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Old 02-18-2011, 02:11 PM   #1
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UN-painting wood trim in a California Craftsman!?


This may be a really stupid question (but as you can see, my name is TOTALN00B for a reason!). I'm looking at some early Craftsmans in my area that were victims of 1980s decorating, and unfortunately they have all had EVERYTHING inside of them painted in a gazillion layers of the same shade of bright white, including door frames and any of the moulding and built-ins that still remain in them. What I'd really like to do, rather than re-paint things like door frames in a different color, is have the walls painted in an appropriately Craftsman shade of neutral green, and then strip the paint on wooden things like door frames to reveal the wood underneath...and then stain them to make the wood nice and warm and contrast-y. But I have no idea what type of wood is underneath all those thick layers of white paint lathered on between 1900 and now, and I'm not sure whether this is a good idea....? But I love the look of traditional Craftsmans with wood trim inside. They have such nice open floor plans and big windows that they can handle a darker paint shade and look perfectly cozy. Thanks for any advice! The houses I'm looking at are pretty hideous right now!!! (I'm also thinking of replacing carpets and vinyl tile in kitchen with one of the less expensive natural bamboo flooring options. Trying to do it all as "green" as I can afford).

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Old 02-19-2011, 06:42 AM   #2
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UN-painting wood trim in a California Craftsman!?


Stripping years of paint off trim is very laborious and potentially deadly process. Besides the fumes from strippers, there is almost certainly lead based paint there. New EPA rules(typical government overkill) are very strict for handling lead paint, which drives the cost of renovations up considerably. Even replacing the trim becomes a major project, because of the possibility of lead dust contaminating the house.

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Old 02-19-2011, 06:54 PM   #3
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UN-painting wood trim in a California Craftsman!?


Like Just Bill says - removing paint is a BRUTAL process that in the end will give you a marginal surface for staining. If you have your heart set on staining, I would replace the trim. You may want to consider that some of the trim may have been painted originally. It wasn't uncommon back then to go with paint in some rooms and stain in others. That was the case in my house.

Also - under your carpet and vinyl, I would not be surprised at all to find hardwood.
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Old 02-20-2011, 07:46 AM   #4
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UN-painting wood trim in a California Craftsman!?


In your area--the wood is very likely white oak on the first floor and fir up stairs.

Oak strips very nicely,as the wood is dense and the paint seldom soaks into the pores of the wood.

Fir looks wonderful when reworked--however the fir will soak up the dissolved paint if over done.

I haven't done any serious paint stripping in 30 years---there are kits available that include a gauze
(fabric) that allow for pulling the paint off like a ladies wax job.

I've never used that but I've read about it.

As to the lead paint--breathing lead dust is a bad thing--avoid sanding--the paint remover slop is fairly safe if you wear gloves and dispose of the old materials properly.

Lots of work--do your homework about strippers.---Mike---
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Old 02-20-2011, 08:04 AM   #5
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UN-painting wood trim in a California Craftsman!?


Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
In your area--the wood is very likely white oak on the first floor and fir up stairs.

Oak strips very nicely,as the wood is dense and the paint seldom soaks into the pores of the wood.

Fir looks wonderful when reworked--however the fir will soak up the dissolved paint if over done.

I haven't done any serious paint stripping in 30 years---there are kits available that include a gauze
(fabric) that allow for pulling the paint off like a ladies wax job.

I've never used that but I've read about it.

As to the lead paint--breathing lead dust is a bad thing--avoid sanding--the paint remover slop is fairly safe if you wear gloves and dispose of the old materials properly.

Lots of work--do your homework about strippers.---Mike---
try getting that image out of you're head
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Old 02-20-2011, 04:49 PM   #6
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UN-painting wood trim in a California Craftsman!?


Quote:
Also - under your carpet and vinyl, I would not be surprised at all to find hardwood.
How can I tell if what's underneath the carpet, vinyl, and linoleum is a hardwood floor, or just the wood subfloor? I know this is probably a really stupid question, but I'm actually not sure how to tell...
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Old 02-21-2011, 06:07 AM   #7
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UN-painting wood trim in a California Craftsman!?


Find a floor vent--remove it and look---or look up from underneath see if you can find a hole in the subfloor--(skip sheeting)----Find a floor guy or carpenter and pay him for a good look over of the place.

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