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Old 01-28-2010, 09:29 AM   #1
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What to do w/ old doors with 8 layers of paint on them?


Our house is from 1930 and while previous owners have definitely taken very well care of it, unfortunately one of their frequently used soutions were "just paint it"

Result: Our interior doors have approximately 8 layers of paint on them. The color right now is nice, but the problem is that the paint is starting to flake, not only from bumpin into them but so much surface has been added to the doors over time that the paint is starting to flake from where the door meets the frame......

I thought about replacing the whole thing but frankly they are nice heavy 6panel doors. Since the house is from 1930 i'm just going to assume there's lead in them somewhere which leads me to a 2part question:

1: Can I have the doors sandblasted? That would fix 1/2 the problem.

2: Possible to just rip off the outer trim part of the frame and replace the trim with fresh new trim? This way i'm free of hacking off 8 layers of potentially hazardous trim and the only thing untouched is the dead center of the frame which doesn't really come into contact w/ anything and is not flaking.

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Old 01-28-2010, 09:56 AM   #2
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What to do w/ old doors with 8 layers of paint on them?


I'm doing the same thing in my house. I've been taking the doors and hinges off the frame and stripping them. It's not fast but it does work.

I personally like ZipStrip over the Kleenstrip brand. Its a gel, it isn't flammable and it doesn't have an overpowering smell to it. If you do decide to strip them I would buy a couple different sized scrapers - I've found a 3" flexible putty knife to work best but your mileage may very. The plastic ones also work pretty well. Pull scrapers can also be useful. Gloves are a must, goggles and a mask are recommended but up to you.

If you are worried about lead you can try PeelAway. It's a paste that is put on, covered with a membrane and removed 24 hours later. It's heavy duty stuff but it does work.

You could also sandblast or soda blast - but the dust can be toxic if it is lead based paint and its ridiculously messy on top of that.

Personally I would strip rather than try to replace and match up trim.
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:09 AM   #3
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What to do w/ old doors with 8 layers of paint on them?


I only considered sandblasting because the wood these things are mad of is so d@mn dense I don't think it would damage it, and if I got some small pits I could fill them before I painted anyway.

I also considered the heatgun but again the word "lead" jus tpopped into my head. I would open a window and wear a respirator, but wifey has asthma and allergies and I'd rather just do it in the garage if I can.

Is that ZipStrip stuff safe for lead?
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:37 AM   #4
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What to do w/ old doors with 8 layers of paint on them?


I've never read up on its lead paint qualities. When the paint is scraped it will either come up in big sheets or in a putty like substance. I kept a 5gal bucket next to me and just dumped everything into that as I worked. If something stuck to my scraper a quick wipe with a towel cleaned it up. You will probably have to use multiple applications of stripper to get to bare wood - but it's a lot easier and cleaner (imo) than sanding or blasting.
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:12 AM   #5
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What to do w/ old doors with 8 layers of paint on them?


You do not want to sandblast the doors. I don't know what you mean, "safe for lead", but zipstrip won't hurt it at all.
Depending on budget, having the doors dipped by a company might be the way to go. You will use a lot of stripper per door.
There's a product called, Peel-A-Way you should look into. It will take off most of the paint with one application. Again, not a cheap product.
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Old 01-29-2010, 09:50 AM   #6
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What to do w/ old doors with 8 layers of paint on them?


Hm.... the plot thickens.

I don't necessarily need all the paint off these things, I just want to get enough off to where I can give them a nice coat and have that coat stick instead of flaking every time I close the door.
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:07 AM   #7
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What to do w/ old doors with 8 layers of paint on them?


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Originally Posted by CoconutPete View Post
Hm.... the plot thickens.

I don't necessarily need all the paint off these things, I just want to get enough off to where I can give them a nice coat and have that coat stick instead of flaking every time I close the door.
The problem with taking off "some" of the paint, is that the surface will be cratered. The paint doesn't come off evenly.
Try one door and have plan "B" at the ready.
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:24 AM   #8
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What to do w/ old doors with 8 layers of paint on them?


I have fallen in love with infrared strippers and may soon buy one even though they are pricey. See if you can rent a QUALITY one locally. If not, you can online. You just have to ship it back and pay insurance.
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:04 AM   #9
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What to do w/ old doors with 8 layers of paint on them?


I'd find a local company & see what dipping them to strip would cost
Then decide
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:08 AM   #10
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What to do w/ old doors with 8 layers of paint on them?


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The problem with taking off "some" of the paint, is that the surface will be cratered. The paint doesn't come off evenly.
Try one door and have plan "B" at the ready.
Ron
IMO - its best to go down to bare wood anyways, or as close as you can get. since you are repainting it doesnt have to be perfectly clean - just use a good primer before painting. and Ron is correct - it never comes off evenly, even with latext paint that comes up in big sheets.

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I have fallen in love with infrared strippers and may soon buy one even though they are pricey. See if you can rent a QUALITY one locally. If not, you can online. You just have to ship it back and pay insurance.
I've seen a few used on various TV shows but haven't ever used on. What I saw looked awesome though..
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:27 AM   #11
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What to do w/ old doors with 8 layers of paint on them?


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I'd find a local company & see what dipping them to strip would cost
Then decide
More important than the cost, check the timeframe. The one person still doing such things where I was had something like a one year waiting list. And IEPA was starting to get on him so I think he was going to bail rather than deal with it anymore. He was near retirement anyhow.
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:52 PM   #12
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What to do w/ old doors with 8 layers of paint on them?


we redid the cabinets in our old house - same issue - but we had paint and decorative stick on cling thingies that were painted over.
We were dirt poor and couldn't afford enough stripped (because you have ot reapply and reapply if it's really thick) - and so we just sanded the crap out of it and ventilated/cleaned the room throughly - tarped off the doorways so the dust wouldn't get into the rest of the house and wore sufficient face masks.
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