Help!!! Stripping Old Oak Door Frames


  #1  
Old 02-24-05, 08:30 AM
Spiritrider
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Question Help!!! Stripping Old Oak Door Frames

Hello all. I need help. I have a 115 year old house with a beautiful oak staircase. In the foyer there are 3 doorways with beautiful oak mouldings that I have started stripping. The problem is that there is so much old oil base stain, varnish and then many, many coats of oil based paint. I've successfully gotten it off of most of the flat pieces, but it is jammed in the detail grooves. I am now using a linoleum knife to peel it out, very carefully so as not to gouge the wood. What I'm scraping out is a gummy mess left over from the stripper. It's so time consuming that I have been working on this for about 10 days nonstop. My problem is getting it out of the detail work on the moulding and on some places I have stripped the flat part down and there is very stubborn varnish that remains. Are there any new hints, or products anyone can recommend for me for stripping and refinishing wood? I also want to restain the staircase to cover up scratches and want the colors to match, however I'll be staining the door frames on bare wood and the staircase itself over the stain that's there. Is there a way to make sure the colors are the same?
 
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Old 02-24-05, 08:49 AM
Sawdustguy
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The process used to match all different colored woods is called "Aniline Dying" It's a sprayed on process, and not for a novice to try on a project like you're attempting to do.

Sorry.
 
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Old 02-24-05, 08:55 AM
C
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More stripper, brass brush, toothpicks, and diligence. Stripping detailed work that has lots of paint on it is tedious. I have read reports that heat stripper guns help.


"however I'll be staining the door frames on bare wood and the staircase itself over the stain that's there."

How can you stain over the existing stain? The existing finish would have to be stripped which would remove the existing stain, making both jobs the same.

Hope this helps.
 
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Old 02-24-05, 11:36 AM
Spiritrider
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Thanks

I guess I should have said that I'll be covering the scratches in the wood on the staircase. I think with some cleaning up and scratch cover they'll be good. Also, what do you recommend for cleaning up the wood before I stain it? Do you suggest anything other than mineral spirits? Thanks so much for your help.
 
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Old 02-24-05, 11:55 AM
C
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Once the wood is completely stripped and neutralized, wipe it with some mineral spirits to reveal anything that is otherwise clear, but was missed. Anything left on the surface will appear as light colored spots. Then you are ready to sand, stain, and finish.
 
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Old 02-24-05, 06:29 PM
Spiritrider
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Smile Varnish or Shellac?

Thanks again. Just was talking to a painter friend of mine who suggested that the varnish may in fact be shellac. He suggested I try denatured alcohol. It gets kinda crispy like old shellac gets. The house was built in 1890... any thoughts on whether or not it may be shellac, and the denatured alcohol??? I appreciate your input... I'm trying to learn as I go on fixing this old house up and I'm loving it, but I've never done anything like this without a man around to (try) to guide me!
 
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Old 02-24-05, 07:09 PM
C
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Varnish or shellac, chemical stripper will remove both.
 
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Old 02-27-05, 11:13 AM
K
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Having done the same thing in my former old house, I found that the Peel Away line of strippers was the best and quickest method. I had at least 15 layers of every known paint/varnish known to man on my woodwork. Peel Away removed varnish, shelac, stain, milk paint, lead paint, and what I swear was some form of military/naval paint in a lovely shade of gray and turned to mush, but only momentarily, with every other stripper on the market.

Peel Away comes in several different formulations, but "7" is the general purpose. It comes with a paper top layer for placement over the stripper which allows the stripper to work longer and penetrate deeper. The paper overlay is also good as the paint/varnish etc. peels off and adheres to the paper, for less mess. Its recommended for lead paint, which it is highly likely you have, as there is no dust and the paint is contained. It is also environmentally friendly--while that isn't unusual for a stipper, the fact that this one actually works makes it unusual. Low odor, also, so great for interior work. Lastly, and importantly for you, it will take paint out of detail work and crevices. If any stripper/paint remains, you can purchase dental tools from Lee Hardware to remove stubborn finishes--just remember that the metal tool is much harder than wood and be careful not to gouge the woodwork.

Good luck--it will look great once you finish, but its a heck of a job getting there.
 
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Old 02-27-05, 02:13 PM
Spiritrider
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Thanks for your reply

Thank you so much for your reply. Someone told me about Peel Away, they couldn't remember the name though. I haven't seen it around here. However, I've got all the big stuff off now, just working on the detail work. I'm actually making the scrapers I need for it out of wood shims. Cutting and filing them to fit where I need and where I can't, I'm using a linoleum knife! The dental tools are about the best idea I've heard yet! The doors themselves are going to be a breeze after this. I'm also stripping down 3 layers of wallpaper and then sand paint that was put over it. That's surprisingly easy... comes off in chunks. Then repair the wall, spackle and tape, then primer and I'm going to wallpaper again in period wallpaper. This will look great when it's done... but it's a chore getting there. I just keep an eye to what it will look like to keep me going. Back to work... and thanks again for your input... I'll try the peel away on the next project.
 
 

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