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How to Remove Old Wire before Painting

Learn how to remove old wire before painting from Brushed Interiors founder David Sartori in this Howcast video.


Talk about these old New York apartments. Look at this. These are old wires, this was installed by Thomas Edison and Company, American telegraph and telephone pole and it's all painted in years ago. This old cable, phone cable, it's actually a coaxial cable but it's still a big mess some going to tear this out and we're going to smooth all of this out. You might as well do it now, is got to be done sometime. By the way it's always good to have a good set of pliers with a cutting-edge on a job like this. You never know when you have to pull something out...

Be careful on the staples, they're sharp. - Alright. Okay. Wow. That creates a lot of damage. We don't want to just paint over that obviously, we got to clean this up. Take a look at this. It's all gummed up. You got the old paint. And you better get in there with your scraper and clean all of that up and we're going seal that up and then we're going to fix that with a compound mixture. Alright, let's wipe this down a little bit. Okay. My good friend, the bin primer. You the other things in the store like plaster weld or other coatings, but bin primer is just a fix at all. I like to have it on any job site. Tighten up and seal up the top edge here in that my plaster mix has something to a adhere to, it's solid. And again this bin primer is going to dry up just than 10 minutes. Awesome. Awesome stuff.

All right, fantastic! I'm back to this heavily damaged area at the baseboards. Now we tore out the old wires, the old pre-wear wires there were painted in. Look at all of this damage. We sealed it in with bin primer and we're going to mix a little more compound with plaster pairs. We're not going to get super complicated on this. There's other compounds that a contractor might use here or already patch, you might seal it up with plaster weld, wood filler compound, but since we have is going and I sealed it with the bin primer, this is totally going to work. I've got my joint compound and little plaster pairs. This stuff is fabulous. I'm going to mix it a little heavier this time. It's not quite half-and-half, maybe a little less plaster there. - I'm making a new 45° angle here, there's just so much damage that's simply what I decided to do... And I may even come over and do it a second time with a light skim coat as well and are just smooth out the top. But you can see the method here is simply creating a new edge.

The damage was just so heavy and we're not replacing this spaceport, we're just trying to get a nice paint job done in a pre-wore department without having to do a gut renovation. So we're just going back to life. This needs a little work. I'm going to smooth it in a little better and let that set for a moment. Okay. Some going to finish up repairing this throughout the apartment and we're going to let that dry, that first scope. We're going to come back and stand and see how nice that edge is and then do some touchup compounds patching in certain places and make it nice and smooth. Coming back to the door now we remove these ancient wires and we've filled them a lot of the imperfections and all of this gouging with a plaster compound mix. Now I have sanded it down on the edges and I've made a little curve with my sandpaper and I got in here and smooth it out to a degree. This is an old building, it's an old apartment, has a lot of character. Not going to be perfect, but what we want is some kind of consistency.

Now I have the basic water-based primer, I like to put on nice and thick and we're going to seal this up so that it's ready for paint. Again I have this all sanded down already and wipe it down, get the dust out of the way and I'm just going to put a nice thick coat of primer. I like to take my time with even the primer because that's why base and if I'm real sloppy with it the paint is going to go on sloppy as well. Now I can put it on kind of thick any initial strokes here and then smooth it out and I'll go this way and we'll come along the baseboard, the top of the baseboard. I want to get into the corner here nice and thick. Get the primer in their first and then smooth it out. Great. Now this primer dries really fast, I'm going to come back less than an hour. This baseboard is ready to paint.

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