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Nivk 09-17-2011 09:22 PM

Repainting Peeling Trim
So, I'd like to repaint the interior of my house (~170 yrs old, I've been here for only 1yr) but I have a couple issues that I'm not sure how to deal with.

1) the surface layer of paint on much of the trim is currently peeling off in long rubbery strips. The can of paint used for this was left by the previous owner and is some sort of semi gloss latex from wal-mart. The layers below that (I counted 15 in one area) seem pretty solidly attached. I'm thinking of peeling/scraping the surface layer off then priming (I want to go from dark brown to off-white) and repainting, but I'd love to hear from anyone who has successfully dealt with an issue like this.

2) the walls are that wood veneer panelling (like the picture below but painted). The only issue with them is that there are gaps between the panels that need filling & I'm not sure what to use (wood putty, drywall putty, caulk?)

any advice is much appreciated!

jsheridan 09-18-2011 02:45 PM

It sounds like the last layer, the peeling one, was applied over unsanded/unprepped surface. That coat must be stripped off, it is not bonded, so any coat you put on top of it will bond to an unbonded layer, and both will continue to fail. If you use chemicals, it will cut into the good layers, so it is probably best to take it off dry, with scrapers and by peeling. Try taking some heavy tack tape, like masking or duct, and press some hard on the surface then tear it off to see if it takes the paint with it. Tedious, but.
As to the paneling, you can skim coat the keys with joint compound.
give the tape a shot and check back.

Brushjockey 09-18-2011 03:17 PM

If you want to fill the space between the panels, not the grooves, and they have any movement when pushed on at all- use caulk-

Might have to smooth with a putty knife to get it level- is a bit tricky, but it will flex rather than crack.
just an idea to work with..

Nivk 09-18-2011 07:54 PM

Great, Thanks guys. Some of the panels do have a little movement so I'll go with caulk & I like the tape idea. Will give that a shot before I sand the trim thoroughly. One more question about unsanded/unprepped surfaces though ...

What sort of prep would be recommended for a panel wall like this? I thought that paint stuck to paint pretty well and priming was only needed for raw surfaces or when going from dark to light. Can I just give them a quick once over with 100 grit or do I need to do something more involved? I wasn't planning on filling all the grooves so any surface sanding isn't going to get in there... is that going to be a problem?

Brushjockey 09-18-2011 08:04 PM

If the present paint is in good shape- a light sand for adhesion and to make smooth should be all you need- if you are going over a glossy oil with a waterborne coat, i also would put on an adhesion primer first. Makes that transition more secure.
Same is true if going over a clear varnish coat.
you will see that after the prime ( or first coat) that you probably will need to fill nail holes and stuff that you didn't see earlier.

jsheridan 09-18-2011 08:55 PM

Nivk, sorry, I thought you wanted spackle out the keys in the paneling. Caulk will be fine to fill the butt joints. I would just run the paper over the surface and not worry about sanding all the key detail. Brush, the paneling is already painted.

Nivk 09-18-2011 09:32 PM

Alright then, sounds like I have a plan. I'm pretty sure the surface layer on the wall is latex (at least it rubs off with alcohol if that's a reliable test) so I'll give it a light sanding and have at it. Thanks for the advice guys!

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