After deciding your home's trim needs repainting, you may wonder if there is anything special you need to do to prepare it before applying the first coat. If so, use the following tips for removing the old paint before painting the trim to ensure you have a smooth finish.
1. Scrape off Large, Loose Paint Chunks
After years of exposure to sunlight and wet weather, large chunks of paint have probably become loose on your trim. Also, you may have areas where the paint has bubbled up, making it likely to crack and break loose. If you try to simply paint over these large areas of loose chunks, your new paint job will eventually come off.
To get rid of these large, loose paint chunks and bubbles, use a wide putty knife to scrape them off. Hold the knife at a low angle to keep from gouging the wood and slide it along the surface.
Any paint chips that are barely hanging on should easily come off. Don't worry about scraping off the smaller pieces, as these are addressed in the next section.
2. Brush Away Smaller Pieces of Paint
Once you have removed the larger chunks of paint, remove the smaller pieces by brushing them with a wire brush. The wire brush reaches into the wood grain to remove any paint pieces that may be slightly loosened but are too little to catch on the scraper.
When brushing the paint away with the wire brush, make sure you go with the grain of the wood. If you go in the opposite direction, you risk gouging and tearing the wood fibers.
3. Sand the Trim
After scraping and brushing away the loose pieces of paint on the trim, it is time to smooth down the bare wood and any remaining stuck-on paint. For this task, use a fine-grit sandpaper, which smooths the wood without damaging the grain.
As with brushing with a wire brush, go with the grain of the trim. Sand small areas at a time until the surface feels smooth when you run your hand over it. Once you are finished sanding, wipe the trim with a damp cloth to remove any dust.
Once you have removed the old paint from your home's exterior trim, you are ready to start painting it. However, if you decide that you would rather have a professional take care of the task for you, contact exterior home painters to discuss your options for painting your trim, as well as any other areas on the outside of your house.