Refinishing Doors - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-24-2018, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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Question Refinishing Doors

Just bought a house and it has these solid wooden doors. Of course, they were covered in about 4-5 layers of paint, but after some (a lot) of paint stripper and time, I got them down to bare wood. My problem is this: these doors have a decorative edge around the inside panels and the paint stripper just couldn't get it out all the way. I was able to get most of it off, but since it's wood, some of the paint soaked into the grain and, even though it's down to bare wood, you can still see some of the white paint residue. At first, I used a wire brush, but it just couldn't get through the paint. I tried using a wire wheel, but that started to damage the edge, so I quickly abandoned that idea. I was thinking about routing the inside edges? I don't know if you can "reroute" something (never used a router before). Anyone have any advice?
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-24-2018, 11:56 AM
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Welcome to the forum! When you get a minute go ahead and complete your profile with first name and location. You can add your first name to your signature line and it will show in each post.

Someone should be along shortly to assist with your paint issue. I have no idea so I'm not even going to guess. You can post photos and that might help, as well.



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post #3 of 5 Old 07-24-2018, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Kradi916 View Post
... even though it's down to bare wood... ... I used a wire brush, but it just couldn't get through the paint???

when there is difficult to remove paint, I resort to scraping. there are many ways to accomplish this. I have used pieces of broken glass (bottle), cabinet scrapers, back of a chisel, etc. my favorite is a small carbide scraper on a handle. scraping takes a deft hand where you are only applying enough pressure to get the job done. any more and you may be tearing grain out.
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post #4 of 5 Old 07-24-2018, 05:26 PM
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As you’ve found, it’s very difficult to go back to a natural wood finish after a door has been painted several times. The color that remains in the grain or in the moldings is what is termed as a pickled finish. You can actually find brand new furniture with a pickled finish because for some this is a very desirable look.
A painted door is more trouble-free and longer lasting finish than a stained finish. This is why many doors get painted.
Since you’ve stripped the door of all paint, the only thing left is sanding and scrapping to get the final clean-up. Still a time consuming job, but not as messy as the stripper probably was. If you plan to re-stain the door start sanding with 150 grit sandpaper wrapped around a stick. If you need to scrape, you must scrape with the grain or you’ll make a mess. A knife can clean a corner. Good luck.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #5 of 5 Old 07-24-2018, 06:02 PM
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Paint is always an awful job getting off. The best way would be to use paint stripper and a power washer to get what is left. Still you have to let the stripper sit for nearly an hour re-applying it to keep it fresh before rinsing. Then it never comes off 100% so what is left you sand off or mix some paint the color of the stain you are using and cover it up. Touch up markers is also a solution.

If you use a power washer on wood adjust the pressure down to where you can hold your hand about 15" from the nozzle and it doesn't hurt. You are pretty much limited to about 1200psi with a power washer. I use a HF power washer that is 1600 psi but keep the nozzle back far enough it doesn't damage the wood.
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