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bswinner 10-04-2013 11:05 PM

Filling wood trim paint chips
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My house has lots of wood trim that has been painted over with an oil based while paint. Over time, quite a bit of that paint has chipped off down to the bare wood. I'm trying to avoid scraping the paint down as I'm sure there is a lead paint layer and I have small children. My question is what is the best method to fill these chips so that when I repaint, the surface is smooth and unpacked. See the attached pictures for example of what I'm talking about.

Jmayspaint 10-05-2013 10:05 AM

The first step is going to be to prime the chipped areas with a bonding primer so that whatever filler you use can adhere to what looks like stain/varnish underneath. Unless you are going to apply an oil base top coat, all the trim will need to be primed with a bonding primer to ensure adhesion of a water base top coat.
You will need to carefully remove the loose pieces around the chipped spots. Misting around the spots with water, then gently prying off the loose material with a putty knife would be one way to do it. Having the area slightly damp before you scrape on it reduces the chance of airborne lead dust. Let dry completely before priming.

As far as filling the chips, one way would be to use a spackle product. Dap Crack Shot is a good spackle. It dries fairly fast, is easy to sand, and doesn't flash paint too bad.
Filling the chipped areas with latex caulk is another option. Caulk will adhere better than spackle, and help prevent future chipping around those areas. The draw back to using caulk is that its harder to work with and it can't really be sanded. You would just have to apply the caulk as smoothly as you could and hope for the best.

Using caulk would not likely make the chips totally disappear, but it would be more stable and hold up better long term. Maybe you could use a little caulk to initially fill the areas. Kind of glue the edges of the remaining paint down with it, then fill with spackle on top of that so you could sand it flush.

chrisn 10-05-2013 03:22 PM

IMO, if you are worried about lead, you need to call a professional. This is not a DIY project

havasu 10-05-2013 03:59 PM


Originally Posted by chrisn (Post 3120)
IMO, if you are worried about lead, you need to call a professional. This is not a DIY project

Especially with small children in the house!

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