We have a 68 bungalow that have varnished baseboards and trim not a really nice looking trim and no fancy profile Believe it is only fir wood. Would like to paint but not sure if paint will adhere to it. What steps must I take. Wood will split if removed from wall Will eventually replace but for now just want to freshen up

1 Answer 1


You should give it a sanding with fine sandpaper, to de-gloss it. Then wipe it down with mineral spirits, or better yet a liquid cleaner/de-glosser like this:

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You might be able to get away with just the liquid prep if the varnish is not high gloss. Then paint with high quality paint and brushes. No primer necessary.

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    These solvents are very volatile, ensure good ventilation, proper PPE, and no open flames nearby. Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 0:45
  • Is the fine sandpaper just so you don't take off too much material or something else? I have been doing similar work, but I've been taking the baseboard off, sanding it down to bare wood (80 grit paper and a palm sander), priming/painting/hanging.
    – mikeazo
    Commented May 12, 2017 at 14:57
  • Also, when you say "no primer necessary" is that only if using the Liquid Sandpaper?
    – mikeazo
    Commented May 12, 2017 at 14:58
  • @mikeazo - you are making a great effort to remove a perfectly good primer (the varnish) and then replace it. If you are going to ruin your woodwork with paint, there's no need to remove the varnish, merely give it enough tooth for the paint to grab.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented May 12, 2017 at 15:44

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