How do I remove stain from exterior front door - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 18 Old 09-04-2010, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
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How do I remove stain from exterior front door

Hi everyone

I would like to remove stain on my front exterior door and would like to know what method I could use to remove the stain and then restain the door.

I have never removed stain before. I really do not want to use a chemical remover.

Would I be able to remove it with sand paper? What kind of sandpaper would I need?

Thank you.
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post #2 of 18 Old 09-04-2010, 04:34 AM
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WELCOME TO THE FORUM

It would be helpful to know where on the planet you are located, which direction the door faces, it's age, extent of exposure, the type of door (if wood...what species), what finish, and what stains (a description would help).







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post #3 of 18 Old 09-04-2010, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabinetman View Post
WELCOME TO THE FORUM

It would be helpful to know where on the planet you are located, which direction the door faces, it's age, extent of exposure, the type of door (if wood...what species), what finish, and what stains (a description would help).












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Thank you cabinetman. First off, is that all your work in the gallery section? Wow, amazing! You are one amazing woodworker.

As to were I am on this planet..... I am in Canada. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The weather is pretty cold in the winter. The door is oak. The stain on it is very dark. It is covered by a portico, or whatever you call it. So it is somewhat protected from the elements.

Here is a picture of it. Thanks for your help. [ATTACH]16601How do I remove stain from exterior front door-img_0636.jpg
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post #4 of 18 Old 09-04-2010, 10:13 AM
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yep you can sand it a random orbital sander would be easier start with a corse paper say 100 grit and work up to say 400or 500 grit same if you do it by hand but you have to go with the grain never across the grain

Old wood workers never die thay just get dry rot
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post #5 of 18 Old 09-04-2010, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by yummy mummy View Post
Thank you cabinetman. First off, is that all your work in the gallery section? Wow, amazing! You are one amazing woodworker.

Thank you for the compliment. They are my work but not all of it. I never thought a camera could be a woodworking tool.

As for your door, I think sanding would work but it will take forever and there are a lot of nooks and crannies that would have to be scraped clean with a small chisel.

You might first try wiping down with lacquer thinner and see how much comes off. Your failsafe method would be to use a chemical stripper. The strongest strippers are MC based (methlene chloride), and are very toxic. You would need good ventilation (preferably outdoors), gauntlet chemically resistant gloves, and face/eye protection. It's the fastest remover. One I use is called "Aircraft Stripper", in a blue can, sold at automotive paint and body stores.

Or, you could try a waterbased stripper, like Citristrip. It's sold at the home centers, and is not as toxic as MC based strippers. It can be used indoors, smells like oranges, and cleans up with water. It may take more than one application.






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post #6 of 18 Old 09-04-2010, 11:47 AM
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This thread has some ueful info..

Refinishing a heavy oak door is no picnic. It means removing the door and the hardware to do it "correctly". The water based Cirtus Strip mentioned by Cabinetman did not work well for me. I had to use the "toxic" stuff and about 5 applications, tons of poper towels and old cloth towels to get the old stain/finish off, and you will want to restain and varnish anyway.
Here's the thread: Refinish oak door bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo

Last edited by woodnthings; 09-04-2010 at 04:51 PM.
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post #7 of 18 Old 09-04-2010, 04:27 PM
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Common household washing bleach (5.25% hydrochloric acid) will bleach out the color of stain in most cases. But of course if there is a top coat finish over it, that will have to be removed first. normally a paint remover will not take stain out, but the bleach will. On your oak door the bleach should return the color to a somewhat yellowish hue. Let the wood througly dry before restaining it. Bleach will also take out the natural color of any new wood, (Black Walnut , Red oak, etc.) and give you the bleached effect. As for as safety just use gloves and glasses because you will splash it around. Lay the door flat and pour the bleach on and move it over the surface with a large paint brush, the stain should start to be bleached out before your eyes. Of course you should not be wearing your best go to church suit or you will turn it into a really HOLEY one. Let the door dry in the sun for best results. If you want to nutralize the bleach after it has done its job you can rinse the surface with baking soda and water. wipe it dry and place in the sun. Good luck! Jackie.
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post #8 of 18 Old 09-05-2010, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks very much to everyone for all your help.
Great information.

I really don't want to use any liquid remover. I think I will sand it.

I know it will take long, but that is ok.
Do I really have to take the door off to do it? Can I cheat and do it in place? I really don't want to take it down.

I will get my sand paper and start when I have some time. Then of course, I will have to bug y'all for information on staining and also protecting it. Is there a product that I can put on that has both a stain and a protector sealer, or whatever that may be called?
I have never done this before.

Thanks again.
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post #9 of 18 Old 09-06-2010, 01:09 AM
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I used the Citristripper on some shutters. I left it on several hours, then hosed it off with the nozzle on "jet". I then let them dry in the sun for a hour or two. Next came steel wool or the green scotch brite pads. Next came the Dremel multi-max for the nooks and crannies and my ROS for the edge boards. The first set had been stained a medium shade and returned almost to "new" color wise. The second set had been stained much darker and got to be a medium shade after all the sanding. I really vote for taking it off and doing it in the yard. You're gonna have to have the door open to do the edges and get a bunch of saw dust inside. IMHO
Vicki
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post #10 of 18 Old 09-06-2010, 09:03 AM
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Success with strippers and sandpaper is directly related to how deep the stain has soaked into the wood. If they don't get deep enough, oxalic acid will bleach the wood to an ugly gray color requiring the restaining of the door to a more suitable color,
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post #11 of 18 Old 09-06-2010, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yummy mummy View Post
Hi everyone

I would like to remove stain on my front exterior door and would like to know what method I could use to remove the stain and then restain the door.

