Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks/Stripping a door


Thank you for volunteering your knowledge and experience.  I've started to strip a door from a 100-yr old house.  I used that orange smelling stripper and the paint came off pretty easy (I think there was only one or two layers of paint).  Under the paint, it appeared to have a varnish/stain layer.  I put another coat of the same stripper on it hoping it would remove the stain.  After leaving it on for a few hours, the strippers became more watery (much thinner).  The stain color seemed to come out but what is left is a tan/gray layer that does seem to be effected by stripper at all.  Do you have any ideas as to what this layer is and how best to remove it?  My intent was to strip the wood bare then stain it.  Any advise you can offer would be very appreciated.

Again, thanks for your time and thanks for volunteering.

Kris Blumm

Hi Kris
Nice to hear from you.
Oh yes..I have been where you are.
I was working on a century home doing just what you are doing only we had 8 doors the same.
But we got the job done. Took two of us a week though LOL.
The orange stripper is no good at this point.
You must use an MC stripper (methylene chloride) to remove this.
Care must be taken to follow the instructions carefully and excellent ventillation is a must.
No need for waiting hours with this stuff.
Brush it on, leave a few minutes, rag off, brush more on etc.
When you feel its all off, apply one more coat and rag off and while the wood is still wet, rub well with medium grade steel wool in the direction of the grain.
Hope this helps

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Eileen Cronk


Hi..I can answer most questions about the repairing,stripping and refinishing of all your old furniture and wood items(the things we call antiques)I can give advice about what to buy/avoid at auctions/flea markets. I do not give appraisals on antiques.


I have been refinishing antiques for the past 30yrs. While I have taken several courses over the years,I have found that "hands on" learning is the best teacher. Perhaps I can help you avoid some of the mistakes I made while learning.

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