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Old 02-27-2012, 01:57 PM   #1
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Trying to paint a disastrous apartment


Ok, 1- I have painted a few apartments, in college, but you know... more beer than paint. That about sums it up.

Now, years later, I live in a small apartment, in San Francisco, that was so badly painted that it's ridiculous. Many thick layers of paints over everything, light switches, hardware on the cabinets, door hinges, FRENCH DOOR GLASS.

In the kitchen the walls were painted over the wallpaper, and it's peeling.

I'm not hoping to turn this into a castle, but I'm trying to figure out how to salvage all this to make it look decent without putting in a fortune. It's an apartment not my house.

Oh, and I have 2 cats and a dog, so I'm trying to avoid harmful chemicals as much as possible (though I can put them in boarding for a few days if needed, I'm that desperate).

1- Cabinets and doors: Can I somehow strip the paint off the hardware? Some of my cabinet doors have glass in them (not painted thankfully), I was going to just give the heat gun a shot, but with the glass...

The cabinets have about 1/4 inch thick of paint (at least) on them.. tell me I don't have to strip them completely...

2- Trims: This apartment is full of trims and moldings (that's what we love about it) which have been painted several times. Can I paint the trims without priming? They are white and will be white. That would save me a LOT of time and money.

3- Walls: Everything is white, but we're putting colors, again, can I do it without priming? I just feel like there's more than enough layers than you.

4- Wall paper peeling under the paint: What do I do? It's only the top part of the kitchen, but I'm having nightmares about trying to remove this and the mess it would create. I have no idea how to do it.

I can't afford to move so I am trying to make this look decent, and since I'm unemployed at the time, I can FINALLY put time on it.

Any help suggestions... I asked a few questions at Home Depot and apparently know more than the kid I talked to... and as you now know, I know nothing. Please?

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Old 02-27-2012, 03:45 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Willow_Kender View Post
Ok, 1- I have painted a few apartments, in college, but you know... more beer than paint. That about sums it up.

Now, years later, I live in a small apartment, in San Francisco, that was so badly painted that it's ridiculous. Many thick layers of paints over everything, light switches, hardware on the cabinets, door hinges, FRENCH DOOR GLASS.

In the kitchen the walls were painted over the wallpaper, and it's peeling.

I'm not hoping to turn this into a castle, but I'm trying to figure out how to salvage all this to make it look decent without putting in a fortune. It's an apartment not my house.

Oh, and I have 2 cats and a dog, so I'm trying to avoid harmful chemicals as much as possible (though I can put them in boarding for a few days if needed, I'm that desperate).

1- Cabinets and doors: Can I somehow strip the paint off the hardware? Some of my cabinet doors have glass in them (not painted thankfully), I was going to just give the heat gun a shot, but with the glass...
You could try some paint remover, but take them off and do a couple at a time. But, sometimes chemicals, even mild ones, will damage the hardware factory finish as well. You could try removing some at a time and spray paint them. Or live with them like that. Removing paint from hardware, especially hinges, is a PITA.

The cabinets have about 1/4 inch thick of paint (at least) on them.. tell me I don't have to strip them completely...
NO! You may have to do some heavy sanding however as that much paint interferes with the function of the doors, causing binding, sticking and pulling paint. In the past I've had to sand off a layer or two in select spots because my coats would put it over the edge and interfere with the free function.

2- Trims: This apartment is full of trims and moldings (that's what we love about it) which have been painted several times. Can I paint the trims without priming? They are white and will be white. That would save me a LOT of time and money.
All you need to do paint the trim is clean any grime off, give the surfaces a scuff sand with 100 grit paper, dust them off and paint, one/two coats of finish. Even sanding the trim is probably more prep than's ever be done before. You're being generous, it's probably layer upon layer of unbonded coats. I would be tempted personally to skip the sanding. No primer necessary.

3- Walls: Everything is white, but we're putting colors, again, can I do it without priming? I just feel like there's more than enough layers than you.
Do whatever patching you need to do, maybe spot prime the patches, and roll on one/two coats. Finished.

4- Wall paper peeling under the paint: What do I do? It's only the top part of the kitchen, but I'm having nightmares about trying to remove this and the mess it would create. I have no idea how to do it.
Get some wallpaper repair adhesive and tack it back down, repeat instuctions from step 3. Finished.

I can't afford to move so I am trying to make this look decent, and since I'm unemployed at the time, I can FINALLY put time on it.

Any help suggestions... I asked a few questions at Home Depot and apparently know more than the kid I talked to... and as you now know, I know nothing. Please?
Willow, welcome. I appreciate your concern about doing things properly, but stop. No heat guns or strippers, maybe a bulldozer. You don't own the place and don't owe the landlord any undue sweat equity, or the apartment any more love and tenderness than shown previously. You only need to pretty it up to enjoy while you're there. Clean it up, enjoy, and move on. That said, it's not going to be as hard as you think, or costly, as long as you think along the lines I point out. I'm going to insert my feedback above in red. If you venture off the advice, you'll have to reseal that can of worms yourself, trust me. Good Luck.
Joe


Last edited by jsheridan; 02-27-2012 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:19 PM   #3
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Trying to paint a disastrous apartment


It never even occurred to me that I could just stick the wallpaper back!

Thank you so much, that's exactly what I was looking for, to know that I could keep it simple.

You are right, it's not mine, and my main reason for seeking help is many testimony found about people who took on more than they thought, and then ended up with disaster on their hands.

I do not have the know how for "real renovation". Thank you for taking the time to set me straight

Will~
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:39 PM   #4
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Trying to paint a disastrous apartment


As to the hinges, it is almost always easier just to get new ones, they are cheap
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Old 02-27-2012, 05:17 PM   #5
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As to the hinges, it is almost always easier just to get new ones, they are cheap
Good point. I didn't even think of that. That makes more sense than taking them off to clean. Between chemicals and time, your spending more to clean or spray.
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Old 02-27-2012, 05:53 PM   #6
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Go to Kelly-Moore. There are four stores in the City. Ask abour Dura-Poxy. It is a high-performance acrylic that will adhere to har, dense, CLEAN surfaces. It is low-odor and pleasant to work with.
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Old 02-28-2012, 04:14 AM   #7
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Go to Kelly-Moore. There are four stores in the City. Ask abour Dura-Poxy. It is a high-performance acrylic that will adhere to har, dense, CLEAN surfaces. It is low-odor and pleasant to work with.
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Old 02-28-2012, 04:50 AM   #8
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It can't be THAT "hard" to figure out chris....

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Old 02-28-2012, 04:33 PM   #9
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It can't be THAT "hard" to figure out chris....

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Well, i did try, for awhile

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