Tarnished Trim

They call it stain for a good reason, it stains. Our previously crisp, white trim has been downgraded to a complete mess. One step forward, two steps back. I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel though! Luckily, trim painting isn’t the hardest thing in the world (although it is tedious), especially when you are just coming through and touching things up a bit.

How to Remove Stain From Trim

In the interest of trying to get the sander right up to the edge of the wall, we did remove the quarter round throughout the entire house prior to sanding and staining. The whole house was looking like this for a while. Had to be careful with the cat roaming this joint (and for ourselves), since there were pesky little nails sticking out at one-foot intervals on the trim. Torture devices.

How to remove quarter round

As we go through each project in this house, it’s pretty fun to see a glimpse of what things use to look like before we got our hands on it. Taking off the quarter round in each room we found some crazy town colors under the wood. How about two rooms with pink and green trim, right next to each other. Lovely. I’m thinking this house was pretty colorful in it’s day. Interesting to say the least. 😉

Removing quarterround

Jay, being the smart lad he is, developed a handy little system that we used to make sure that the trim was able to be reunited with it’s home local when we were ready to re-install these guys. On both the trim, and quarter round side, we just scribbled a number so that we can match each piece back up to it’s correct location. My husband is a GENIUS. At least I thought it was a pretty darn good idea. Here is the wall annotation.

How to remove quarter round

And here is the matching piece of trim. Now we’ll know immediately how to sort each piece, versus having a huge guessing game when it’s time to re install these guys. Winning!

Installing Quarterround

 Our first step to get the stain up, was to grab our mineral spirits and start lightly wiping down the surface to remove the splashes of stain up on the trim. This worked pretty well, but we noticed that areas that had poly over them were particularity problematic, since this essentially sealed the stain on there, and prevented the mineral spirits from working.

Removing Floor Stain From Trim

The mineral spirits definitely helped, but we still had some residual stain that was just not thinking about budging.

Luckily, we knew the quarter round would help cover a lot of the trim toward the edge of the floor. To prep the quarter round to be reistalled we had to clean them up quite a bit. There was a decent amount of caulk on the trim, that luckily, came right off with a chisel that Jay had in his tool arsenal. We also had a few nails to remove at this point. We opted to snip them on the back, vs. pull them out the front, to avoid mucking up the quarter round too much. In some ways, it would have been easier to just reinstall quarter round new from the store, but in the interest of saving a few dollars, we opted to reuse the stuff we had, and just patch it up with caulk and paint as needed once it was back up on the wall.

Removing Caulk from Trim

Since the stain is so dark, we opted to come back over each of these spots with primer and then our trim color, to make sure we didn’t have spot of stain popping through. Before we painted or primed the trim, we had to make sure our quarter round was all spruced up and ready for prime time, hardee har har (bad joke ;)).

The next day, after we cleaned up all the trim, we laid it all out and got ready to get all matchy matchy with our number system, referenced above. It was a bit of a game of memory. But SO MUCH easier than trying to find the piece with the right fit for each location by eye. We had over 40 pieces all together, so that would have take a long time, son.

Organizing Quarter Round

Final step, before the paint went up. Why caulking of course. 😉

How to caulk trim

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