Stripping a door of old paint has been common practice since somewhere in the early 1980s. The idea with door stripping is to remove the built-up players of paint to expose the good-quality timber underneath so that it can be repaired, varnished or even repainted.
There is the added bonus of getting rid of old, thick coats of paint that would chip easily. Fortunately, this method of getting rid of old paint boasts a high rate of success while remaining cheap. Still, there are some things which need to be kept in mind.
Many doors have been in constant use since the ’80s and have been painted and repainted many times. Over the years, paint composition has varied quite dramatically and now they are typically based on water and cellulose where they were not before.
Modern water-based paints can be difficult to remove, mostly due to the fact that the chemical solution used is heavily diluted in water. Cellulose can be similarly challenging since it will actually sink a few millimetres into the wood and stripping it away can end up lifting the grain.
The good news is that the door will be okay even if this does happen. It is just a matter of preparing enough in advance.
When it comes to colour-based stains they can be almost impossible to remove. This is particularly true in the case of mahogany since like cellulose-based paint, the stain will have sunk into the wood. Once stripping this kind of finish has begun it cannot be stopped.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell what exactly is required since it can impossible to discern how many coats of paint and what other treatments have been applied to a door.
This often occurs when someone moves into a new property. When this is the case, there is not much that can be done except to take a chance and start with the less extreme methods.
If it happens to be made from oak or mahogany, there is a different door stripping method that has to be performed by hand. Unfortunately, because of the time and chemicals involved, it is often more expensive.
The good news is that the extra cost results in an even better finish that maintains these woods’ high value.
Then, very little extra preparation is required. The darker woods will also usually become lighter, allowing them to fit more easily with modern decorating styles.