Painting over stained / varnished skirting boards

9 Dec 2011
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United Kingdom

Not long moved into a house, all the skirting and door frames are a mahogany colour and I've been told this just won't do ! :eek:

I've sanded one back in the garage where I can experiment and they seem to be a sort of MDF moulding. I can't tell if it's varnish or stain. It's not overly glossy looking like I imagine varnish should be so it's probably stained. I've never stained MDF before so I'm unsure of what the finish would be like !

Anyway I need to paint over them with a white paint. What would be the best method of getting a good finish that'll stick well to the boards ?!

What white paint also, I've been reading some yellow after a while indoors. What would be a good finish, I'm not fussy on gloss and she doesn't like matt, is there a happy inbetween ?

Sorry for all that !

Thanks !
Mark :D
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Two coats of crown solo satinwood will do the job.

Yep, assuming the material is MDF I'd go along with ic1927, but some people can confuse MDF with some hardwoods because they have very little grain. If this should be case, and you are sanding it back, you should use the aluminium wood primer or a stain blocking primer like Zinsser first to avoid any resinous bleed.
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Yes it MDF for sure.

I don't want to have to sand it back completely, there's just too much of it. I can give it a bit of roughing up tho.

What Zinsser is the best to use, the 123 Bulls Eye says 'Adheres to all surfaces without sanding' so that'll probably be what i'm after then !

Thanks for the help !

If it's varnish and you are only sanding lightly enough to provide a key then you don't really need to go down the (expensive) Zinsser route as the Solo will be fine.
However, if it is only stain (as you suggest) and you are concerned that it may bleed through the new paint, the shellac based B-I-N will probably be the safest bet. Most Zinsser products adhere well to the majority of surfaces and block stains well, but some of their water based products don't work quite as well with problem stains.

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