Is it possible to even out layers of exterior paint without fully sanding down to wood? : HomeImprovement

I live in 1920’s home that has a fully windowed front porch. I want to paint my home exterior, but all of the window trim and structural beams of the porch have countless layers of uneven paint on them that look awful. I’ve spent entire weekends going at this paint with 80 grit sandpaper on a belt sander trying to get down to wood, but I’ve barely been able to make a dent, and that’s just on the surfaces that are large enough to use a belt sander on. I have no idea how I would begin to get at the smaller areas.

Is there an alternative solution to sanding down to wood to even out layers of exterior paint? Would something like filling in the low spots with wood filler and then sanding down before painting work? It seems like a waste of effort to remove good paint from the house that is clearly working to protect the wood underneath.

Pictures of the worst parts of the house here: I threw down a thin coat of white primer so hopefully it’s easier for you guys to see what I’m up against.

TL,DR: Looking for a way to even out layers of old paint that won’t take every weekend from now until the end of the year to get it done.

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