I have never removed stain before. I really do not want to use a chemical remover.

Would I be able to remove it with sand paper? What kind of sandpaper would I need?

Thank you.
cabinetman hit it on the head. More info. You aren't going to get stain out with sand paper. Now remember stain goes down in the wood pour's right. How far down would you sand ??? Never happen. More info and you will get a solutioni am sure
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post #12 of 18 Old 09-06-2010, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yummy mummy View Post
Thanks very much to everyone for all your help.
Great information.

I really don't want to use any liquid remover. I think I will sand it.

I know it will take long, but that is ok.
Do I really have to take the door off to do it? Can I cheat and do it in place? I really don't want to take it down.

I will get my sand paper and start when I have some time. Then of course, I will have to bug y'all for information on staining and also protecting it. Is there a product that I can put on that has both a stain and a protector sealer, or whatever that may be called?
I have never done this before.

Thanks again.
you are going to stand on your head or bend down . Good luck on your back. Take the door off get it where you can work on it. unless you are young and can bend over for a long time. Not like me. good luck
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post #13 of 18 Old 09-06-2010, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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I am thinking that the stain is not too far down as the part that I step on at the bottom has worn out.

If you notice in the picture, it is lighter at the bottom.
Ok, maybe I will get a stripper.
I don't think I can take the door down, as I will have nothing there. I guess I have to put another temporary door in?

Too much work.........

I don't mind if I have to bend and do it over a long period of time. I have to try it.

I will start with 500 sandpaper? Then work myself downward?


Thanks again to all.
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post #14 of 18 Old 09-06-2010, 06:28 PM
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"I will start with 500 sandpaper? Then work myself downward?"


No, 500 grit sandpaper is very smooth and it would take you forever. You probably want to start with 100 grit then work your way up. When it comes to sand paper the lower the grit (the number) the rougher it is. As the number gets higher the sand paper gets smoother. Once you sand the old finish off and you get ready to re-stain you want to use the higher (smoother) grits to get rid of the scratch marks left by the rougher grits.

How did I mess THAT up?
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post #15 of 18 Old 09-06-2010, 06:30 PM
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Honestly you really need some help

Quote:
I will start with 500 sandpaper? Then work myself downward?

Absolutely not! Sandspaper is numbered like so. the higher the number, the finer the grit. So 500 is a very fine grit used in the automotive paint and refinishing trades, rarely for wood as the wood particles will clog it instantly.

Having done this recently, this is a major task, not a typical DYI project for someone who has never done refinishing. JMO. That doesn't mean with some technical help and physical help, to remove the door and seal the opening either with visqueen or a temporary plywood door, you can't do it. Sanding off the old finish by hand will take for ever and unless you can lay the door flat and see what you are doing and have gravity working for you, it will be very difficult.
There is a product called "Refinisher", it disolves the original finish and can then be blended and refinished. It's made by Klean Strip and it's available at Home Depot, $5.49 per quart.
You can try on a small portion as see how it works. As was mentioned the reason for removing the door it to allow the stripper to sit on the flat surfaces to react. If it runs down it won't work as well.
These types of oak door are beautiful, but they require considerable upkeep to keep them in good condition. To let them go is to destroy them...not good. bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo

Last edited by woodnthings; 09-06-2010 at 07:52 PM.
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post #16 of 18 Old 09-07-2010, 07:20 AM
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If you plan on sanding, start with a 100 or 150 grit sandpaper. After sanding with, let say, 150 grit...resand the door with 180 grit. After you have sanded the door with 180...resand with 220 grit and stop there.

Decide at that point if you want to add a pigment(stain) to the door, or if the color that remains is sufficient.

Now apply your stain (if needed) and your topcoat of poly, varnish or an oil (depending on your exposure), then you will sand in between coats with a 400 grit sandapaer. depending on your desired finish you will not use a 440 grit or greater until you have applied your first topcoat of poly or whatever you decide to use.

you have a bit of work ahead of you...be patient, do not rush the project if you are looking for good results...

my 2 cents

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post #17 of 18 Old 09-08-2010, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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OMG, talk about not knowing my sandpaper................

Yes, I will start with a 100 and work upwards.

I plan on doing a little every day, and hopefully in about 2 months I will have it done. I think I will try and do it without taking the door down. I know it would be better taking it down, but my darling husband, does not want to have anything to do with it. He says, just hire someone. But what is the fun in that......

I want to see if I can accomplish this. If not, it will get painted black.......

Thanks to everyone for all your great help.
You guys are awesome.
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post #18 of 18 Old 09-09-2010, 06:21 AM
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not to let this rest...but leaving that door with no protection (poly, varnish, etc...) exposed for two months to the cold, wet canadian winter air may not be the best idea...

in fact, it may be a bad idea. You may want to at least complete the exterior first then move on to the inside, and do not forget all the edges, afterall there are six sides to a door.

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