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Old 10-27-2007, 02:09 PM   #1
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restaining window trim


The window trim throughout our house has about 5 layers of paint on it. When the house was originally built (1925), the trim had a dark stain. A few windows, and the baseboards, still have this stain.

We've stripped most of the paint off of one window. The wood has definitely been stained dark before. We don't know the type of wood. (Friends have guessed fir, birch, and teak, no one knows for sure though.)

1) Should we remove the stain entirely? If so, how? The stripper doesn't get it off very well, and we can't sand it easily (there's a lot of detailing).

2) Should we just stain over it? How do we apply the stain so that we don't make it too dark, but match the existing baseboard and trim?

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Old 10-27-2007, 08:26 PM   #2
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restaining window trim


Wow...I'll bet that was a lot of work to get that far
Are you sure you want to do this to all the other ones?

Well, you really need every last bit of the former coatings off to get a proper stain in there
It's a lot of work

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Old 10-28-2007, 05:27 PM   #3
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Wow...I'll bet that was a lot of work to get that far
Are you sure you want to do this to all the other ones?
Probably not. This was the only window on the first floor that was painted, plus there's a bookcase that we're going to do the same thing to. The rest of the first floor is original, so these two really stand out. The second floor is painted entirely (doors, windows, baseboard), and we're going to leave it that way.

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Well, you really need every last bit of the former coatings off to get a proper stain in there
It's a lot of work
Ugh, I was hoping this wasn't the case. Do we just keep putting chemicals on it then? We've got almost all the paint off (4 layers, and 3 were nasty oil based ones). Will the stripper get the stain off too?

I'll try and get some pictures of the wood, hopefully someone can ID it.
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Old 10-28-2007, 07:48 PM   #4
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restaining window trim


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Originally Posted by ciera View Post
Do we just keep putting chemicals on it then? We've got almost all the paint off (4 layers, and 3 were nasty oil based ones). Will the stripper get the stain off too?
Well...todays strippers simply aren't that great....it takes a lot of elbow grease...and makes a mess
There's no guarantees it'll be clean enough to stain w/o further sanding
In fact, I'd say I'd be surprised if it didn't need sanding

Most pro painters don't deal with this type of deal
Really, if you called me for this job I would remove the pieces and bring them to a stripper
To really do most pieces right they need to be removed anyway...
It costs, but you drop them off, and pick them up safely stripped
No muss, no fuss

Trust me, I'd rather keep the money and provide the service myself, but it's just not worth it for me to do it
I can't imagine DIYing it...it would be a very messy frustrating job that might end in taking it to a stripper anyway
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Old 10-28-2007, 09:27 PM   #5
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restaining window trim


Interesting. We already figured out we need to remove the pieces. We took off most of the trim; it's just the pieces holding in the window that are left.

When you say to take them to a stripper, will any painter be able to do this?

I think (hope) the bookcase will be easier, since we can at least sand that one ourselves. After that, we're stopping for sure.
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Old 10-28-2007, 09:44 PM   #6
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restaining window trim


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When you say to take them to a stripper, will any painter be able to do this?
No
In fact, that's my point
Most pro painters don't strip
None that I know personally do
We'll take that stuff to a specialist and have them "dipped" (which is probably an inaccurate term)

They'll be some strip shops in the Yellow Pages, White Pages, Penny Saver, or local newspaper
You might have to look under 'furniture stripping', but you should find some
Ask at your local Paint Store if you can't find one
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Old 10-29-2007, 12:23 AM   #7
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restaining window trim


If you have gone to the trouble of stripping all of the paint off and are now down to the remnants of the old stain that will not come off, you might want to try oxilic acid. It's available in pint sixe plastic tubs. Follow the easy instructions that give advice about adding a certain portion to hot water and apply liberally. If that does not help dissolve the stain then test a spot with hot water and then distrbute a layer of the crystals directly on top of the water puddle.

