Have a case of peeling paint on the door frame. Looks fine, but if you
scrape it, even with a finger nail, it comes off quite easily. Was painted
before my time. There's a layer of paint, under the one that's peeling.
Suspect it's a case of latex on oil, without a primer. Removing the top
layer would be a mess. If I primed the top layer with say Kilz (or
similar), would the primer penetrate the latex and attach itself to the
Do not know the age of the top layer, but could be 5 years.
1. No, new primer is not likely to penetrate the
old colour coat and adhere to the old primer which
you do not know for sure to be there.
2. Your questiion is framed as if you were sure the
old colour coat flakes off leaving the old primer safely
adhering. This seems unlikely, unless both (2a) the
old primer was correctly applied and (2b) the old colour
coat was improperly applied (e.g. surface not washed
and sanded beforehand.)
You must decide between:
Method A = thorough preparation (scraping or blowtorch
to remove loose paint, then filling and sanding to prepare
a good surface; then quality paint, both primer and colour
Method B = touching up, perhaps in spots, while knowing
that if you guessed wrong in any one respect you will
have to go to Method A later.
I'm guessing that the sequence was: bare wood, primer, oil-paint, latex (the
layer that is peeling). Whatever is under the latex is very healthy.
Suspect was painted just to refresh.
I was wondering if a primer such a KILZ would penetrated the latex layer and
adhere to whatever is under, which is oil-based paint most likely. Since it
appears, I have several interior door in this situation, I want to pick a
method, which would be least painful and at least effective.
Would you use a regular small propane torch to heat the paint? Most places
sell a hairdryer type heat gun, but it seems that it waste most of the heat
and not scorch the paint.
If you can get it off with a fingernail then stripping it should be
easy, the new strippers are pretty gentle on your lungs and hands
compared to years ago. Then you could just prime/paint onto the good
layer. No, primer wont penetrate it and somehow re-attach the layer
Guess you're suggesting a chemical stripper. Which should I use, since it
would be working on both layers, which are of different paint?
The top layer would be easy to remove mechanically, but messy. Well, no
paint is easy to remove :-) Bottom (I suspect oil) is very well attached to
The one I used came in a green and white plastic bucket and was a gel
from HD. It was pretty pleasant to work with not like the old lye or
solvent strippers. You dont need to take it down to bare wood, just
that top layer. Scrape the stripped paint, a little wire brushing,
then apply the neutralizer, prime/paint when dry, it doesnt have to
look perfect just down to a sound surface. Somebody probably did just
slap some latex over an oil finish.
You're talking about Citri-Strip or something like that. The problem with
those types of strippers is that they can take a LONG time to dry, meaning
the house could possibly be a disaster area for up to a week while trying to
strip all that stuff. Sometimes it's nice to have a stripper that
evaporates slowly, other times it can be a nuisance. Scrape, sand, prime,
It wasn't Citri Strip but it was the one that has the infomercial
(maybe still citris). I still find it easier to strip instead of dry
scraping/sanding, maybe others would rather scrape. This stuff was
not caustic like the old stuff I once used in 1984 and nearly passed
A heat gun should be able to bubble up the existing paint quickly.
I've done it several times. Remove the door before trying to do this,
it will only get in the way. I'd also remove the hinges, since they
are most likely painted over and therefore look extremely ugly.
It's an inside door. Wood is very solid. Paint was/is doing fine, unless
you accidentally scratch it. That's how I found out it would just come off.
In fact, I tested a few other doors and they are all the same :-(( The
doors themselves are not painted, just the frames and moldings.
Mess or not, you need to scrape off the peeling paint, prime with an
oil-based primer, and then repaint. Using a chemical stripper would be much
messier, time consuming, and a bit of an extreme measure; in other words,
that's a last resort.
If it's an exterior door jamb, use Cover Stain or an oil-based KILZ that
explicitly states that it is for use on exteriors -- original KILZ is not
designed for exterior use except for small touch-ups, and even then I'd use
I would peel back the paint with a hand scraper try the ones with a
Stanley blade in but be careful not to damage the wood. As the paint
has not adhered so should not be too much of a problem, then rub down
the old paint surface with sand paper to key surface, prime with
correct primer if needed. Paint with oil based paint.
By the way a vacuum cleaner should be able to pick the peeling paint
up off the floor with no problem. I wouldn't use a chemical paint
stripper too much hassle and can be very expensive at least where I
Smart Tips For Your Home Life
We had a similar problem with this house. The wood trim had been
painted with oil paint so I used Kilz on it before painting with
latex. It lasted a few years and started peeling. Parts of it would
peel off easily and parts would not. I got something from the paint
store (independent one, not Home Depot type) and it's called Painters
Insurance. Don't know what is in it but you mix it one part painter's
insurance with three parts water.
It is clear. I sanded the spots that had come off so it was more
even. Then I put one coat of Painter's Insurance on and let it dry.
Then I repainted ... had to put two coats on where the old stuff came
off. I started putting PI on the other trim before it started peeling
and repainted ... most of it. My neighbor had the same problem. Man
at the store told him he probably had a moisture problem. That could
be part of it....we are in Tampa Bay area and it is always damp here.
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