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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Default painting old exterior door

    I have an old exterior door that has several coats of paint on it and the finish is not smooth because of not having the old coat sanded befor it was repainted. It is a custom built door that I would rather paint than replace. What is the best way to sand or scrap it or what chemical can I use so it is smooth and looks good before I repaint?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago

    Default Re: painting old exterior door

    If the later coats were of acrylic/latex paint, you will probably not be able to sand the surface well. Such paint has a gummy quality which rapidly gums up your sandpaper. In this case, you might want to consider using chemical strippers to remove the paint and get you down to bare wood, which can then be sanded completely smooth.

    If there is a very heavy coat of paint on the door and you do not intend to stain the door, you might consider using a blow torch to remove the bulk of the paint. Ironically, thick paint lifts off with a torch much better than a thin coat. Minor scorching of the wood will probably occur ( that is why I ask if you intend to stain the door), but that can mostly be sanded away.

    Once down to bare wood and sanded smooth, I prefer an oil based primer and an oil medium to higher gloss finish coat. Oil will give you a smoother, harder surface and a more washable coat which is more stabil in humid conditions. It also does not stick to the weatherstripping, as does latex paint when it is humid. When the time comes for another coat of paint, it sands easily and allows minor dings to be repaired easily.

    On outside doors, DON'T FORGET the upper and lower edges. These edges are very vulnerable to moisture entering the door fibers and causing warping and seasonal swelling and binding. The bottom edge is particularly important because rainwater tends to "teapot" onto the bottom edge.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Default Re: painting old exterior door

    Edited to remove profanity.
    Last edited by JLMCDANIEL; 01-28-2012 at 05:03 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Fargo, ND

    Default Re: painting old exterior door

    Old doors are often worth re-painting if done properly.

    (Most wouldn't have a CLUE though about how to recognize a well-done door!)

    I'm COMPLETELY agreeing with the stripping! Any old lead-containing paints will not "dust/sand off" into the air...OR your lungs.

    >>> Depending on your expectations of final appearance....
    * There are sandable puttys that enable you to fix surface dings, dents, etc.
    * I was just using some FPE Brushing-Putty on our entry-door wood sidelite trim. Our Samoyed had been scratching them when she was littler! The wood was fairly gouged in a couple spots.
    * I applied 2 coats of their B-P, and sanded each back. The worst area needed a 3rd coat.
    * Then their Oil-Undercoat Primer went on, and lightly sanded this back. If you're thinking this sounds like Auto-body work, you're not too far off!!
    * Then 2 coats of the finish-paint; their ECO-Brilliant (Gloss).
    Lightly sanded the 1st coat after it had dried a day.

    Results...?! See below...
    * The products and all my sanding stuff!

    An overall shot...

    Sanding-stage shot...
    This was the most damaged!
    Final shot!
    Bottom line-

    If ya want a truly beautiful door, check out this stuff!
    A little work...YES. Once done though, you'll have a showpiece!


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