prepping to paint--worries about insecure underlying paint

peonyfanDecember 17, 2011

I am preparing to paint an interior bedroom door and trim. I am sanding with a random orbital sander on the door. There is a little bit of an orange peel texture (I prefer smooth), and I also feel that I should sand because I tried a test I read about on Family Handyman to test whether your underlying paint surface is sound--lightly scratch an "x" with a razor blade, apply duct tape, pull off, if additional paint is removed by the tape, you have to remove that layer of paint. This door did fail that test. I sanded with 80 grit. After that the door felt smoother, but the top coat of paint seemed to be peeling a tiny bit. Then I sanded with 100 grit. Then I noticed that what was left of the top coat could be scratched off very easily with light fingernail pressure. I have not done a whole lot of painting--yet--but I have a bad feeling that painting over it will not last too long.

I've had a similar experience with the trim around the door. I used 80 grit sandpaper on the trim to remove previously sloppiness in painting. I removed two coats in a spot, and paint peeled on the surface at a right angle to the trim that you look at when facing the door. I sanded and feathered this, and I hope it will hold up, but I am not confident. This is a 25-year-old house and I believe these are the original doors. Not sure though.

What are my options?

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I would definitely put a good quality primer on it before I painted. Let it dry as long as possible and you should be okay. Also use a good paint for the topcoat. I recently bought Valspar semi gloss and it's horrible, shows every brush mark and doesn't level at all. Back to Benjamin Moore for better paint.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 4:57PM
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That test is actually kind of funny to me. I mean, it's a good test, but to say that the layer needs to be removed is really extreme. It's duct tape after all. All painted surfaces are somewhat's why we use blue tape. If you started with a new door and primed with some really good primer, then the primer would likely be stuck better, but it's just not worth it to strip. Just sand like you did and prime with a high quality acrylic primer and then topcoat with some high quality acrylic paint. The reason you can scratch off the paint easily after painting is that it's not cured. In a week, it will be stuck better and sometimes acrylic paints can even take up to a month to cure. Curing means better adhesion so it's impossible to judge the adhesion of a paint until it is fully cured.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 9:55PM
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Gardz is supposed to be a great primer for locking down old failing surfaces prior to painting (after the usual prepping). I would think it could be used for things other than walls but am not sure. The Home Depot sells it (for much less than a paint store).

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 3:43PM
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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes

Valspar is good paint. It just needs to be applied thick and fast...and I mean, fast.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 8:39PM
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