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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default Stubborn Paint Removal

    I have recently taken on the project of stripping and refinishing the wood doors in my home. I have removed the majority of the paint witha chemical stripper. However there is a very thin layer that will not come up. I have even tried using my belt sander, but it just fills up with gunk. Any hints or tips would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,808

    Default Re: Stubborn Paint Removal

    Tony,
    Are you stripping layers of paint or varnish? Are you intending to re-paint or re-stain and varnish? Are you removing a layer that looks different from upper coats of paint? I always kept several brands of strippers in my shop because some work better on different types of paint. It is somewhat hit and miss as to which will work best. You might be down to a different layer of paint which is not reacting as well with your stripper. You might just not have all the residue off. I would use another thin coat of the stripper and keep rubbing it with fine steel wool with the grain of the wood. When down to a farely clean surface, I would flood the surface with lacquer thinner and continue to rub with the grain with steel wool.
    Careful,lacquer thinner is quite flammable! Finally, I would take clean white paper towels ( not colored, they can bleed dyes) and wipe the surface clean. The fact that your sandpaper is still gumming up indicates there is still considerable amount of softened gunk on the door. Also, freshly stripped wood will clog your sandpaper until it has dried. A great amount of sanding should not be neccesary, merely a light going over .

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    2

    Question Re: Stubborn Paint Removal

    Ordjen,
    I believe it is all paint that I am trying to remove. I had planned on staining and varnishing the doors once I had them all cleaned up. The last layer of paint, that wont come up easily, seems to be different than the other layers. It is very flat and when scaped it doesnt come off in chips, it comes up more as a powder.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,808

    Default Re: Stubborn Paint Removal

    Tony,
    I think you may be down to a primer coat that was put on virgin wood way back when. It has penetrated deep into the grain of the wood and you may never be able to get it totally out. It is very difficult to get wood, which was primered, clean enough to ever look good with a stain on it. Try letting this layer dry down and then go back to sanding, but as said, it will probably never take a stain well, especially a wiping stain. You might be able to get a decent look using brushing stains. These are heavy bodied stains which are brushed on with a fine oxhair brush and then simply left. It will leave much more pigment on the surface than a wiping stain and therefore mask the traces of the remaining pigment better.

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