Refinishing neglected wood entrance door


  #1  
Old 11-30-02, 11:29 AM
lydia67
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Red face Refinishing neglected wood entrance door

I am trying to refinish a wood front entrance door to my house. It is about 65 years old (as is the door). It was painted. I am trying to remove the paint which apparently is VERY old and soaked into the wood grain. I have most of it off and find that the door was probably painted because it was neglected and is a darker color where the sun shined through the storm door window.

How can I get it all the same color again? Also, is there an easier way to remove the paint than just using a paint stripper from Home Depot?

Thank you much.
 
  #2  
Old 11-30-02, 12:45 PM
L
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usually the sun will lighten the wood and rain/water will darken.
use a brass brush with the grain when stripping. and only strip a small area at a time. use laquer thinner to wash what you have stripped, using the brass brush again, then a clean rag. see what you have then keep going until you have it all stripped. use dental tools to ''pick'' at hard to get to areas. once it is stripped clean to what you want and it is still two toned from sun/water damage you can bleach it. you didnt say what colour you are going to go back to/stain? i suggest not top coating your door on the exterior. just stain it to what you want then after the stain is dry, use straight oil. you can buy tung oil which will cost you more.
or you can use motor oil which you can thin or use straight. you can sand inbetween coats of oil with 320 wet/dry paper. just oil again and then look for the dry areas that will soak up more oil until they dont anymore. then all you have to do is each fall or winter depending on which does more damage, sun/rain, is to re-oil your door with a rag saturated with oil, or just brush it on and wipe. by oiling you dont have to worry about finish flaking or chipping and having to strip the whole door again in a few years.
 
  #3  
Old 11-30-02, 03:03 PM
lydia67
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Neglected wood front entrance door

leewaytoo -
I would like to go to the natural shade of the wood. I have no idea what kind of wood it is. The door is about 2 inches thick and is very heavy and solid. It does not appear to be a very light color.

I tried steel wood on a part of the darkened part. It is very gooey. However, I don't know if that is varnish under the paint or what. The darkened color is right where the storm door's window is --- it takes up most of the center of the door.

What do I use to bleach the wood and how do I do it? Do I just use laundry bleach and smear it on with a sponge or something? Then do I just wait and see what happens? How do I control the shade when bleaching?

You may be right about the water damage as some of the grain seems to be wider than the rest of the door. The only thing I can imagine is that someone at sometime left the windows out of the storm door or used a screen and the water got on the door.

Thanks for your response.
 
  #4  
Old 12-01-02, 01:18 PM
L
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if it is gooey then its probably finish, so strip that first. make sure you have all finish off. yes you can use home bleach. just sponge it on and use steel wool with the grain to ''work it in''. rinse with water. its messy. be careful in regards to the 'inside part of the door'. might be best to do both sides. you might try to just bleach the part that is darker first and when it gets close to the already lighter wood, then bleach the whole thing one time, and rinse with water.
when you sand after bleaching use 220 and try to avoid sanding thru the bleached wood. you sometimes have to bleach a number of times. there are ''two part bleach'' products. very strong, wear gloves for any bleach, have a fan nearby to blow the fumes away from you, try to stay ''upwind'' i wear a ''half mask'' and have a fan as well. you may not be able to go light, just the way it goes sometimes. maybe the door was painted and then a ''storm door was installed.
 
  #5  
Old 12-01-02, 04:48 PM
lydia67
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Front entrance door - refinishing

Leewaytoo -

I am having a heck of a time getting the paint off this door. It is just an average size door and I have already gone through 3 quarts of paint stripper. I still am not finished with getting the paint off. Is that normal or am I doing something wrong? I am waiting the directed length of time and even longer and not much luck.

Most of the door is gooey or sticky where I have gotten the paint off. Do I keep using paint stripper to get all that off or do I use the laquer thinner?

Thanks for your help.

PS. I wish I had never started this. I have worked on it for 2 solid days!!
 
  #6  
Old 12-02-02, 02:31 AM
edtree
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Lydia,

Are you trying to strip the whole door at once? If you are, my guess is that the stripper is probably drying before you can remove it. Try doing one section at a time, for instance, one panel of the door. Work from top to bottom so you aren't going over what you've already done.

Are you using a paste type stripper? If not, you're probably having much of it run off the project before it can do it's intended job. Dab the stripper on the wood, do not brush it on. Dab it on thickly. Keep watch over it so it doesn't dry on (instead of using the can's directions). Then, proceed as leewaytoo suggested for removing the stripper residue.

I'm going to venture a guess that the household bleach will not do the trick. You will probably need to get a wood bleach. The kind of wood bleach recommended for water damage is called oxcilic acid. I bought some for myself at my local hardware. I also noticed the other day that Lowe's has it as well. It comes in crystals and you mix it with HOT water to apply. The whole door surface needs to be bleached or some parts of your door will be lighter than others.

