refinishing exterior door


Old 01-03-00, 01:40 AM
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I have a "jailhouse" style exterior door that is veneer and is stained dark walnut. It was installed 20 years ago with a polyurethane coating. That is now almost all gone and I would like to bleach or lighten up the door so it won't be so dark. The fact that it is veneer is what is holding me back. Any suggestions or solutions?
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Old 01-03-00, 06:03 AM
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Hi Lynn
well Veneer is normally a hardy covering depending on the thickness, an old finish can be removed using a stripper that reacts chemically with paint or varnish. There are general purpose strippers that will soften both solvent based and water based finishes, there are two main types of strippers highly potent chemical strippers and so called green strippers but with these they do take a lot longer to work but the choice is yours but always follow the manufactures health and safty recomendations, but before you opt for any particular stripper you should consider the nature of the surface that you intend to strip, the thick gel like paint removers that cling well to vertical surfaces such as doors and wall panelling are perfect for general purpose household joinery, strippers made to a thinner consistancy are perhaps best employed on delictely carved work for good quality furniture especially if it is veneered, make sure you use a stripper that can be washed off with white spirit as water will raise the grain and may soften old glue, you can then use a bleach to remove the colouring, if you can get hold of a similar piece of veneered wood as a test piece before atempting the main door this would be preferable to start with, as any mistakes wont damage the main door, try different strippers see which work the best for you, other than this talk to a Decorator about your problem Im sure he/she will be only to pleased to offer you more advice, I hope this helps a little, Handyman...
ps try asking a french polisher for his advice?
Remember that your eyes are your windows on the world, so protect them!!

[This message has been edited by Handyman (edited January 03, 2000).]
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