Low VOC paint for woodwork

1 Nov 2020
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United Kingdom
Hello all,

So the house I bought had no internal doors in it (except for the bathroom - thank god!). The door frames have been painted in glossy white, in some places it's peeling off and I can see it's been painted on top of yellowish coat underneath.

I have bought primed softwood doors from Wickes to go into the existing frames (https://www.wickes.co.uk/Wickes-Marlow-White-Softwood-4-Panel-Shaker-Internal-Door/p/9000185440).

From what I gathered on other threads here, to paint over the existing paint on frames I need to wash it with sugar soap to remove all grease and dirt, key the surface with 180 grit sanding paper and then undercoat and top coat. Light sanding between each coat.

As the doors are new and primed, I believe it will be just undercoat and top coat with some light sanding in between.

Many people on here recomended Dulux Trade Satinwood for the top coat. As I understand it's an oil based paint with a strong smell that lingers for a while. We have a baby and would prefer not to use such a paint. So here go my questions:

1.What are good undercoat and top coat (satin or eggshell) options with low VOC for wood and MDF (I will be fitting new MDF architraves and skirting boards later)? Are there any drawbacks of using this paint instead of e.g. Zinsser Coverstain for undercoat and Dulux Satinwood for top coat?
2. Is my prep and painting sequence correct?
3. What grit sand paper do I need for sanding between the coats?
4. Is one coat of undercoat and 1-2 top coats enough or do I need 2 coats for undercoat?
5. Is it better to paint the frame and the doors before fitting the doors or will it get damaged too much and require touching up resulting in poorer finish?

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Wifey wanted a farrow and ball estate eggshell on our woodwork.
Its water based and has an A+ rating for interior air omissions. Can says its 8g/l of voc, when the eu max rating is 130g/l.
Personally, it didnt smell much or for long. Nothing like an oil gloss paint, almost pleasant. Wash brushes with water instead of spirits.
It does need 2 coats and decent prep.
Oh, it's also eye wateringly expensive.
Not sure if its worth the money just on those points, however, wifey is very happy. So worth it.

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