As for the amount of time you've worked on the door....I personally don't think two days is a long time. I spent weeks doing one door from start to finish. Some things just take a while to do the job right.

Elizabeth
 
  #7  
Old 12-02-02, 07:29 AM
lydia67
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Unhappy Refinishing Front Entrance Door

Hi, Elizabeth -

Thank you for your reply and advice.

I have been working on one part of the door at a time as you suggest. You are correct that the remover runs off or down. I am using a gel type remover. Can you suggest a paste type remover as when I went to Home Depot gel was the only kind I could find.

As of this time, I have most of the paint off with the exception of one or two small areas and a more complicated/intricate area in the center of the d- oor. The center of the door has another small door built into it with a stained glass center. It is used as a "peep hole." It has a rounded top and a small window sill at the bottom - shaped like an upside down U. (The door itself also has a rounded top).

Also, thank you for the info on the bleach and where to get it. That will save me some time.

Everyone has been so helpful in the site.

I, naively, thought I could strip off the paint in a couple of hours and find a beautiful wood underneath. I would clean it and oil it and voila - a new door. So now I don't feel as discouraged, except that I wish I had started it after Christmas.

Carolyn (not the deceiving Lydia)

PS - I lived in Saginaw for 10 years.
 
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Old 12-02-02, 02:49 PM
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its too bad you decided to do the door this time of year, for i would have just taken the door off it's hinges and placed on two saw horses to strip it. i would also remove the small door. so much easier to keep your stripper on the door when its flat/horizontal. when scraping the stripper and hopefully the paint off, try to pull towards you with the scrapper, i use a putty knife that does not have sharp edges at the corners. you will gouge the wood if you push away with the putty knife. grab the blade of the putty knife on both sides with both hands and pull towards you or down in your case. you might try taking the door off and stripping it in the garage. place plastic down 6 mils or better, double it too. tape plastic up where the front door was.
you could sand it after stripping easier too. then bleach if you need to. you should be able to do this in one day, if you keep at it. from stripping to bleaching. sanding after dry. use laquer thinner for your wash after stripping to clean it up better than paint thinner. u mentioned ''quarts'' always buy it by the gallon.
and dont be cheap on the price. you can use the ''heavy bodied'' stripper and then use the thin stipper with steel wool to re-activate what may have set up again. that is leave the heavy/paste stripper on and then apply thin/liquid stripper as you work an area.
laundry bleach will not always work, just cheaper to start with,
your paint stores might have the ''two part'' bleach.
 
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Old 12-02-02, 06:12 PM
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A good semi-paste stripper that I use a lot is Strypeeze, made by the Savogran Company. It's usualy available at Lowe's, Home Depot, etc.

It clings well to vertical surfaces, although it is a little slower acting than some of the liquid strippers.
 
  #10  
Old 12-03-02, 02:27 AM
edtree
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Hi Carolyn,

As George suggested, the strypeeze is a good product, in my opinion also. I've also used Bix, but I think the strypeeze is a bit thicker, and that's what will work best for you since you're working on your door in a vertical position.

The nooks and crannies are always the most difficult parts to get the paint removed. As Leewaytoo suggested in one of his posts, your best bet is probably a combination of the stripping products, brass brushes, and fine-tuning instruments like the dental picks for the picky little areas.

I remember a tip I heard from somewhere (maybe here) that you can use a wooden dowel sharpened in a pencil sharpener to get in the little corner areas.

Another tip I've heard but never tried is too cover your strippper with kitchen plastic wrap to keep it from drying before the stripper has a chance to work.

As was suggested also, removing the door and working on it flat would have been ideal. That's how I did mine. If this is a possible option for you, the sanding and finsihing will also be easier if you can find a way to do this.

Saginaw, hummmmmm, I think I was through there once or twice. It's been a while. I live in the southern part of MI, almost to the Indiana border

Hope you're feeling a bit better about your project and that you're making progress.

Elizabeth
 
  #11  
Old 11-22-04, 08:13 PM
Abra
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Refinishing front door

Help! I love my front door and am trying to refinish it. I have stripped the paint off the door, sanded it and stained it. There are several spots on the door, however, that do not appear to be taking the stain throughout the grain and at this point it looks like a badly weathered door. What can I do? Abra
 
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Old 12-01-04, 09:54 AM
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are you sure you have stripped all the finish off?

when you sanded did your paper "load" up with finish at the spots
that are not taking the stain now?

restrip the spots, or try sanding first and see if the paper is "loading up"
with finish that has not been stripped.

better to strip than to sand off the finish.
 
 

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