Painting Over Peeling Paint: You Must Remove it First - Popular Woodworking Magazine

Painting Over Peeling Paint: You Must Remove it First

 In Flexner On Finishing, Flexner on Finishing Blog

This trim is exposed every day to late afternoon sun.

This is pretty basic, but here goes anyway. When you have a situation of peeling paint, you have to remove it before applying fresh paint, or your efforts will be ineffective. Scraping usually works best, but in these situations, it’s pretty clear that the wood has deteriorated due to the exposure to sun and rain, so paint isn’t going to hold well unless you sand first. A few passes with medium-grit sandpaper may be adequate to expose fresh wood, but without this sanding, the new paint isn’t going to bond.

– Bob Flexner

The morning sun and anytime rain has caused big cracks and peeling on this window sill.

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Showing 4 comments
  • pbtiangson

    What is the best composite decking material?

  • Bob Flexner
    Bob Flexner

    I think it’s unwise to paint a deck if it’s exposed to sun and especially rain. The paint will peel and become a huge problem to fix, more of a problem than most people are willing to deal with. The difference between a deck and exterior parts of a house is that you can’t caulk to keep water from getting under the paint. A deck stain is far easier to maintain because there’s no build that can peel. You should avoid “deck stains” that do build. There are a lot of lawsuits against the companies that sell these because of false claims.

  • plund


    I assume this applies to painting a wood deck. Scrap, sand, and then apply paint or stain?


    • John Harwood

      Don’t scrap it… It can be saved…

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