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Stripping and Refinishing raised-panel doors


I’ve refinished numerous furniture pieces and other items. Recently I was contacted about stripping and refinishing some pretty old raised-panel painted wooden doors.

I’m pretty excited to see the outcome of this project but it didn’t take long to realize that this is going to be a labor intensive process.

Attempting to be environmentally aware I thought I would use CitriStrip which I have used before with some success.   Unfortunately it didn’t even completely remove the first of four separate layers of old enamel paint.

After getting through about half the first side of the door on the second layer of paint I switched to my old stand-by Jasco stripper,  a methanol and methylene chloride based stripper.

I should say that this stuff is serious.  Use appropriate safety practices, eye protection, gloves and respirator.  A dust mask does not protect from vapors.

The Jasco was a little more aggressive but still was a slow process as I had to keep the surface pretty wet with stripper and it still didn’t get through more than two layers consistently.  I did get the door stripped (mostly) except for the recessed areas of the panels.  What a pain and content for the next post.

With that door mostly stripped I decided to go a different route on the second door.  Bring out the flame-thrower  . . . or maybe just the heat gun.  Using the heat gun worked pretty well taking most all the coatings off with just one pass.

After stripping the first door I switched gears and decided to get it rough sanded to remove the leftover old stain and to see how that process would go.

I started with 80 grit on the belt sander to skim the surface and take care of some of the unevenness then 80 grit on the random orbit sander to smooth everything out.  I’ll save the semi-finish sanding until both doors are ready for stain.

Now I’ll have to tackle the recessed panel profile area.panel recess profiles

…. to be continued.

Written By: rrr-holloce

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