Advice for front door paint removal - pics

vwhippiechickMay 8, 2014

Our home was built in 1872. The front door is original I believe. The paint is in poor shape. There are obviously many layers and with the age probably some have lead. I have looked at some of the info in these forums but would appreciate some specific suggestions for rehabbing this door. Trying to attach pics. Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If your door is placed from 1872 and still it is protecting your house, then definitely it is made up from the original wood. I would suggest you to take the advice from a carpenter first to know about the status of wood of door. If it is still in good position, you can take the further step to paint it to have the new looks.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 3:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

BEAUTIFUL DOOR and Corbels! I'm not sure where your located, but I'd make it a summer job to remove the paint from ALL OF THE WHITE area of the door. Go on Craig's List for some reasonable labor and work with them. Or Contact a trade school and see if some one is looking for a part time job. I'm in Boston MA, the Brownstone homes are doing this and the results are breath taking.
I'm sure this isn't an answer, but give it some thought.
Good Luck

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 8:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the replies. It seems it will take me all summer to remove the paint - yikes. Just not sure how to start, what products to use, etc.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 9:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've used two paint removal products with great sucess: Zip Strip and Peel Away. Since it's outside no problem with fumes.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 10:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh, heck with all of that. That's nuts.
Get your bad self some Citrstrip or Soygel. Put it on.
Cut plastic bags up and press them onto the stripper to keep it in contact with the wood.

The hardest part: LEAVE IT ALONE.

I go to work, bed, whatever, but leave it essentially for 8 hours. It's hard not to want to peek.

With a plastic squeegee, push the sludge off into another plastic bag. If you leave it alone for enough time, you can get through many layers (my best is 7 different colors, let alone their clear topcoats). A 2nd application of Citristrip with the same plastic bag procedure, has sucked the stain right out of the wood. It bubbles the paint up in ribbons and/or it comes off in sheets. It's great in detail, because it bubbles right out of the crevices. I use a toothpick and/or an eyeglass repair kit screwdriver to pick the teensy bits out.

I'm doing 15 antique doors (not THAT old) with various finishes. Some just dark, crappy pseudo cherry with alligatored varnisu on it. I was doing a door a weekend. i.e. the two overnight applications.

No space suit, no flesh-eating chemicals, no fancy equipment and no hiring labor for this. Come on! If I get the goop on my hands and it won't wash off, I just put a little Citristrip on like lotion, wait a minute and wash my hands. I do this in my pajamas, jeans, barefoot, cabinets in place, in my kitchen. I gotta tell you, it's almost fun.

No matter what anyone says, though, don't neutralize with mineral spirits. Turn your piece on its side and use water with a plastic scrubbie. Just like a tiny blurb on their website says. Mineral Spirits re-hydrated gooey stain that had been lifted (think BBQ sauce) and put it right back into the wood. Only magenta this time. I wasted time, money and product using another application of Citristrip to get it out.

When your wood has dried completely, you might have a powdery residue. You can use 220 grit to rub it off while smoothing any raised grain, or you can use your plastic scrubbie. I use a toothpick if any dries in the crevices.

I'm down to GORGEOUS bare wood without sanding. I'd initially started just to get crap off the doors so I could paint. They're so gorgeous I've sealed them with a completely matte finish and they're going in natural.

It doesn't even take the color out of your jeans when you wipe your hands on them.

I can't post more than one pic at a time, because I haven't gotten around to a web host. I'll show you some steps, though. It's almost fun. Consulting with a specialist about the wood itself is a good idea.

#1. Putting Citristrip on an antique French door & the plastic shopping bags. You can see how quickly the paint begins to bubble up.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 10:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Now, this is jumping to another door, but this is when I first started and didn't know I didn't need those dumb, too-big gloves. I also didn't know if I left it overnight, there was an excellent chance the 1st application would start to work on the stain.

but here, #2 is showing you how the paint came off in sheets.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 10:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here is a picture of the 2nd application. You can see how the stain is lifting and it does look like gummy, gooey BBQ sauce. Here's where I first turned the door on its side (on some bricks to lift it) and squeegeed the goop off onto some cardboard. In that position, I also neutralized this stuff by squeeging water down with the grain. I finalized it by using my plastic scraper to carefully run it down the wood to press what remaining water I could out of the wood.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 10:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here's a picture of that last door all done, without any sanding yet.

