By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Dark woodwork that outlines windows and door frames can be attractive to some, but not everyone. If you want to change the look of a room with dark stained molding and trim, consider painting it a lighter color. We find many older homes still have the original dark finish on woodwork, which dates the rooms and their furnishings. The job of painting the woodwork is no one-step process, but the reward is a fresh new appeal that's worth the time and effort it takes.
That process involves first washing the woodwork with a household detergent solution so it's clean and free of any dirt or grease, and then rinsing it with clear water. The next step is to sand down any rough surfaces or imperfections and scuff sand the varnish to create some texture before priming and painting. Then apply a stain killing primer like Bulls Eye 1-2-3 or Kilz Complete followed by a high quality alkyd or latex enamel paint to finish the wood and protect the surface for years to come.
A painting contractor will charge $708 to clean, prime and paint 300-square-feet of woodwork in a house with good quality material. You can do it yourself for $135, the cost of the primer and paint, and pocket a 81 percent saving. Use plenty of masking tape and drop cloths to protect the surrounding surfaces and furnishings. All these steps require drying time in between, so it's a good project for a homeowner who has to schedule the different applications around an otherwise busy lifestyle.
SF Gate has this advice about
How to Paint Over Previously Stained & Varnished Trim.
Is this too big of a job to tackle yourself? You can find a painting contractor who has the skills and tools to do it right. Click here to get to
and it will open in a new tab and you’ll have to answer some basic questions about your job followed by contractors in your area to do the job.
The average price to paint stained wood noted above is cost data to compare a contractor’s estimate with doing it yourself. Tweak the data by adding your ZIP Code to find a local cost.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2020