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Lovegasoline 09-11-2009 06:56 PM

Priming Interior Wood Doors
I'm about to undertake the priming/painting of 4 interior wood doors. These are 80 yr. old solid wood panel(rail & stile) doors in my apartment of 25 years).

These doors had lots of paint on them. I peeled off one thick paint layer on all the doors, it come off pretty easily almost like a sheet of rubber. It released some fine dust when it was peeled from the underlayer of paint. I assume this was latex paint over top older oil paint, without a primer and having a poor bond.

One door I did this 'peel' thing, then I stripped the paint completely off one door side and two ends using a scraper and also paint stripper (one door side still has old paint) and that is now down raw wood. Crazy work and likely lead paint. The other side of this door had the paint 'peel' job done, this surface is in the bathroom.

The rest of all the door surfaces have layers of older paint. I ran the random orbit sander lightly over them with the vac attached to remove the dusty surface, smooth out the paint just a touch, and give it some tooth for a prime coat. I forgot which, but either used an 80 or 100 grit paper on the ROS...again, a very fast light pass of the sander.

So I am priming three doors with older paint (assumed to be latex) and the side of one raw wood door. I have a Zinser 1-2-3 primer and Purdy brushes.
I will prime coat my rooms doors, door frames, molding, & window frames, with the Zinser 1-2-3, then top coat with Benjamin Moore Satin/low luster Impervo (waterbase).

My questions:
1) should I rough up the old paint on the door a bit more before priming with either a coarser paper in the ROS or by hand? Necessary to clean the door with any solution prior to priming?
2) Is Zinser 1-2-3 OK for use on the raw wood surfaces (door side, window frames, etc). Recommended final sand grit prior to priming?
3) is it recommended to sand the prime coat prior to the top coat? If yes, which grit?
4) Also, do you lightly sand between the first and 2nd coat of Impervo topcoat?

Thanks a bunch!

Matthewt1970 09-11-2009 11:13 PM

If it was me I would prime all the bare wood with oil. It will penetrate and bond better, last longer, and latex primer does very little to stop wood tannin bleeding. Latex can also lift the grain of the wood and then harden not allowing it to return to normal.

chrisn 09-12-2009 04:37 AM

In a perfect world, Matthew is right, but what you have done will work fine. If the 123 raises the grain slightly, let it dry and lightly sand it down and paint away. If you have the opportunity to have your doors flat when painting the impervo it will be a big help with the runs, and you WILL get them, just the nature of the paint.

Lovegasoline 09-12-2009 12:42 PM

Thanks for the insights.

I may be able to remove the doors (plus it would help dal with the huge bulk of old paint in the hinges that should be stripped anyway).

I bought a gallon of the Zinser 1-2-3 to prime all the woodwork/trim (baseboard and picture rail wall molding is already primed). However that isn't set in stone if a better solution exists. Stripping and prepping has been a huge amount of work in this 80 year old rental apartment and I'd rather not have to repeat it on this scale down the road (yes, it's a rental, but I've been here 25 yrs. and will likely be here another 25). On the raw wood I can always raise the grain/knock it back and/or sand after priming.

If you suggest an oil primer for the raw wood, what product? Even though oil, it will accept an acrylic topcoat, correct? What is the approx. dry time before top coating oil primer with acrylic-base Impervo?

Also, I just now did the alcohol test to confirm the old, under layers of paint on the doors are in fact oil paint...this is the layer revealed after I stripped the latex paint off and this is what the primer will be applied to (as well as the raw wood areas). However, for this project, there are some small areas like the inside of closet doors and some parts of door jambs for example, where I am not going to the trouble to do any stripping....they still have the thick latex paint which is currently 'stable'. Will an oil primer work on these areas as well?

One last question: I have not bought the trim/door paint yet. Is the oil base Impervo generally considered superior to the acrylic Impervo for the window frames, doors, and trim?

I'm an artist-oil painter (canvases, that sort of artist) so I'm mindful of fat-over-lean for paint layers. I also have a background in furniture building and finishing. But latex paint, latex primes, and also oil primers on raw wood/old paint are materials I'm not familiar with. I have no health issue using oil Impervo if it is better suited for the task.


Lovegasoline 09-12-2009 12:52 PM

Since we are on the topic and I have incrementally upped my time investment on this project, I have a related question.

The doors and window frames, as I've said, have lots of paint on them. I have undertaken a two part strategy to stripping them, dependent on their location.

1) total strip down to raw wood: window frames, one door side, wall/baseboard molding (36,000 man hrs!)
2) stripped off the thick latex paint layers only. What is left is older thick oil paint layers.

Now, the areas where there's still the thick oil paint, it has chipped in areas. This has occurred on some door edges, etc. Is there a way to fill these chips in to smooth out the door? I was thinking wood filler, but I'm not sure that will hold as door take a bit of a pounding.
In a day or two, I'm going to use some Bondo to rebuild the interior window sill where it has rotted out near the window. As long as I am using it, maybe I can patch some small chips on the doors with it.

Any suggestions?

Matthewt1970 09-12-2009 02:16 PM

If you are taking all that time to strip the wood, you really want the best primer you can get. I recommend Zinsser's Cover Stain Oil. It dries realatively quick but still stays wet long enough for good penetration. Yes, you can paint latex over the oil primer.

Spackle will work in some spots but it will tend to fail if used to smooth out boards. Especially on an exterior. You are on an interior, so it will be a little more forgiving. Spackle will tend to flex somewhat more than wood filler so it will be a little better on painted surfaces as the paint underneath it will be flexing with changes in humidity and temperature. Sand the spots if You can to feather them in and then see what may or may not need spackling after priming.

Lovegasoline 09-12-2009 03:48 PM

Zinsser's Cover Stain Oil sounds good.

What grit is recommended to final sand the raw wood and also the old oil coat finish, before applying primer (either hand sand or with ROS)?

Can this primer be painted over latex paint? SOme small areas in the jambs, etc. still have latex paint I have not stripped and can't strip. Or should the Zinsser 1-2-3 be used for applications over latex?

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