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Mack the Knife Mack the Knife is offline
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Default stripping front door advice

Mikepier wrote:
Greetings. I would like to refinish my 6 panel oak front door. It
currently is stained and has polyurethane or varnish on top that has
faded. What would be the best way to strip it, chemicals or heat gun?

Hi. New here, first post.

I have recently just done exactly that, refinished a six panel hardwood
door. Mahogany, not oak. I have tried heat guns in the past, two in
fact, one flame, one very hot air, but they were not at all efficient. I
ended up using a gel type commercial stripping agent and a very high
pressure, low flow water blaster with a knife attachment. It took only
moments to strip back to a finish that looked as though it had just been
freshly sanded. (You have to be careful doing this with softwoods, it
can literally rip pine apart.) I then liberally applied Teak Oil and let
it dry with the aid of my workshop air conditioner on "extract
moisture", not on cooling. It brought the door back to a new timber
condition. The water blasting is remarkably effective and as it is VERY
quick, the timber doesn't get saturated. No warping or cracking problems
etc. I have now stained, filled and Marine Two Pack finished it. Now all
I have to do is figure out where I want to use it. It was a find at a
rubbish disposal centre. Many badly applied coats of both oil based and
poly clear finishes made it look pretty crappy, then I noticed that it
was Mahogany. Too good to leave there, but not really needed on any
current project. I guess I'll keep it in the "one day..." collection for
a while. (My wife wants to nuke the "one day..." collection. )