Refinishing Oak Front Door
I posted this in the Home Repair section, then found this area - hope it's OK to post in 2 areas....
I'm replacing my South-facing front door with a beautiful vintage oak door, & I'm looking for advice on products to fix it up.
The existing varnish is worn in places, so I need to re-do it, & I've decided I'd like to strip it & stain it to give it a bit of a reddish color.
My questions: would you just sand it down or use something to help strip the old finish off? (I'm not thrilled about using some nasty chemical, but it seems important to get it all off, yes?)
Would you use some sort of conditioner before sealing, & if so, what do you recommend?
I'm thinking a marine polyurethane would be the best finish - any thoughts on this?
Thanks for any advice!