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Old 04-29-2009, 11:55 PM   #1
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painting interior doors


Hi all. i know there have been other similar questions so please bear with me.
my house was built in the 50s. most of the interior woodwork and doors were not painted but were some kind of varnish. They are red fir doors --icky and unattractive since i've been updating the paint and finishes in the house. i did paint the base trim in the LR. but the bathroom and bedroom doors are in need of painting and i want to do it right. they are single center panel doors. The inside beveled edges are a pain to sand and i hate that job. any advice on painting these from start to finish will be appreciated.

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Old 04-30-2009, 01:30 AM   #2
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painting interior doors


Wipe them down well with something that will cut any grease/oil and give them a light sanding with fine grit followed by a coat of primer and then finish with a nice enamel. You may be able put the paint on faster with a roller, followed quickly with a brush to make a nice smooth finish.

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Old 04-30-2009, 01:52 AM   #3
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painting interior doors


I agree, a nice enamel applied with a foam roller would make for very smooth doors. SW ProClassic waterborne would give you the look and durability without the oil-based mess.

Be careful if the doors are actually varnished, however. No paint or primer can stick to clear coat very well, even if it has profile (lightly sanded). If it is varnished/clear coated, I would use a chemical stripper - Strypeeze. Just apply it with a cheap ($2) natural hair brush, let it sit for 10 minutes, and carefully scrape the varnish off. Wash off the remaining stripper with soap/water, let the wood dry, prime with SW Wall & Wood 1 coat, and paint with SW ProClassic 2 coats.

If you can't strip the door and you just want something simple (but not lasting), use SW Bonding Primer instead of Wall & Wood and give the surface a lot of profile (80-100 grit sandpaper). That will last for awhile, but no guarantees (and no warranties!).
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Old 04-30-2009, 09:33 AM   #4
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painting interior doors


Is there any way to determine what the finish is? i think this is the original finish from the 50s and nothing else has ever been put on. It looks like some kind of varnish or poly. But i read in another thread that poly wasn't used extensively unilt more recent times. i guess the stipper is what i should use first anyway. it will get the gunk out of the grooves.
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Old 04-30-2009, 09:52 AM   #5
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painting interior doors


The chemical stripper will strip the clear coat indiscriminately, but you can guess what the coating is. If it looks really antiqued (yellowed and nasty) odds are its an old varnish. Alkyd (oil-based) polyurethanes will yellow over time in the presence of sunlight, but not nearly as much as varnish. If there is very little or no yellowing, then it may be waterborne (modern) polyurethane, or more probably lacquer.

But don't worry, apply the stripper for 10-20 minutes that it will be a thing of the past
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