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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am stripping an old door that was once painted and then stripped and stained. When we got it it was stained and the more open grain had paint deep inside that was never removed. I am trying to get the door stripped down so that I can gel stain it and install. I am worried that the open grain will be obvious and wonder whether I should be filling it in with something, or whether I should try and sand it down. My problem is that it seems that the more I sand the more the rougher grain opens, so I seem to make little headway. Am I doing something wrong? How should I proceed?? Here are pictures of the door and closeups of the graining problem:


 

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You need to chemically strip the door instead of sanding it. Other than commercial removers the best remover that is readily available that I've used is Kleen Strip. It's available at most of the box stores and even walmart. It is a semi-paste remover that will cling to the wood. Brush the remover on and keep applying the remover to dry spots for about a half hour. Then take a brass brush and rub the finish off with the grain and apply another coat of remover for a few minutes and scrape the finish off with a broad knife. You have to work fast because once you start scraping the finish and residue will try to dry back on the door. Then the residue needs to be cleaned off. One method is to use lacquer thinner with a rags changing rags from time to time. I normally use a small power washer that is 1500 psi. It will clean the wood cleaner than anything else you could use. Sometimes especially with paint you have some stick in cracks and crevasses and the power washer will lift it out.
 

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where's my table saw?
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just my opinion...

That door is too far gone to sand and restain and have it "look like new". It is seriously weathered and the soft grain is too far below the hard grain. I would consider an antique finish so some of the grain will show but you can fill some of the imperfections. You can create a faux weathered look since you're well on the way. I'm afraid you just won't be happy with a stain....I donno?

http://www.ehow.com/way_5427114_distressed-wood-finishing.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That door is too far gone to sand and restain and have it "look like new". It is seriously weathered and the soft grain is too far below the hard grain. I would consider an antique finish so some of the grain will show but you can fill some of the imperfections. You can create a faux weathered look since you're well on the way. I'm afraid you just won't be happy with a stain....I donno?

http://www.ehow.com/way_5427114_distressed-wood-finishing.html
Yeah I was wondering about that. I got some Famowood filler and mixed it with dark brown acrylic paint and tried that on some scratches and holes. I tried gel stain over it and it looks like it might just work. I had serious wood loss on some trim that dogs had scratched away and used plaster and paint and stain to mask it. That worked fine - except for close inspection on your knees - but I don't expect many vistors to be inspecting my trim or door bottoms on their knees :laughing:
 

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If you still need stripping advice - find someone who has a flow-over system. The chemicals which are used in that type of stripping will remove most anything. Then wipe it down w/ a cleaner which helps restore the wood.
Sanding will only make the door look worse.
 
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