Someone painted this door with latex paint over oil based glossy paint, without proper surface preparation (*). Thus I'm left with some original oil gloss, and a edge to some still-stuck latex paint. Here it is after peeling, scraping, sanding and priming:

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I sanded everything using EPA Lead Safe Practices, but the edge is still starkly visible, especially after the primer went on.

What are various methods and tradeoffs for making this edge disappear? This is a high touch area on the door, so it needs to be durable. Do I prime first? Spackle first? What product and steps should I use?

(*) Someone was Mom.

2 Answers 2


Ever do bondo work on a car? That's pretty much it. West System epoxy and various sanding fillers, interspersed with 24-48 hours to wait for the epoxy to cure enough to sand, and an exhausting amount of sanding, rinse wash repeat until it looks right. It takes a really long time.

The upside is this will also remove the wood damage, which is not inconsiderable. The downside is, it's really easy to mess up and damage trim with a power sander.


When you say you sanded, was that by hand or machine? I would remove the door from hinges and machine sand to bring it back to original wood(?). But there are paint strippers like Jasco (Lowes) which can take off multiple layers. Its a harsh chemical so be safe/protective gloves/eyewear/cover skin. Smells too, but it works. As you can see, priming wont cover edges so this will still show through after painting. Good luck!

  • Machine sanded.
    – Bryce
    Mar 7, 2018 at 8:30

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