Staining wood table/door thingy which already has paint on it

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Old 05-19-12, 01:23 AM
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Staining wood table/door thingy which already has paint on it

Hi friends,
So the previous tenants of our apartment left us this wood door fashioned (not so fashionable) into a table on the patio (just a door with makeshift legs attached onto it). The door is painted with a shiny white interior paint which has peeled after being out in the rain, but not enough.

I decided I want to stain it and make it look nice, so I bought the stain and varnish. Then I thought, "what a dummy, can I even stain wood when it has paint over it?" Is this possible? Or do I have to remove the paint from the table first?

If I do indeed need to remove the paint first, then how do I do this? I read up on how to remove paint such as paint stripping chemicals, but all this stuff looks expensive. Is there any way a student budget (couple bucks) and labor intensive work will get me a table with the wood exposed and the paint removed? Hammer and chisel (= neighbor complaints)?

Thanks!
 
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Old 05-19-12, 05:19 AM
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Chemically stripping the existing paint is the best way to remove the paint for stain! You could sand it off but that will take forever and it's difficult to get the paint completely stripped by sanding. It will look stripped but still have paint in the grain which will prevent it from taking stain.

The only other option would be to 'paint' a faux grain effect on the wood. Basically you apply a base coat of paint and the make a glaze that will imitate the look of wood. Once the look is achieved you'd apply poly to protect the faux finish. I wouldn't recommend this method if the table is to receive much weather.
 
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Old 05-21-12, 08:07 AM
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Sanding would work but you have to be careful once you get to the wood not to go through it.

I'd use a stripper myself, I don't think they're that expensive.

Is the wood on the door of decent enough quality that it will look good stained in the first place?
 
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Old 06-13-12, 04:07 AM
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Thanks for the tips. But I'm still having problems. I went with this chemical paint stripper:
Paint remover - Eco Service srl - lubrificanti protettivi pulitori Vicenza

According to the instructions, you paste the green gel-like goo over the surface and wait 20-30 minutes. Then the paint is supposed to bubble and puss and then you just scrape it off.

This worked but only if the layer of the substance was very thick. It would only remove a small amount of paint. If I just merely coated it with the brush, it wouldn't work. Am I doing something wrong? I'm using it on a very small table, so I feel like this canister of stripper should be enough, but at this rate, it will take me many hours and 1 more canister just to strip the paint off a single door. Does this sound right? Please help!

By the way, is a chemical stripper supposed to remove more than one layer of paint at a time?
 
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Old 06-13-12, 05:18 AM
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I've never used that particular brand of stripper. Usually a stripper will remove multiple coats of paint but it isn't unusual to have to repeat the process is some areas. A lot depends on how many coats and what type of paint is on the wood. Latex paint strips easier/quicker than solvent based coatings.
 
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