Paint Removal from Shellac

magsnjAugust 8, 2014

I bought my first older home (1928) some time ago, and it took alot of effort and time to prep and paint the interior. When we got to the point of the bedroom doors we didn't know what to do, so we left them as is until we got more energy to tackle them. (Sorry, I guess you don't really need to know any of that.....)

They're wood doors of some type. It seems like the entire door has shellac on them, but in order to make the hallway the same color, the previous owner painted over the shellac. The paint is chipping off in some areas. I'd like to remove the paint, but I was hoping someone could tell me what the easiest way to get it off would be. I don't want to damage the door, and since I'm fine with the shellac on the other side, I'd like to only have to remove the paint and be done.

Also, from the house shifting, some of the doors are very tight when they close or just can't make it closed. Is there a way to fix this?

Thank you!!

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Any paint remover - CitriStrip, SoyGel ... whatever.

You will have to re-shellac the woodwork, but the paint should come off easily because the shellac is protecting the wood from getting paint in the pores.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 2:30PM
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If you are very lucky, you can get a flat knife or putty knife between the paint and shellac. if you are lucky and careful, you can get the paint to remove in large sheets by wiggling the knife around. I got 80% of the paint off my trim with this method -- my largest paint "chip" was 5"x20" ! . You can also try a dental pick to get at stubborn pieces in the corners. Finally use citri strip or plain denatured alcohol to finish up. The better shape the shellac is in, the better this works.

You have to re-shellac the woodwork this way too. But now you can use a gel stain to get the color right,

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 2:18PM
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