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benbindersmith 04-13-2009 05:54 AM

Painting Oak Trim
I think I'll probably get a lot of grief for this, but we just bought a gorgeous house that is unfortunately drowning in oak. It's EVERYWHERE and it's just not my taste. It's too light and it overwhelms me. Should I just prime and paint it all? Would it be cheaper just to replace the baseboards and trim with white trim?
Also, I'm looking to have a wood counter in my bathroom and am having difficulty finding someone to do it. Can I do it myself? What kind of wood and what kind of sealer/finish? Thank you!!!

Chemist1961 04-13-2009 06:31 AM

Depending on the grain in your oak it may be impossible to make it dissapear under paint. While it seems like a waste we have painted over 30 year old oak cabinets and reduced the natural look for a bright clean kitchen.
Seems kind of odd to lose the oak elsewhere and install more wood in the bathroom, but I have a hunk of butcher block that I want to use for an island breakfast bar. I think I will stain it dark and seal it with varathane or similar.....

DangerMouse 04-13-2009 06:33 AM

hello and welcome to the forum! painting is for sure going to be cheaper than removing all the base and trim....
a wood countertop is do-able too, just be sure to waterproof it. i'd use a 2 part epoxy pour-on finish like you see in bars.......


benbindersmith 04-13-2009 07:32 AM

3 Attachment(s)
Thanks you all. I would use a dark mahogany color wood for the bathroom (which is upstairs). What kind of wood should I use? Any suggestions? I wonder if I can post pictures here?

DangerMouse 04-13-2009 07:55 AM

that's some nice woodwork...... personally, i wouldn't change it.
use whatever wood you want in the bath i guess, just be sure to waterproof it.


fun4me 04-13-2009 12:34 PM

We bought our home from a contractor who built in bulk, so our house's floor plan is the same as others in the area. We are differentiating our home by changing out the fixtures, changing the colors of the cabinets and the trim and updating countertops.

It was MUCH easier for us to buy the trim rather than sand the existing down and then paint it. You need to decide what is more valuable... saving a little money or saving your time. Our time was worth more to us. We also found molding for $3.64 for each 8 ft. so it wasn't outrageously expensive.

I agree with you on the oak. The darker colors are more modern and updated. We had blonde oak cabinets in the kitchen. We ended up taking them down, sanding them down to bare wood and restaining them a chocolate color. It was a long and dirty project, but turned out beautifully. Our friends did the same thing with theirs, but painted them instead. It turned out almost identical but with a lot less work. Live and learn

benbindersmith 04-13-2009 01:06 PM

Fun4me, do I have to sand the oak before I prime and paint it? Do I just need to rough it up or use a sander and the whole nine yards? Thank you!

Dana11 04-14-2009 06:02 AM


Originally Posted by benbindersmith (Post 259229)
Fun4me, do I have to sand the oak before I prime and paint it? Do I just need to rough it up or use a sander and the whole nine yards? Thank you!

Yes you have to sand it before prime the wood.

mark942 04-14-2009 02:59 PM


Originally Posted by benbindersmith (Post 259229)
Fun4me, do I have to sand the oak before I prime and paint it? Do I just need to rough it up or use a sander and the whole nine yards? Thank you!

The whole nine yards is the professional way to do it. Sand/Prime/Sand/1st coat/Sand/finish Coat..................:thumbsup:

Good Luck

Chemist1961 04-14-2009 06:06 PM

Nice oak but a lot of it. I just put down cherry flooring, then the wife picked a dark brown paint to do a pair of accent walls. The brown pulled up on the flooring and changed the whole room. My cherry is a similar shade to your oak.
Your's is pretty stark, very clean but stark but even another shade of wood will look stark against all the white. Why not paint the walls to tone down the contrast before you tackle all the wood

rnjsbungalow 04-14-2009 06:56 PM

My 2 cents? For resale purposes, some people really like the wood (me). What about stripping and re-staining it a very different color, such as dark brown? It would make the fireplace pop and highlight the lovely wood floors even more. I completely agree about the oak seeming too much... but for me that's more a reflection on the color of the oak, rather than the presence of the wood itself.

Good luck! Lovely home!

Maintenance 6 04-15-2009 07:27 AM

Changing the wall color to something other than pure white would take some of the emphasis off of the oak. You notice the amount of oak now because it's the only distinguishing feature.

wrangler 04-15-2009 09:52 AM

As long as we are chiming in... I have to agree with some of the others. The first thing I thought when I saw the wood was wow... looks very nice, but the white is a bit stark... a little 'too white'. As said before, I think if you changed the color to an antique white (is almost a like beige) it would blend better with what you already have. Then at resale, the natural wood is still there and could still be painted by the next buyer if so desired.

drtbk4ever 04-15-2009 01:47 PM

I agree with the other posters about changing up the wall colour.

Have a look at the fireplace photo. It looks like there are white painted wood panels on the walls on either side of the fireplace. They add some architectural interest to the walls but it is all kind of lost with all that white.

I would experiment with changing the baseboards and the other trim to a different colour too. Like painted white or something similar to complement the Oak and the painted walls.

Any comments on this idea?

fun4me 04-17-2009 08:53 PM

You do need to pick a paint color first and then decide. That would be the easiest way to do it. If you decide you don't want the oak then I would suggest pricing primed trim and save yourself the work. If you want to paint over it, then sand enough to "rough" up the surface, then paint. If you want to stain in, then you will need to sand all the way down to the wood, either using sandpaper or liquid sander (have never tried). Staining is a LOT of work and requires a lot of patience. Our kitchen cabinets were the color of your trim and we sanded those down. It took several sessions of staining to get them darker and then we had to wait a week to let it dry out. We tried to hurry the process with one of the doors and the polyurethane streaked the cabinets so had to start all over.

We tried to pick paints that complimented the oak and lived with it a bit, but still didn't like it. It felt too much like my parents home. We have a Menards store here and found a taller primed molding and used that. We painted that with white enamel and it looks GREAT. Our home is only 2100 sq. ft. so it wasn't too costly... yours looks a lot bigger. We tend to lean towards a bit more contemporary traditional so no oak in our home... we like the darker stains. One thing though... whatever you decide, carry it through your whole home. Hope this helps and good luck!

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