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Creative Casey's Blog

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Completed Refinished Front Door

In an earlier post I introduced you to my 100 year old front door that has leaded glass and at least six layers of paint. Check out that post to learn more about how this project got started. All I can say is WOW this was way more of a project then I bargained for!

The hot zone heat gun worked well to get off the major paint layers; however it was very difficult to get the tiny detailed spaces. I became inpatient and held the gun to close while scrapping and heard a "crack"....yep you guessed it....the leaded glass heated up to hot and cracked. So far it has only been a very small surface crack and is holding up but boy did that stink!

Then once I got the major paint layers off I noticed their tended to me a milky residue color on a lot of door and it turned out to be an original oil based paint. This was no good because the hot gun only heated up the paint but the scrapper just pushed it around. I thought if I used a sander on it this might work to take that little bit of surface off, but it didn't. I then tried chemical stripper and scrapping. This worked some but not fully. When I went to a couple of paint stores and showed them pics asking if I could go ahead and stain the door at this point they all said no that it wouldn't work. The advice was you have to keep using the chemical stripper and get it all off or else the stain wouldn't adhere and would resist in those spots were the oil paint was. I already pretty much knew this but was some how hoping they would have the miracle answer. They had an answer all right- keep using the chemical stripper or else paint the door. The later was a phrase was dreaded and refused to think about.

I went home from the paint stores with a scrubby pad and paint thinner which were recommended. I refused to repaint the door but cried at the thought of continuing to try to get off every inch of the oil based (probably lead based) paint. But I did it! I worked and worked and worked the following day and after another 5 hours and about 4 times with the chemical stripper I got there. Hooray!!!! Glorious!!!

I actually liked the natural wood color and left it like that for a week because I didn't want to mess it up with staining it. Eventually I chose a Cider Mill semi-transparent stain to put on. This was the easiest part. I think it turned out pretty good, perhaps a little darker than intended but it's a rich shade. Way better than it started. I continue to relearn the home improvement lesson that it takes 3x's as long to complete a project then estimated. Wonder when I'll actually start using that theory in my project time line.   :)

Enjoy the pics of the process.

Believe it or not I forgot to take a pic of the original front door with all of the paint. It was cracked and peeling and a brownish color. There is still some on in this picture.

Milky white on door from the oil based original paint.

All stripped down to the original wood.

All finished with Cider Mill semi-transparent stain.

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