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pookieman 07-14-2010 11:54 AM

Refinishing Varnished Window Frames

Hope someone out there can help me. Basically I am trying to refinish old wooden window frames on the interior of the house. They are Oak I think and were varnished, some flaking, some not so bad.

First I attacked them with an orbital sander. Which did get the wood out, but took me 3 hours, plus numerous sanding sheets to get around 40% of the window done. Not to mention the mess. So I went to Home Depot and the guy there gave me a liquid stripper. Water based, so for the remainder of the window and all the corners I pasted this on last night.

Sure enough the varnish came off, with some scraping. But left behind a whiteish residue. I don't know if this is because of the varnish being old or it's because of the stripper. But the varnish is gone, but in it's place is a white smooth finish. I've been here before with a door and I thought it was a trick the light was playing so I varnish over it.. big mistake. It resulted in a half wood and half yellow/white patchy finish.. I've still to deal with that.

What I want to know is.. How do I get rid of this, another coat of stripper? I don't think that's going to do it. Or do I have to <dread> sand it off? What is it? and why does it stick around after stripping? We have 14 windows in the house.. this one has taken me 8hrs so far.. I'm not sure I have the stamina to do them all.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

pookieman 07-22-2010 01:59 AM

Update the night mare continues

I really hope someone out there can give me some concrete advice I have spoken to so many people about this and I get different responses. So the saga goes like this. Old house 1940s, with probably 1960's interior doors and window frames.

They looked to me at least varnished, I'm by no means an expert. So I then stripped and sanded down a door and window frame using liquid water based stripper and an orbital sander.

Got them stripped. Then thinking I was down to the wood. The door appears to be a wood panel door. I got some stained Polyurethane and did a coat. To my horror the door looks completely different.

I have put the photo's here

There are some before and after pics. The first coat, revealed a completely different grain and pattern to what was there previously. Along with a hideous shine and for some reason a whiteish residue. Anyway I'm at a loss what happened and what to do. All i wanted to do was refinish the door and make it look nice again.

I have also stripped and sanded a window frame, but I am too nervous to do anything further, I want to know how to get the door and frame back to how they were. I have attached some pics showing the original look. Along with the frame of the door.

How can I get back to this? What do I have to do? I'm really desperate for some advice. If there is anyone out there that has experience of this or has more questions please come back to me I will be eternally grateful!

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