The acid will lighten most oak wood by varying degrees.
Otherwise, it is a hit and miss gamble with other woods. It can't hurt the wood other than raise the grain.

Lastly, you can achieve a relatively consistant stain with the gel type stains.
It's always easier to achieve a more consistant darker stain than a lighter.
Be sure to allow the stain to thoroughly dry before you attempt to finish it.
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Old 10-30-2007, 07:55 PM   #8
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restaining window trim


Also might try the Jel'd stain line - it's very easy to get really dark stain colors as it is more like soft shoe polish in consistency-more forgiving.
Bob
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Old 11-04-2007, 10:36 AM   #9
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restaining window trim


Well, the new stripper is very very slowly taking off the stain...

We had one board that is flat, so we sanded it. We know it's not birch, oak, or fur. It's a light wood with a darker grain. Our best guess is ash. (Camera just died, so can't take a picture.)

We're considering sanding the flat pieces and then purchasing new ash trim that matches. We haven't see the exact pattern online yet, but we're going to see how much it costs to get an exact match and how much to just purchase something that's close enough.
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Old 11-04-2007, 10:04 PM   #10
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restaining window trim


I've worked in an antique furniture resto shop as well as being a painter for 25 yrs.

The stain should come off easier than the paint. I don't know how you are set up, but if the trim is removed, start with thick stripper and use an old (black) china bristle brush to push it around. Cut the ends and corners off the brush to keep the stripper from "flicking" all over.

Let the thick stipper do most of the work, saturate the wood. Wipe off with rags and then use thin stripper on it. Let that sit for a while, wipe a piece with a rag and use medium steel wool to remove the last of the stain. Do the open expanses first, save corners for last since they will stay wet longer.

In corners, use fine wool to go crossgrain, then use the medium wool in the corners, going with the grain, to erase the crossgrain marks. For this period of wood, you don't need to sand the wood down to bright white. Also, the corners should naturally be a bit darker than the rest of the wood. Just use steel wool and let it dry a day. Then sand just enough to achieve a consistent patina.

If the stain is original to the house, it may contain analine dye, partitularly the reds. If dye was used, stripper won't remove it. Chances are, if the stain isn't red, you won't have a problem.

Hope this helps.

PS. Dipping at a shop will also work on individual pieces, but glued pieces should not be dipped. In that period, they used hide glue and dipping will loosen it.

Last edited by joewho; 11-04-2007 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 11-12-2007, 07:54 AM   #11
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restaining window trim


Quote:
Originally Posted by joewho View Post
I've worked in an antique furniture resto shop as well as being a painter for 25 yrs.

The stain should come off easier than the paint. I don't know how you are set up, but if the trim is removed, start with thick stripper and use an old (black) china bristle brush to push it around. Cut the ends and corners off the brush to keep the stripper from "flicking" all over.

Let the thick stipper do most of the work, saturate the wood. Wipe off with rags and then use thin stripper on it. Let that sit for a while, wipe a piece with a rag and use medium steel wool to remove the last of the stain. Do the open expanses first, save corners for last since they will stay wet longer.

In corners, use fine wool to go crossgrain, then use the medium wool in the corners, going with the grain, to erase the crossgrain marks. For this period of wood, you don't need to sand the wood down to bright white. Also, the corners should naturally be a bit darker than the rest of the wood. Just use steel wool and let it dry a day. Then sand just enough to achieve a consistent patina.

If the stain is original to the house, it may contain analine dye, partitularly the reds. If dye was used, stripper won't remove it. Chances are, if the stain isn't red, you won't have a problem.

Hope this helps.

PS. Dipping at a shop will also work on individual pieces, but glued pieces should not be dipped. In that period, they used hide glue and dipping will loosen it.

How about one of those places that removes paint by some type of blasting
with a mild sand or a soft media of some kind ?

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Old 11-12-2007, 01:29 PM   #12
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restaining window trim


I don't know for sure, never seen it done on antique wood. Maybe blasting with baking soda will work. Not sure.

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