Chipped oil-based trim: touch-up technique?

kmcgDecember 2, 2012

Our vintage house has loads of white oil-based trim, and it's fairly brittle. We need to start touching it up, and would hope to avoid completely repainting. There's also some new trim in the mix, already primed with acrylic primer. Can anyone with experience recommend a method? And specifically,

Is it better to sand, spackle and then use the oil-based paint again?

Do I need to use primer if I'm going to continue with the oil-based paint? Must it be oil-based primer?

Can I sand, fill and then use an acrylic primer, followed by latex paint? (I have good matches for both acrylic and oil paints)

Thanks for your insights before I tackle this big job!

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You need to prime any repairs before painting with the oil based topcoat. Oil based paints can be used over acrylic or oil based primers. It's probably going to be hard to touch up oil based finishes because of the yellowing that occurs over time, you may need to actually paint entire pieces of trim up to a mitre. You can use the latex topcoats but again...oil based paint looks different and it gets yellow eventually, so if you have both in the same room, it will likely not look the same.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 7:49AM
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Thanks so much, paintguy. I'm sort of tempted to go with the latex because I've found a color that's a great match for the already-yellowed oil-based paint. So it's good to know I can use latex over primer.

My biggest problem seems to be getting the spackle right - it's hard to get those big chips completely level.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 2:15PM
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What I do is lay the spackle on pretty heavy over the chip and then after it's dry, I sand it down to try and match best the profile of the wood. I use lightweight spackle or lightweight drywall mud when I do this because I want it to sand easily....some of that wood filler or vinyl spackling doesn't sand well so it is not a good idea to use this technique with those products.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 8:49PM
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Great advice - thanks.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 10:43PM
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