Refinish metal doorframe?

stuvwxyz99February 20, 2012

About to buy an NYC co-op apartment, built in the mid 50s. It has steel doorframes. I imagine there are 50 yrs worth of paint on the doorframes (maybe including lead paint). Is it worthwhile having the contractor strip this back to the bare metal before painting?

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depends on the condition of the paint that is there. If it is in good shape you just want it another color, just have it painted. If the painted surface is in poor shape it would need to be stripped.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 1:08PM
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Thanks. To a layman, what would indicate good shape or lack thereof? Will it be obvious when I look at it?

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 10:22PM
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yes, and the finish should be smooth, no visible areas where a previous layer was missing. No flaking of the finish.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 11:00AM
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if it looks like it's got a dozen coats of paint on it, then adding another layer will look the same but with a new color. If there are drips, dirt, and other irregularities and imperfections in the surface then they will bleed through and be seen in the recoat.

Options are to sand the exiting smooth or strip completely and prep (sand/prime) the steel and recoat.

I'd say there's a 99.9% chance that there is lead paint on the doors. If you opt to sand the existing paint, get a good respirator. IMHO, the dangers of lead paint get grossly exaggerated in the general media, but you don't want to be ingesting it. If it's encapsulated and stable there's really not a problem.

Good luck

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 1:35PM
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Thanks for the info sdello and millworkman.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 9:41PM
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