Our house has blonde real-all-wood crown molding throughout and also
blonde real-all-wood doors. It's one of the things that made me love
this house the first time I saw it (real wood). But after we bought
it, we came to realize that the person who built it didn't stain any of
the wood - and may not even have sealed it, though the house is almost
20 years old. The crown molding is high enough that, obviously, it has
been spared use & abuse like the doors and baseboards. I can't tell if
the doors and stair rails have been sealed or not - they are
light/blonde wood and are looking rough now with dirt and marks...
My question is this. I want to sand and stain the wood surfaces, but
don't know how to do this with existing crown molding. Do I just get
on a ladder and get up there to sand every inch by hand? Or do I need
to dismantle it?
We're scraping the popcorn stucco off all the ceilings, and will be
painting the walls a-fresh. So this is the perfect time to stain all
the crown moldings first - but I'm on a timeline, as I need to get the
crown molding finished first. Any counsel would be greatly
First things first, make sure you have a nice rolling scaffold set up
at a height where the ceiling is only a few inches above your head.
You're going to be spending a fair amount of time working with your
arms above your shoulders so go easy on them.
Clean the popcorn off the ceiling first. Wipe down the whole room with
a TSP solution to clean it. That step alone will probably take care of
most of the marks on the molding. There's no need to take down the
woodwork. If there's no finish, sand the crown. If you do discover a
finish of some sort, and depending on the complexity of the molding,
you should either sand or use a liquid deglosser to soften up the
finish to help improve the bond with the new finish.
finishes. It's about the easiest thing to control and will save you a
couple of steps. It's not furniture, and you're not a pro, so don't
make it more complex than it needs to be.
The order of finishing is a personal preference. In your situation I
normally prime as necessary, paint the ceiling, finish the wood
molding, then paint the walls. I'm pretty good at cutting in so I
don't normally tape things off. If you do tape, your order may be
different, and you should use the blue painter's tape.
<snippage of some big project and some good advice>
Somewhere in there, you'll need to consider a texture coat on the ceilings
you cleaned up of their popcorn. Probably best after they are clean, but
before the primer. In California, it would be done with a sprayed, knock-
down finish, but that differs pretty widely around the continent. The
sprayers are generally available at the rental yard for reasonable rates.
Then proceed as previously instructed.
Make certain to budget twice the time you think reasonable at the beginning
of the project. Then you'll only be a week late. ;-)
who has done this before...
Becky If you love the look, why would you want to stain it? stain does
nothing more than change the color of the wood, and depending of the type of
stain and wood, it can excentuate the grain, or differing densities of the
wood (pine and cherry can have a tendency to be blotchy when stained).
So, if you have tire of the blond look, go ahead and stain (or use a colored
finish like Minwax Polyshades as previously suggested), but don't feel that
you have to stain.
Some kind of sealer is a good idea. IMO it looks better because you can see
the grain more clearly with "the wet look" and it will keep dirt out of the
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.