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Fix Up 1920's house painted wood mouldings?

I have an old 1920's bungalow which has had many, many renters resulting in painted wood mouldings around the doors and windows that are very dented and scratched up now. Is there a way to fix them and smooth them out to look better instead of just painting over all the dents and gouges? Any information would be helpful. Can I sand them down if lead paint is not present? Please help!

Re: Fix Up 1920's house painted wood mouldings?

It will depend on how far you want to go. You can strip the wood work and possibly relieve the dents with steam if you want a natural finish. You can strip, fill the dents with painters putty, and repaint. Or you can fill the dents and scratches with painter's putty and repaint. You can get painters putty at most paint stores.

Re: Fix Up 1920's house painted wood mouldings?

Great!! Thanks. Would you strip the paint or sand or even just clean before puttying?

Re: Fix Up 1920's house painted wood mouldings?


MCDANIEL has it right. You can do a quick cosmetic job, or you can go whole hog with stripping.

Stripping is extremely time consumning and messy. It also requires lots of caustic strippers and stripping materials. But, stripping will give you the best end results.

Sanding and filling the dings will give reasonable results with far less effort than stripping. However, with a house of that age, you can almost be certain that lead paint was used along the line. Those coats of paint that were put on after the early 70's will not contain lead. You certainly can test for lead's presence with an inexpensive test kit.

Personally, I would tend towards giving the woodwork a good sanding, but trying not to sand so deep that I would be freeing large amounts of lead. DO USE dust masks! I would fill and sand the dings with wood filler. I would follow with a coat of oil enamel undercoater and then a finish coat of relatively low sheen oil enamel. Low sheen will not highlight imperfections.

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