Really basic question about sanding glossed woodwork

11 Jan 2013
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United Kingdom
Newbie DIYer here, please be patient!

My house used to be rented, so it's in a right old state. Especially a lot of the wood glosswork (skirting, architrave, door frame etc.). It looks like someone just threw cans of gloss at it instead of painting. There are a lot of runs and drips, and the surface is quite uneven.

I want to strip back the old layers of paint, prime, and then repaint. What is the best way to prepare the surface please? I have been trying nitromors, but it's having no effect. So I've started sanding with a hand held sander, but it's taken me literally all day to do a doorframe. Part of the issue is that I'm not sure how far I need to take the paint back. How smooth does it have to be for me to get a great finish when I prime it? Do I need to go back to the wood?
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If you want to get the whole thing back to bare wood you have a job for life there :D

I'm surprised nitromors did not work mind you I did read that it was reformulated to meet new regs so maybe thats why.

I tend to avoid strippers (the paint ones not the other kind ;) ) messy and nasty to work with. As long as you get rid of the runs, drips, curtaining, dead flies and other surface lumps and bumps that's enough. You only need primer where you expose any bare wood.

Hand sanding with a block should be enough for the high spots buy a roll of professional paper in several grades none of that useless brown sheet rubbish the DIY stores sell.

Use a proper undercoat (not a primer/ undercoat) it has more body and helps to fill small surface imperfections then a coat or two (I always do two) of top coat should be fine. Have a go at a frame or door as practice and see how you get on.

Remember old paint (largely pre 1970s) contains lead so creating clouds of dust is not the ideal thing.
I am SO relieved I don't have to strip back to wood. :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:

What grit of paper are you using?


Ummmmmm :oops: .... B&Q coarse, then fine. :oops: I didn't know about the different grades til now! I will go to Screwfix and get some proper stuff. I will also get a sanding block!

Thank you both so much for your advice. One more question (sorry): I think there are quite a lot of coats of paint on there. I have now stripped most of them off, but there are some areas where there is no paint (i.e. wood), some where there is just a bit of one coat, and some where there is just a bit of two. This is quite detailed architrave (original to the 1920s house, and has a good few lines in it) and it would take forever to get them all down to the same no of layers. Where there is a bit of paint still on, if I just feather the edges between the coats, will they be invisible when I paint over?
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You need a 1/4 sheet sander and 80 grit. Five mins per door and get perfect results.
Yes feather edges, prime the bare areas and go from there :D

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