I want to take a minute to talk about the importance of using the same sanding and finishing sequence on your moulding and casings as you use on your floor if you’re trying to achieve the best match possible. Sometimes this isn’t the case at all. Sometimes people like to use a slightly different color or sheen on their floor than on the rest of the woodwork in their home and in other cases the trim is painted in the house and this wouldn’t apply at all. But for the sake of this quick blog we are assuming that the client or homeowner wants all of their wood to match.
Most of the time on a standard 2-1/4” strip oak floor the finish grit on the sanding machines will be either 100 or 120 depending on personal preference and a number of other things that will be discussed in a later article. And then the floor is almost always “water-popped”, then stained, and finally coated with finish. So since this is the process used on the floor we will replicate it identically on the mouldings.
Most moulding and other millwork comes ready-to-finish. Meaning its been milled or in some instan
ces sanded smooth at the factory before it ever gets in your hands. That’s great but grit matters. So even if your moulding feels and looks smooth/ready to finish you’ll still want to use the same grit sand paper or screen that you used on the floor to give the moulding a quick once-over before beginning the finish process. Once the sanding/screening is complete and the wood has been tacked clean you’re ready for water-popping. There are a number of ways to do this but personally I like to mix half distilled water and half denatured alcohol and apply it using a regular garden sprayer. Once that’s had a chance to dry overnight it will be time to stain or oil the wood and finally apply the topcoat or finish. And sometimes it can be tempting to skip one of the final coats of finish on the moulding because they aren’t an actual walking surface, but again I feel that it’s of utmost importance to use as many coats of finish as you did on the floor.
These were a few reasons why it’s important to use a consistent sanding and finishing process on your floors and moulding as well as a quick rundown of how I typically do them. There are many different ways to achieve the same end goal and if your process is different but works for you then by all means continue on. I hope this helps someone looking for advice on the topic and I appreciate you taking the time to read. Please take a moment to leave a comment or question down below.