How do I know that the oak moldings in my house were stained or varnished or both?

Questions & AnswersCategory: Interior Trim, Windows and DoorsHow do I know that the oak moldings in my house were stained or varnished or both?
Lis Alberts asked 4 years ago

Also what preparations I have to do and what paint I should use to paint them white. 

4 Answers
MagicDave answered.

Check a tiny piece with a knife, if they were painted, then the paint will scratch off… if stained it will not (unless you really go deep into the wood) … if stained and varnished, then the varnish will also scratch off but will be a more flaky looking residue… so …to paint them you should prime them first using an oil base sealer-primer (or use a pigmented shellac sealer primer… which will dry much faster) … then paint with one heavy coat of Sherwin Williams paint (use a semi gloss finish on woodwork… color of choice) … See my site on this here:
Good Luck!

Lis Alberts answered.

Thank you so much for your reply. Greatly appreciated.

By the way, do I have to sand off the old stain/ varnish before applying priming? Other websites suggested that the moldings should be sanded by 180 grit sandpaper and clean thoroughly before applying prime.I will trust your instruction!

Many thanks!

MagicDave answered.

Sanding is optional… use a fine grade paper if you do… but not to remove anything, only to gently prepare the surface… then wipe off excess with a rag with a little Lacquer Thinner added to it (gently please) … Good Luck!!!

MagicDave answered.

I have answered this question already, check the archives….