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Should I strip the spray paint coat or just sand and paint over it? Answered

I spray painted over a painted hutch years ago. The hutch is made of MDF. The spray paint has been scuffed off in areas.

Should I sand the and paint over it or strip the spray paint?
If the answer is to strip the spray paint, do I use a normal paint stripper or something designed for spray paint?

Thank you to everyone who answered! I feel confident about repainting my hutch after reading your advice.



Best Answer 7 years ago

Remove any loose or peeling paint, fill all scratches or gouges with wood putty. Feather out the edges of the paint where it has peeled and smooth out the wood putty, and then lightly sand the entire surface with 220 grit sandpaper, the idea being to scuff the surface so the new paint will stick.
Give it a coat or two of primer, lightly sand it again and then apply your finish coat, lightly sanding between each coat.

I know this was answered, but for future reference, you may want to remove just a small bit of paint down to the wood to see if there's something "nice" hiding underneath.

I grew up with a second hand dresser my parents picked up at a house sale. It was black, but it had a marble top, although somewhat pitted.

When I finally moved out, my mom said t was mine...years later, while laid off from a job, I got bored and stripped a bit, only to find that it is a solid walnut Eastlake dresser. There were probably 10 or 15 layers of paint in a variety of colors, but under it all was a beautiful grain [pattern. I still own it.

I also once worked for a WWII vet who told me to take an old secretary/radio cabinet, probably 1920s vintage, from the basement out to the tree lawn for collection. He had used it for years as a test area for spray painting and it was thoroughly coated with a bazallion colors...Anyway, being a scavenger at heart, I put it in my car instead f the tree lawn..Once stripped, I found another treasure, this time 1/4" thick tiger-stripe walnut and pear venier on a maple underbody. I use it as a TV cabinet, although my original idea was to use it as a Liquore (ie, schnapps, cordials, etc., not Whiskey/gin/vodka) cabinet.

Wow, that is an outstanding find. Congrats.

Assuming the hutch is for an animal paint isn't generally the best finish. A wood stain/presertive safe for animals would be better. Remove the paint to do this.

I should have been more specific. It is a china hutch. It holds my pots and pans in the bottom and cookbooks on the open shelves on top.


7 years ago

It depends on how damaged the coat you are going to paint over is. If it is in good shape, just clean it well with TSP or TSP substitute, and then prime and paint. If it is damaged, sand it well, and clean it, and then prime and paint it. Sanding the primer coat will also help smooth things out. I'm not sure, but I suspect that stripper will damage the MDF, and I'm am sure that the water you'll use to rinse/neutralize the stripper WILL damage the MDF. So, sand, clean, prime, sand clean, and paint, in the worst case. Sand, clean, prime, and paint in the best case.

I'm glad I asked this question here. If I had gone ahead and used stripper then I more than likely would have ruined the hutch.


7 years ago

Hit the entire thing with steel wool. Starting on the "scuffed" areas with a heavier grit. If the areas are corners or edges, and seem to leave "craters", give them a blast of primer and start the processes all over buffing everything together.

If you plan to use the same color just clean the area and sand lightly any imperfections. Use primer if you plan to remove the old color.