How to Power Sand Crown Molding and Custom Trim Prep

Written by on April 1, 2012 in Power Sanders, Prep, Tools with 3 Comments
Festool LS1300

Save your hands for painting.

Trim Prep Accelerant

There are many, many cases where traditional round orbital and square palm sanders are not helpful in completing interior trim prep tasks, simply because of their design. Most notably, crown molding, base cap, cove, bed molds and beadboard, which are among the more common custom profiles that distinguish a basic trim pack from a more custom scenario.

Most visitors of this site know that we have been testing Festool abrasives, sanders and extractors for a long time, and we continue to appreciate manufacturer willingness to submit tools for our evaluation and field based testing to assess their function and practicality for paint contractors. This video footage is exactly that.

The Trouble With Prep

The problem is, and has been, in trim heavy custom homes, we always see certain profiles that have historically left us with no practical option for sanding other than our hands. No sanders that we had looked at could tackle custom profiles effectively because their shapes simply could not conform to the trim stock.

[Related: Fine Finish Production Tips for Professional Painters]

Festool

Efficiency on intricate details

A Suitable Solution

We have found a solution to this problem in the form of a the Festool LS130, which has multiple attachments that are well suited to custom shapes and sizes on trim. And, this can be done with remarkable ability to prevent dust from becoming airborne in the process. In this video, we have a poplar trim package that is at the nail hole filling and sanding stage. In the past, we would have taken more time to meticulously fill the holes, to make the hand sanding easier. Often, it would be necessary to reskim some of the holes after hand sanding. These moves added time to the prep process especially when time spent manually vacuuming dust is considered. Now, we can more quickly pack the holes with a heavier bodied filler, power sand faster and collect the majority of the dust all in one sequence. The bottom line is, we are most profitable when we are applying finishes, not preparing to apply finishes.

[Related: Dust Extraction in Painting]

Nail hole sanding is just one small step in the overall sequence of trim prep, but it is one where many hours can be saved. We are doing the same type of exploring in all aspects of interior surface prep for painting and will continue to share the results. Coming soon, we will share techniques for accelerating wall prep (drywall skim sanding) with more power.

Please leave comments and questions, and let us know if there are particular problems in your paint sequence that we could demonstrate with these test resources.

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About the Author

About the Author: Scott Burt is a contractor and freelance writer whose column "From the Field" has appeared in American Painting Contractor magazine (www.paintmag.com) since 2008. His writing and projects also appear in other print and digital venues. This site is an extension of Scott's publication work, and he encourages readers to leave comments and questions about articles published here. Hope to hear from you! Scott's Google Profile .

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  1. Prep, Prime and Paint: Fine Waterborne Paint Finish | Topcoat Review | October 9, 2012
  1. This is just the video I needed to show my customer, Thanks!

    Painting Artist, Inc.

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