Sup fronds! In this latest installment of Yes You Can!, I’m going to teach you how to strip paint from a wood door. This is a tedious process, so buckle up, buttercup. ‘Cause once we start stripping there’s no looking back.
This is about the time when my husband will start sweetly serenading, “Pour some sugar on meee.” Personally, I think this should be amended to, “Pour some stripper on meee.” #soimadork (fun fact: that was my AIM name back in the day. Sans hashtag, of course).
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
Large bucket + bag (for waste)
Small bucket (for stripper)
Variety of scrapers
60 – 180 – 200 grit sandpaper
Keep on readin’ or watch my three-minute video tutorial!!
Take the door off the hinges and remove all of the hardware. Setup the door on a set of sawhorses in a well-ventilated area (a.k.a. outside). I recommend setting up a pop-up tent. Sunshine can mess with the stripper and dry it up right quick. Not ideal. 😒
PRO TIP: If the hardware needs a cleaning, soak in equal parts water, distilled white vinegar, a bit of baking soda, and give it a good scrub with a scour pad. It’ll look good as new.
Let’s pour some stripper on this door. Apply an even, thick af coat of stripper and let sit for a minimum of 20 minutes or until the paint starts to bubble.
Please note! VOC laws have changed, so the ZipStrip brand is new to me. It worked great on one side, but the paint didn’t bubble up on the second side. Not really sure what happened as the temperature and humidity were the same both days. Just letting ya know, lady bro.
Once the paint is bubbling, use your scrapers to scrape off paint in (ideally) globs, then discard in the waste bucket. Use a combination of a wood scraper, metal cocktail pick and an x-acto knife for those especially skinny grooves and corners.
Starting with a 60-grit sandpaper, sand each side until the wood is raw, working your way up to 150-grit and finally 220-grit for a smooth finish.
PRO TIP: Use a blowdryer and wet paper towel to wipe off all of the dust prior to polyurethaning your door.
Now it’s time for what I call “poly in place.” Get the hardware back on and affix the door in place. Use painters tape to protect the hinges. With gloves and a tack-free cloth, apply poly in an even coat of poly to each side.
I’m using a stain/poly mix that closely matches my existing doors. I only did one coat, cause she looked real good to me!
This was the seventh door I’ve stripped, so I’m gonna be real with you: this DIY is not for the faint of heart! It took about five days and 20+ hours to complete this project, but hot damn it’s worth it. ‘Cause these vintage single-panels have been restored to their rightful glory.
Until the next DIY adventure!