It seems that every house requires different tools, even if I am basically doing the same job. At the last house I was painting everything -walls, trim, ceiling, etc. My favorite tools were a heat gun and a belt sander. In this house, my favorite tools are my heat gun and an orbital sander. I think the type of sander has more to do with whether the trim was painted before (yes in the old house; no in the current house). The bad news is I am evidently hard on orbital sanders.
In the last few months I have managed to break all three of the sanders we owned – 2 porter cables and one Milwaukee. Granted we “acquired” them all used and they had already been fixed by Wade at least once before. Wade finally had enough and bought me a new Ridgid random orbital sander. I used it to finish up the sunroom and was quite pleased with how it worked. Wade picked it up to finish a door and it wouldn’t work. I claimed innocence – it was fine when I used it. He said history showed otherwise. We’d only had it a week so he returned it to Depot and got a new one, but I’m beginning to wonder if I am just bad luck.
Now for a trick to painting stained trim. I have mentioned in the past the trouble I have had with painting. No where on the internet or the local stores could I find a solution to both the stain showing through and the cracking. My best option had been to use the orbital sander with 60 grit sandpaper to try and remove all the varnish/shlack and then use Zinser BIN to seal the stain. If cracking occurred I would sand some more and apply a second coat. It was a messy, tedious process. Then by accident I discovered that my heat gun will remove the varnish/shlack. In fact, it works easier on varnish/shlack than paint. Then I can do a quick sand and paint – with no sanding in between coats or additional coats of Zinser. Too bad I realized this towards the end of my painting. Another quick fact – spackle actually works on the cracking wonderfully – especially for those areas that are almost impossible to sand.