Tips for painting exterior window trim?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael*K, Sep 26, 2002.

  1. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    I can't wait another season. The windows on my house have a lot of peeling paint and I want to take care of it before the weather turns nasty. On a few of the windows, the paint is severely peeling or has fallen off completely. On other windows, it isn't as noticeable. I want to strip as much of the paint as possible and then prime it. The problem is, these windows are upstairs and I'm looking for a way to minimize the amount of time I'll be spending 20 feet up on a ladder (no, I'm not afraid of heights.) Just scraping and using a block sander on the more intact paint will require a lot of elbow grease. Is there a quicker way to do it? What about one of those V-shaped detail sanders using coarse paper? Do they sell sanding wheels for drills, much like the wire wheels for stripping paint on metal? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    Mike,

    First things first, do you have a good ladder? I bought a really good 30 foot aluminum extension ladder for second floor window work and I think it made a huge difference. You're gonna be up there for hours (and days) and with a heavy duty ladder it is so much more comfortable, and safer. Swaying around on a budget ladder is just exhausting.
    Somone else can give you prep and painting device, I suck at it.
     
  3. Brian Mansure

    Brian Mansure Second Unit

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    Mike,
    For stripping the old paint you certainly could try those detail sanders and other tools you mentioned most will probably work well. For my uses I could not justify spending the money on a "specialty tool" like a detail/finishing sander when I very rarely have that type of project to do around the house. I did try some of that new gel paint stripper with moderate success but it was kinda messy. Instead, I purchased a 5" random orbital sander which has helped in reducing the time I've spent stripping the old paint off my exterior windows and I'm positive I'll use it for years to come. The orbital sander does the larger, flat surfaces and I hand-sand the smaller, more detailed areas.
    I get most of the old, dried and peeled paint off this way but my windows have been "painted-over" so many times that there are spots of old coats of paint left. Since I was priming anyhow I just made sure that the old paint is sanded down pretty good and then I test it to make sure it will be a good base for the primer. You can use a utility knife and a piece of invisible tape (scotch tape) to make sure the older paint won't peel or chip. On the old patch of paint use the utility knife to score a "X" into the center of the paint patch, clear all dust and dirt off the paint as you need the tape to make direct and good contact with the paint, use a piece of the invisible tape press it down in the middle of the cross-section of the "X" you made and gently pull the tape off. If much of the paint comes off with the tape or it chips then you probably have more sanding to do. I've used this procedure as a general guide and it seems to give me good results so far. Once the surface was prepared I decided to use an oil-based primer and paint for what I think will be a longer-lasting, nicer finish than with latex. Just my opinion of course but I'd rather not have to re-paint the exterior windows of my house every 2-3 years. I hope to get away with 5-7 years but only time will tell.
    Hope I wasn't too long winded on ya. [​IMG]
    Good luck,
    Brian
     

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