How to Strip Multiple Coats of Old Paint from a Wooden Door


Old houses can hide many wonderful treasures including gorgeous wooden doors concealed beneath many layers of ancient paint. Here's how to strip down a wooden door to reveal its original beauty.

Before you start

The usual way to get rid of paint is to use paint stripper. Some caustic paint strippers discolour the wood which is no good if you were intending to keep the natural colour and grain visible under a coat of varnish. The alternative is solvent-based paint strippers, but you need to wear a face mask to avoid inhaling dangerous fumes and ensure that your work area is well-ventilated.

Very old paint is often lead-based. Don't sand your door if you think lead might be present until all the paint has been removed. This way you won't risk inhaling toxic dust that might be raised from lead paint residue.

How to remove paint layers from a wooden door

1. Begin by taking the door down and laying it out flat across two sawhorses. If possible, work outside or in a well-ventilated area. Take all the hardware off the door using a screwdriver. If the door has glass windows, place sheets of old newspaper over the glass to protect it and secure it using masking tape.

2. Put on a respirator, protective gloves, protective clothing and safety goggles to protect you from harmful fumes or irritants the paint stripper might contain. Now pour some solvent-based paint stripper into a clean bucket.

3. Use an old paintbrush to spread the paint stripper over the door and allow it to penetrate for 20 minutes. Remove what comes away easily using a paint scraper. Put the debris on a sheet of old newspaper. Repeat the process until you are left with bare wood on the flat parts of the door and residue on raised areas.

4. Apply more paint stripper to the residual paint and brush it gently using a wire brush. This will help to loosen the paint and mix the paint stripper in thoroughly. Clean the brush frequently using a small contained filled with white spirit.

5. Now soak an old towel with water and wash the door down thoroughly. Apply a solvent if recommended by the stripper manufacturer to remove any discolouration remaining on the surface of the wood.

6. When both sides of the door have been stripped, sand the door thoroughly then refinish it as desired. Dispose of the waste paint and stripper safely following the guidelines of your local authority.

Instead of throwing out old wooden doors, spend an afternoon stripping them back to their natural form. Not only will you be recycling, you'll be saving yourself some money too. For more information, contact resources like Harvest Timber Product.


5 June 2015

Security Doors, Frames and Locks: Securing Your Home's Openings

Hi, my name is Brenda, and welcome to my blog. A few years ago, my home became the victim of a burglary. I didn't think it was possible because we live out in a relatively remote rural area, but it happened. After that, I knew I never wanted anyone in my home again without my permission. As a result, I begin to secure my home. I ended up realising the the doors were less secure than the windows. I replaced our doors with metal security doors, but I also got new frames and locks. If you want to keep your home secure, take a look around this blog. It has posts on everything I have learned about securing your doors. I hope these ideas keep you safe and happy!