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deciding btw. stain or paint for trim in old home remodel

Posted by Mama_Lori (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 2, 05 at 17:08

My husband and I are nearing the end of our two year DIY foray into renovation. We've added a second floor to an 80 yr. old smallish house; no particular style, then or now. Inside, we recycled the old trim to reuse on the first floor - 8 inch tall baseboards, 5 inch wide window and door trim. Nothing fancy, just nice old wood. Several layers of flaking paint were there though. We both really wanted to have stained trim, but we presumed it would be too difficult to remove and decided just to sand it smooth and paint. I thus chose our paint colors with white trim in mind - we now have a deep purple dining room, dark red sunroom, dirty blue living room, etc.
BUT now my wonderful father-in-law came up with a good system for removing all the paint quickly, revealing a very nice grain in this nice old wood (pine, BTW). So now we have the opportunity to stain it but we just finished all the painting.
So now we have to decide between painting the trim white forever (essentially) OR staining it and maybe in a few years going back and repainting to better complement the stain. I think a med. to dark stain might look nice with some of the colors (the blue and red) but I really can't picture it with the purple. So I could also mix it up between rooms or even within rooms of course.
That's the dilemna. I can't decide but the pressure is on from my husband and FIL to decide. Has anyone had to make this kind of decision before? Does anyone have pictures of stained trim with deep colors? I really don't want to end up with a gloomy house.
(And we do have lots of windows and lots of light fixtures...)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: deciding btw. stain or paint for trim in old home remodel

I'll tell you, most old house owners would KILL for stained trim. I know of people who have spent years of weekends stripping white paint. Have you stained a piece of it to be sure it accepts stain as you'd like it to? A lot of originlly stained trim was oak or Douglas fir. If yours is standard pine, it may have been intended for paint all along.

Now, back to your original question. Hit the bookstore/library and look at "The Bungalow" and "Inside the Bungalow" and any other Arts and Crafts/bungalow books you can find. Plenty of stained wood with all sorts of different paint/paper colors.

Also (if this isn''t gainst the rules) you may want to post on ambungalow.com, the website for American Bungalow magazine. The folks there have a wealth of knowledge!


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RE: deciding btw. stain or paint for trim in old home remodel

Our trim is all oak. It has a zillion coats of white paint. Like jakebedy said, we would kill for unstained wood trim. LOL!


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RE: deciding btw. stain or paint for trim in old home remodel

Thanks for the tip about American Bungalow forums. They are just what I'm looking for. A lot of people there have pics of their homes so I can really see how it looks in other places.

I also read a few bungalow books at the start of this project, maybe not those two exactly. Good idea to check them again.

While it doesn't seem like the trim was ever stained in the first place, it does have a nice tight grain. I think we will try a test stain first though, just to be sure. If we like it, then we'll go ahead and stain. Certainly, repainting a room is so much easier than stripping wood. I know for a fact!!

Thanks again.
Lori


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RE: deciding btw. stain or paint for trim in old home remodel

So, care to share the secret recipe your father in law came up with?

:)


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RE: deciding btw. stain or paint for trim in old home remodel

We live in an old 1925 home with original pine woodwork. Ours too is painted and we have just spent two years stripping, priming and repainting our doors and moldings.

The original stain was some sort of orangy shellac and it really is pretty, yet I think that sort of color stain would be hard to acquire.

If you choose to paint, don't use plain old white, try a white that has cool undertones to compliment your pallette. The reason we chose to repaint vs. stain was simple. There was too much paint residue and too many knicks in the wood, oh and the four kids also factor in.

If you choose paint, I suggest Benjamin MOore, Semi-gloss Aquaglo, an awesome, hard drying paint.

*Dawn


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RE: deciding btw. stain or paint for trim in old home remodel

Pine has a yellowish or reddish tone to it, and I think it would complement purple nicely. It would go well with the blue and red, too.

You have a FIL willing to strip your trim and you need to make a decision.... Is this a trick question?


