What is the easiest and most cost effective way to change out stained wood molding?

Answered by Jeffrey ~ March 31, 2010 ~ No Comments

We have baseboards and door trim throughout our house that is stained wood. We would like to either have the trim primed and painted white, or replace every piece with new painted molding. Cost is a factor.

Darlene ~ San Rafael, California

Jeffrey Anderson

Hi Darlene, I am not sure how costs run in San Rafael, California, as it is on the opposite side of the country from me, but I would think painting over the stain would be the least expensive way to go. Removing trim, especially baseboard and window and door trim, usually gets into some wall repair and painting, unless the person removing the trim is extremely careful.

Painting over stain isn't that difficult, the big issue is removing the sealant or varnish that is over the stained wood. That can be done by sanding, or using a product from a paint store. There may not even be a sealant over the stain, then you would really be lucky. If you look along the trim and it looks very smooth, and has a sheen to it, then there probably is a sealant that needs to be removed.

Once the sealant is off, the trim can be primed with an oil based primer such as Kilz, and then put your second coat on using the color you want. Going over stain, the second coat perhaps should be an oil based paint as well.

Just to double check on pricing, you might want to get an estimate from a trim contractor for replacing the wood molding, and a price from a painting contractor for painting new trim, and also for painting over the existing trim

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