Sanding existing door trim

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Topic by rweitz posted 03-21-2010 10:19 PM 5029 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 5015 days

03-21-2010 10:19 PM

I’d got the word from the boss the next project is sanding all the interior doors and trim and repainting. We had the carpet out a while ago to show off the existing hardwoods and you can still see the old paint at the bottom of the doors and they need painting in general:


Is this all hand sanding or is there a tool that can sand this kind of rounded over notched area. I have 8 of these doors and trims to work on and I’d like to have some hands left when we get done.
Also the bottom of all the doors is about 1” short of the floor. Is there a good way to add that bottom back and not see the joint line?

More pics:


View alba's profile


1 post in 4796 days

08-11-2010 10:49 PM

Easiest is to use a shave hook. It has different profiles. Or take them off and give them a caustic bath. This gives a nice antique effect.
The short facings can be removed and a square rosette put into the top corner, it could gain you that wee bit extra. This again can give an aged appearance.
Hope this helps

View reggiek's profile


5 posts in 4796 days

08-11-2010 11:52 PM

Dremel has the “Multi-Max” ...as does rigid, fein and several other manufacturers that put out a similar tool under various names….it is basically a rotary tool with snap on cutters and snap on sanding heads that use the oscillating motion of the rotary tool. You can also use a dremel or rotary tool on slow speed with a sanding wheel or flat disk. There are also small sanders with triangular heads by black and decker, craftsman and one called the mouse (looks like a mouse on your computer)....Festool has a fantastic sander with multiple head configurations (Festools are expensive though and not for one time users – I would only recommend them if you plan to do other wood working). Your local Borg (Big Box Store) will have all the above but the Festool tools…and at moderate prices.

For hand sanding, this would be a good place to use one of the “soft sanders” – basically a sponge with sandpaper attached (I use a piece of pipe insulation with some stick back sandpaper attached. These too will be at your local Borg or hardware store.

for the door bottoms – mostly that would depend on the door – you would want to match the wood and pattern if any…and whether it is solid or hollow core. One way is to put one of those square inserts that slides on the door….mostly used for hanging weather striping or floor sweeps….I don’t see a threshold on the one pic and that might be another way to make the door look like it fits better. Otherwise look for your local building material recycler…they typically have lots of doors…fairly cheap that you can replace the shorts with.

View Kindlingmaker's profile


17 posts in 5476 days

08-11-2010 11:57 PM

For removing paint there is the heat gun method where you heat the paint then scrap it off. This works fairly well but care must be taken on the surrounding woods and such
I like chemical paint stripper. There several brands but the one I use Jasco. Mask off with vynil (sp) tape, brush on stripper, go have lunch then come back with a putty knife.
After all methods there is the sanding…

-- What do you mean I can't use a coat hanger for 12 ga wire?

View tbone's profile


3 posts in 5453 days

11-04-2010 10:52 PM

Here’s what I think. If you replaced the trim with something to go with your new base trim, then all you would need to strip and sand is the jamb. That would be a lot less work (and MAYBE less exposure to lead-based paint)

Now, if you DO replace the trim with new, you might want to consider a little bit wider trim so you could cut the side jambs about a half-inch shorter to eliminate the big gap underneath the doors. The wider trim should compensate at the header-to-sheetrock union.

By the way, you’ve got an old ‘oval’ trim there. It was pretty popular in the 50’s to the 80’s. I don’t know of any place that would still stock it. It’s nice, but hard to replace if you ever need to.

Good luck with your project

View listoutdoor's profile


26 posts in 1477 days

09-22-2019 01:55 AM

View Kaitlyn's profile


105 posts in 636 days

08-05-2023 04:58 AM

This article on sanding existing door trim was a great help! I have a similar project coming up, and the tips and advice provided are exactly what I needed. national margarita day The suggestion of using a tool for sanding rounded over notched areas is fantastic; it will save so much time and effort. I also appreciate the idea of adding the bottom back to the doors without leaving a visible joint line. Thanks for sharing such practical and useful information!

View cathyA's profile


130 posts in 198 days

09-06-2023 09:11 AM

Sanding existing door trim and repainting can be a labor-intensive project, especially with rounded or notched areas. While hand sanding can work, using a detail sander or sanding sponge diamond rings can save time and effort. To extend the door’s length, consider adding a wooden strip or molding to match the trim, ensuring a seamless joint and a polished finish.

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