and there. If it lifts all too easily, it'll need to be removed or your subsequent paints will only be "floating" as well.

Once you've determined how much of your trim is affected, you'll be able to determine if replacement would be efficatious. It's highly likely that if you have to resort to a heat gun, it's adhered well enough to past muster, but a heat gun may speed the process if used very carefully.

There are strippers that will do the job nicely with little or no caustic chemicals involved. Still, it's time consuming. Stripping a door by scraping might take you a few hours. You wouldn't save just a whole lot of time using a stripper by the time you include clean-up, rinsing, neutralizing etc.

As for the base and casing, if using a stripper, I'd highly recommend removing it and stripping it on sawhorses out-of-doors or in a work area inside. Goes much faster.

Now we've got the moulding off, on sawhorses, the question remains "Can I remove the bad coat of paint and refinish faster than I can cut new moulding and prime and finish?" OR "Can I cut and prime new mouldig faster than I can remove defective coating?" That would depend on your skills with a miter saw largely. I've done both. Usually I can provide you with new moulding cheaper because labour is such a large part of total expense.

If your home is in antiquity, it's possible you won't be able to replace the moulding to original profile. Something else to be considered. Most of the homes I work on are turn of the century to just post-depression. I typically strip and refinish because the moulding is no longer made and the cost of having knives made for my shaper and the cost of milling and the cost of comparable materials all add up quickly. I can typically save a client by having my apprentice set up shop and strip the stuff to bare wood, prime or seal, and reinstall.

As for the door, I'd scrape it in place. The rest is a determination you'll have to make. Hope I've armed you with enough info to make a decission you can live with. Just remember, don't be too quick to condemn all the mouldings throughout your home without testing them for proper adhesion.

Good Luck,
Sonnie

Sonnie C Layne Services
http://www.sonnielayne.com
 
 

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