(I have two more in progress. One is in my living room and the other in my guest bedroom with their Citristrip coats on them. Cardboard on the floor, just in case.)

I just realized you can see a little bit of another door just to the right, leaning on the wall. To the left and behind is the cardboard I set this on to scrape the goop off. While I was working on these doors , I also stripped 10 kitchen cabinets (in place) and my mahogany front door and sidelites. I am going to strip a few more cabinets to get the clear coat off the honey oak and make them also the weathered look. I've got that down pat.

Anyway, here's a finished product:

This post was edited by CEFreeman on Sat, May 17, 14 at 14:35

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 10:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hippiechick, what did you decide to do with your amazing door?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 9:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow! CEF knows what he's(?) doing!!!
Awesome job...seriously!

With a historic door like that, I'd consider NO LESS than FPE-products on it. That stuff is incredible! Cheap though?....No.


    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 1:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

CEFreeman, WOW and WOW. Before I read your info I used the Citristrip and I totally agree about the no burning, stinging, gloves, fumes, etc. What a relief after using the other stuff. I did not use the plastic bags and the Citristrip did okay. I have done about 10% of the total door. I left the Cstrip on overnight and it took one layer off fairly well. A second coat didn't do much. I am definitely going to try your method. You could possibly have saved my sanity. I will get back after giving it a shot. THANKS a million.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 2:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, Faron, pretty much everything I attempt I learn here. With all my crazy ideas and questions. Woodworking, too.

Not the Citristrip thing, though.
You must need to pass an initiation to get that bit of 21st century product knowledge.
Now I cringe when I read posts or blog posts about how someone stripped furniture -- in 90F heat in a space suit because of the chemicals. Then they proceed to list the safety precautions clearly listed on the back of said chemical strippers, which, if a numbnut were reading it on a blog, they sure as heck could read it on a CAN.

Oooo. That was a rant. Sorry. Didn't know I was so tired of that!

Anyway. What I came to say was that these strippers pay for themselves in time and the lack of pain. If you really resist the urge to play with it and leave the thing alone for a few hours, you'll only need 1 to 2 coats. Depending upon your purpose. To remove paint for another paint job? To restain? You know. :)

And CEF is Christine :)
(Who is eyeing some antique sidelites she bought, which have a ton of pink and green paint on them. They'd be soooo pretty in natural wood with their beveled glass...)

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 2:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hey Whippy/Hippy chick!

I have come across a door that refuses to strip. Not even for money.
Citristrip took off a healthy couple of layers, then stopped working! I broke out the space suit and evil chemicals and slathered that on.

The door didn't even blink. Not a single French door pane of glass looked sideways at me.

I scraped (gently). I swore at it. I made promises. Nothing. Heartless creature.

SO... what's a rustic, eclectic, reusing chick to do? I antiqued the bugger. Gray stains, Provincal stain, some crackle finish with polyacrylic to make clear crackles, into which I rubbed Briwax. So I've got peeled/scraped off white paint. Bare wood, chips, colors galore, and a "new" door in all her glory.

And just to spite her, I put her on the track and a pocket door she became.

So, the saga there is to declare that every darned old door has a life of its own. It's become difficult to predict what'll happen (with either stripper, I admit) when it comes to God-knows-what kind of finishes these babies have on them!

I'm interested to see pics of your old gal.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 9:58AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
BM graytint
used it? Love/like/hate it? Feng Shui says extra...
How To Remove Paint From Stainless Steel
I have two appliances that I want to reuse in my kitchen...
Help with paint color!
My sunroom is BM Chili Pepper, the dining room is BM...
Storing paint for repairs/touchups
I have paint that I want to store for later use. I...
Looking for the right gray paint
I just bought silvery gray/plum bedding that is to...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™