DIY Door Restoration: 76 Years of Paint

When we purchased our urban farmhouse we started looking for things within the house that we could restore.  One of items that stood out to us the most was the doors.  Naturally, I decided to try a DIY door restoration project.  I selected one of the interior doors, removed the paint, sanded the wood, and spruced it up with a fresh coat of paint and new hardware.  Along the way I learned a few tips and tricks that helped speed up this DIY door restoration.

First off, let me start out by showing you what the door looked like when I started this project.

DIY Door Restoration

The door had been recently painted and didn’t appear to have that many layers of paint…WRONG.  In total I removed about 5 layers of paint, if any of you follow on Instagram you probably saw the next picture I posted.  Unfortunately, it took awhile for the paint stripper to work through the 76 years of paint.  Funny, Mr.  Wright wanted to keep the door this way.

DIY Door Restoration

In order to complete the DIY door renovation I gathered the following tools:

First step, I laid the door across the sawhorses over a drop cloth.  This gives a great platform for layering on the paint stripper.  Before I went any further, I threw on some rubber gloves that were suitable for handling paint stripper.  Paint stripper burns when it comes in contact with skin.  Trust me, I learned this fact the hard way.

DIY Door Restoration

With a paintbrush, I liberally applied the paint stripper to the entire topside of the door.  Once the entire topside had been coated, I saran wrapped the entire door and walked away for a minimum of 2 hours.  This step is key to get the paint removed quickly with minimal elbow grease.

I put my trusty gloves back on and got back to work 2 hours later.  Slowly, I removed the saran wrap.  Much  of the paint on the door came off with the saran wrap.  I used plastic scraper to get stubborn areas.  Once I had removed the majority of the paint on the door with the scrapper, I wiped down the door with shop towels and gently sanded the door with a palm sander.  The raw door turned out beautiful.

DIY Door Restoration

Sadly,  the door was only a paint grade, so paint it I did.

DIY Door Restoration

We pulled out the paint sprayer and sprayed one side at a time.  Mr.  Wright stepped in to help with this part of the process.  We let the paint dry according to the recoat instructions.

DIY Door Restoration

Ready for the final product?

DIY Door Restoration Finish Product

DIY Door Restoration

DIY Door Restoration

Clearly, the pictures demonstrate new lighting is needed.  Next up, hallway lighting.

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