Friday, November 16, 2007

Painting over painted wood



When we bought a cabin up north in Michigan, we discovered that the previous owners were heavy smokers. The goo left over from years of smoking left a brownish grease on every wall, door, and window. The walls were made of very good quality thick 4X8 wood veneer paneling. The problem was that the wood was dark and gloomy in every room. We decided that a repaint was in order.


Some refinish preparation is often needed when you paint over painted or stained wood with enamel. The surface to be repainted has to be clean and grease free. In this case, the wood on the walls was good, but here was the smoke residue to contend with.

Scrub the area with a good orange cleaner. You can finish the cleanup by spraying an abundance of Windex and wiping the area down. We bought several gallons of Windex at Sam's Club, along with a case of paper towels.
Some wood may have heavy coats of paint that require some scraping to remove old paint or to smooth around bare spots. Don't press too hard with your wood scraper to keep from gouging the wood.

There may be some areas that ae damaged and have to be filled with wood filler. Sand any area that you have scraped or filled. Glossy areas should be sanded so that the primer and paint will adhere better. Be sure to wipe off any sanding residue.


Some previously painted wood surfaces need a primer. This is the case where the old color either seems to bleed through the new paint coat, or the surface absorbs so much new paint that you seem to be going nowhere.

The best primer that I have found is "KILZ" This primer covers and eliminates any mildew residue that may be present, covers dark spots, and gives a great painting base for new paint. It comes as a white base, but color tint can be added to it by your home improvement center.

We had no choice except to use a couple of gallons of primer to put a base coat over the dark colored paneling that we wanted to cover up.

After removing wall electrical face plates, We used a roller and did a base coat of "KILZ." The white from the primer was an immediate improvement. It made the rooms come alive. Kilz must have a regular paint overcoat applied to it. Otherwise, the "KILZ" alone will turn a dingy white if it is not painted over.
Four gallons of rolled on interior latex enamel later, and we had brought the cabin back to life.
Dingy acoustical tile ceilings can also be rejuvenated by a coat of "KILZ" and a fresh paint coat. And, That's how we finished off the job.

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