What's the best course of action for repainting craply built and poorly painted built cupboards

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Hi everyone,

Just repainting my hallway - we had builders in for an extension, and they absolutely wrecked the whole hallway by using it as a storage area for the materials. Have filled and sanded all walls and repainted back to white, have filled skirting, sanded, and repainted.

My remaining problems are a door frame from around 1940 and a simple timber cupboard that have both seen much, much better days. For various reasons, mostly involving not wanting to tear the awful lining paper and having to then repaint, I cannot replace the doorframe, and the cupboard is partially built into the wall and ceiling as it was from a previous owner who then tanked the hallway out by dropping the ceiling and walls without changing the cupboard. Removing it is impossible without a ton of work.

My only option is to repair and repaint. So far I have made brand new doors from MDF, which I'll install later. The frame for the cupboard is made from normal 44x44 spriuce timber, and it has obvious dents along the corners, etc.. I'll fill as best I can, but would love to know any tips, tricks and trade secret anyone can give me for returning these back to some semblance of quality.

Secondly, for the doorframe - this one is horrible. It has tons and tons of gloss on it, probably twenty coats in total. Loads of massive dents and knicks all the way along the edges. Where possible, I've filled the architrave with caulk along the entire frame ot slightly fill in the dips and valleys, which has helped someone, but it still looks like total crap

What's the best way to proceed with both of these - only thing that's out of the question is ripping out and reinstalling. Have to make the best of what's already there!

thanks!
 
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What do you mean tanked the hallway out by dropping the ceiling and walls?

We need pics to advise you on the best course of action too
 
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Heat gun and strip the paint back to wood if the layers of paint are that bad.
 
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Heat gun and strip the paint back to wood if the layers of paint are that bad.

Hi Millwright, thanks for replying - is that generally the best course of action? I've never done it before and assumed it was a faff and easy to damage the wood so was trying to avoid it if possible. Unless I'm wrong about it being a faff. I've got the cupboard to a reasonably decent standard now, sanded almost to the bare wood, but the door frame is still just terrible. Mainly my concern is the dents. If I strip the doorframe back with a heatgun, will that improve the dents, too?

On the subject of a heatgun, is it a fast process?

Thank you, have a good weekend!
 
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Unfortunately it won't improve the dents - and it could release vapours from old lead paint, given the age of the wood. But you could roughen the dents and apply 2 pack wood filler (Like body filler) then sand the lot flat
 
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Hi Millwright, thanks for replying - is that generally the best course of action? I've never done it before and assumed it was a faff and easy to damage the wood so was trying to avoid it if possible. Unless I'm wrong about it being a faff. I've got the cupboard to a reasonably decent standard now, sanded almost to the bare wood, but the door frame is still just terrible. Mainly my concern is the dents. If I strip the doorframe back with a heatgun, will that improve the dents, too?

On the subject of a heatgun, is it a fast process?

Thank you, have a good weekend!

As Nige said, it won't get rid of the dents, but they'll not be as bad, plus you can always fill them.

It's what I do with a 2" scraper, it's a very fast process. Ventilate the place, wear a respiration mask if you can get one. You heat the paint to blister it, not burn it and it literally peels off. I never waste my time with rumbles and ripples of old paint, using up lots of sandpaper and tons of effort. Strip, give a light clean up with 120 grit after, then you've got a blank canvass.
 
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OK thanks for the advice guys, much appreciated. Millwright, that sounds like a pretty straightforward process, I assumed it would be a nightmare. The area I'm working is right by the front door, and I happen to have a big paint sprayer's mask I use for these jobs, so this sounds like the best course of action.

Much appreciated fellas, have a great weekend!
 
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It's a tough one. The two pack filler will enable you to get crisp edges but they will always be a weak spot and and prone to being chipped out.

If you are concerned about the filler being knocked out you could remove the architrave and run a thin strip of filler up to the edge of the door liner and then use the same timber to pack out the edge of the architrave. You will then be able to fill the door liner up to the edge of the new timber. The timber will need to be glued and pinned though other wise you will end up with a hairline crack .

I hope that makes sense. Sorry, it is late and I am sober...

BTW caulk is great but given that it shrinks back, if ever you need to fill irregular perpendicular joins and want to ensure that it remains as smooth and as uniform as it was when first applied, try a MS polymer such as CT1 or SixaFlex. They don't shrink back and are almost as flexible as silicone. they can be painted over but you need to prime them with waterbased paint. They do however cost more and are very sticky- white spirit will stop it sticking to your finger as you smooth it.
 

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