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RE: deciding btw. stain or paint for trim in old home remodel

Okay okay, :) The decision is to stain (and you're right, it wasn't really that hard). It's just a matter of the inertia I'll have to overcome in order to repaint if I end up not liking the way any of the walls might look with the trim.

Some of the problem also might be that when I picture the ideal stained trim, I think of my grandma's century old house with beautiful dark trim and white walls. So it may take me some convincing to go with a lighter color stain. BUt I guess I also shouldn't expect our wood to instantly look one hundred years old.

We just finished refinishing the floors and they look fabulous, so that also made me more comfortable with the decision to stain the trim.

Tracywag - I've got to check with my husband and FIL on their system. I'll let you know. We have a three month old, so between the lead paint, sawdust and air compressor, I haven't been over there too much.

Thanks all.
Lori


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RE: deciding btw. stain or paint for trim in old home remodel

"The original stain was some sort of orangy shellac and it really is pretty, yet I think that sort of color stain would be hard to acquire."

It probably was orange shellac with no other coloring. Behlans still makes it. Shellac flakes that are mixed with either denatured alcohol or the proprietary solvent,. The proprietary works better since it uses a different type of alcohol. It takes some practice to apply shellac with a brush since it dries almost instantly. Brushing back does not work.


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RE: deciding btw. stain or paint for trim in old home remodel

In this 1896 house, we have pine trim in the kitchen and upstairs. It was all stained originally. Someone before me, stripped alot, not all, of it. I've done all but 1 room...such fun. I was told the pine was yellow pine, meant to be stained, not painted.
I'm also interested in the easy way to stip the paint...


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RE: deciding btw. stain or paint for trim in old home remodel

We have pine trim throughout our house. It was originally painted. Most of it was stripped before we moved in and we stripped more when we were first here.

I loved the look, but now that we have lived here for almost 25 years, I realize that the rooms that have white painted windows look so much brighter than the ones with pine trim. We are going back to painted as we redecorate each room.


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RE: deciding btw. stain or paint for trim in old home remodel

I would KILL for stained trim!

Instead we're stripping off 80+ yrs worth of oil paint in multiple layers. What method are you using that makes it easy? I've found it to be a major PITA no matter what chemical I use and we resorted to the very unsafe dry scraping.

Stain your trim. I'd have to see the room ot get a better idea, but I can picture your pine, as that's what we have. I'd go with a stain that's fairly natural and brings out the yellow, at least for the purple room. You might want to vary it a bit for the other rooms.

Ideally I'd do it all one stain and keep it consistent, but we won't be doing that because 1)we chemical-stripped the trims in one room which stained them much darker than the original, so already they'll be darker than we'd like, and 2) those walls are pale yellow and the dark works, but our bedroom, for example, is sort of a deep red copper, and a lighter trim looks better.

FWIW - we have "Colonial Maple" ,Olympic 41533
against a pale yellow wall and "Natural", also Olympic in the red/copper room.


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RE: deciding btw. stain or paint for trim in old home remodel

Okay, so the "magic" method my father-in-law came up with is not really that big of a deal. It only works because our trim is so simple: one board app. 1 x 7, which he runs through a planer, and then a smaller rounded piece that we just did with an orbital sander. I'm sorry I didn't make that clearer earlier! I've got a new baby and my thought processes sometimes run off track. I think for our three exterior doors we will try Peel-Away 7, despite the cost. Really it's just a drop in the bucket of our total reno. (That's the way a lot of our decisions have been rationalized. We have a lot of drops!)

When it gets all finished, I'll post pics in a new thread.

Lori


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RE: deciding btw. stain or paint for trim in old home remodel

I purchased a cape cod, remodeled with drywall and carpet and trying to match base trim to the trim around the windows. I am sure it isn't oak...thought it was pine and bought some to sample with stain. The pine doesn't absorb the stain like the original wood at all. Could it be another wood, or am I staining improperly?


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