Stripping old oak doors


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Old 08-02-10, 01:04 PM
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Stripping old oak doors

Hi, I'm a newby with a question. I bought a bunch of moldings, doors and door frames from the Tennessee Governors Mansion on an online auction. (need I say I got carried away?) It's all great stuff.....lots and lots of great stuff... but I need to find a good EASY paint stripper. Some of these doors are probably from the 1800's. They're so heavy it takes two people to lift them. Oak I would imagine. I'd hate to ruin them by using the wrong product. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Kip
 
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Old 08-02-10, 02:19 PM
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Welcome to the forums Kip!

I don't often do any stripping so when I do, I usually ask the paint rep at the paint store [not a paint dept] what would work best for the job at hand.

I know that's not a great answer but it's the best I got
 
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Old 08-02-10, 02:32 PM
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If these are really that old and great...you might consider talking to a local furniture refinishing store. They deal with old old stuff daily.
 
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Old 08-06-10, 03:50 PM
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I was just reading about infrared paint strippers...would that be a better way to go?
 
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Old 08-14-10, 02:36 PM
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Yahoo! I just used my new infrared stripper for the first time on a very heavy 8 foot long and 7 inch high crown moulding. It worked amazing. It took me an hour and a half but I'm sure it will go faster on my next try. I couldn't find my fancy scraper so used a couple of different spoons...worked great. The indfrared softens and lifts and the spoons don't dig into the wood. My best toy ever.

Kip
 
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Old 08-15-10, 04:19 AM
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Thanks for sharing your results!
Sometimes the best tools are the homemade ones. We once had to strip some large fluted columns on the front of a church. None of the store bought scrapers did a decent job so I took an over sized washer and a short length of galvanized pipe [for a handle] and welded the 2 together, a little bit of grinding on the washer made a perfect fit for the flutes
 
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Old 08-19-10, 08:04 AM
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Paint Stripping Options

Before you start removing the paint study the doors. Are there clues as to their history? Have door handles or hinges been moved or replaced over time. What is the construction of the door? What is the wood species? Were they hand grained at some point etc? Is the construction of the door and the quality of the wood such that you may want to use a natural finish when stripped?

With a good understanding of what you are dealing with then there are only two broad choices of how to remove the paint – the choices are chemicals or heat.

Lets look at chemicals strippers first.
Using a chemical stripper has several disadvantages, fist all chemical strippers no matter how nice they make them smell or how GREEN the label says they are do pose very serious risks to the user and the environment. Google “What You Should Know About Using Paint Strippers” to get the facts from the Consumer Product Safety Commission web site.

If you are OK with the health hazards then consider your wood.

All chemical strippers alter the wood in negative ways depending on the chemicals used to remove the paint. All chemical strippers will increase the moisture content of the wood, soften the wood fibers, and raise the grain. Many highly caustic strippers like Peel Away will need to be neutralized with acidic acid. After using a highly caustic stripper only acrylic latex-based paints can be reapplied and they often fail prematurely due to improper neutralizing. Many strippers will stain the wood so a natural finish is not possible. Do your homework and read the labels.

Using Heat
The choices to remove paint by heat are better, but it must be done right. The heat gun long the standard to remove paint is now illegal to use under the EPA’s new RRP (Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule) that bans use of Heat Guns. Their high operational temperature over (1000F) can release various toxic gases into the work environment including vaporized lead and other dangerous chemicals. Vaporized lead is easily and quickly absorbed into the body at which point it poses severe health risks including neurological damage. Heat guns are not a safe work tool! A far better way from both a safety and a productivity standpoint is to use a ****from*********. They are much faster than a heat gun ever was and they are safe for both the operator and the environment. The ****** operate at a low temperature of 400 – 500F well below melting point for lead. The toxins stay in the paint chips and not in you. They leave the wood in perfect condition for refinishing by reducing the moisture content of the wood and killing any fungus that may be present under the paint. A light sanding is all that is necessary for a top quality finish.

Good luck with you project.
 

Last edited by Shadeladie; 08-19-10 at 09:02 AM. Reason: Link and product name removed. Advertising NOT allowed.
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Old 11-11-10, 02:03 PM
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Good scrapers really make a difference in how much paint you get off. Unless you can really handle a spoon, try one of those long handled ones that you pull not push. Two hands on the handle makes the scrape more even and broader. Saving scrapes never felt so good. The Swedes make some good ones.
 
 

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