Refinishing Steel Doors

I am working with a pair of steel entry doors that are in need of a facelift. There are chips and strips of paint missing (from ripping tape off) and old screw holes from old weatherstripping.
I am planning to bondo and sand the hold, but for the paint chips and strips should I use bondo to "skim coat" or sand down the entire door to remove the paint and start again?
I can't remove the doors as they are exterior entrance doors
Any suggestions would be appreciated
--
PV


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Well, you _could_ remove the doors and temporarily install anything from a used door to a sheet of plywood cut to fit. I guess it all matters on whether you care how it looks for the time you'd need to strip the doors properly and repaint.
Security might be an issue, but I hope that you don't live someplace where the substitution of door for a day or two would guarantee a home invasion.
Have you considered using stripper instead of sanding? Skim coating a door with Bondo and then sanding it smooth is going to make a hell of a mess, especially with the door still installed in the entrance way.
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On 4/28/2014 1:46 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

I won't respond to every reply but thank you all for your input.
This is a Church and theses are the main entry doors so it's a weekend, after hours project so door removal is not an option.
The stripper idea is one I hadn't thought of, so perhaps a day per door to strip and prep? The holes from the old weatherstripping are there because the new stripping didn't line up. So either glazing putty or bondo for those parts.
I will let you know how the project progresses
--
PV



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Depends. Are the chips/strips shallow enough that a coat or two of primer would fill them? If so, I'd spot fill them, sand smooth and then (probably) prime all, sand as needed, paint. I'm suggesting the primer to fill because it is easier to sand than Bondo. Another option - better than either - is glazing putty; not the stuff for glass, that for boats. It is used for the precise purpose of filling shallow imperfections.
Come to think of it, there is auto glazing putty too, available at any NAPA store. It is essentially the same solids as Bondo but in a lacquer base rather than polyester resin, comes in tubes, around $10-$15 for a largish tube. Sands like butter.
If too deep, use Bondo, sand, then prime sand and paint
--

dadiOH
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On 4/28/2014 3:31 PM, PV wrote:

I had double steel doors in my last house. They had a window in the upper half. When I came into some really nice antique leaded stained glass bookshelf doors, I wanted to install them. The were a little longer than the original windows. In the lower half of the door there were plastic do-dads where the plastic was pinned into holes in the steel. The new window were bigger, but didn't cover all the holes and other imperfections. I used bondo (for the 1st time ever in my life) to fill the holes and some imperfects. I remember it going pretty easy. And I remember the sanding going easy too. It looked great; we really loved it. I don't thing the new owners really appreciated it that much as they put curtains over the inside. Yuck! Of course, because leaded stained glass is not that great against weather, I put another clear glass window on the outside, so it still looked great from the inside.
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...snip...

I still don't see why removing the doors isn't an option. House, church, school, whatever. Temporary doors can be fashioned fairly quickly and secured in a variety of ways.
This might be overkill, but it gets the point across...
http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2011/1120/images/f1.jpg
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On 4/28/2014 3:31 PM, PV wrote:

Can't get someone to watch the house, while each step is performed?
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.
Christopher A. Young
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wrote:

I would JB weld the holes. Or possibly epoxy - not polyester resin body filler. It is not waterproof. Titto for glazing putty.
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I had some friends who bought land near Cooperstown, NY (home of the Baseball Hall Of Fame). About 20 years ago they wanted a cabin built on the land. They sent out letters to friends and family across the country saying that they would be camping on the land during the upcoming summer and inviting everyone to come down and help build.
A year earlier he had a forester come in with a portable saw mill who cut all the wood he needed for the 2 story cabin.
My family went down for a couple of weeks and we had the best vacation we've ever had. When we got there the raised platform had been built. When we left they were shingling the roof. The exterior and roof sheathing was all done with 1x6 material. Lots of cutting and nailing.
Every morning the women made us a huge breakfast and afterwards the men would walk the 1/4 mile to the build site. The kids swam in mud ponds, nights were spent with guitars and other various instruments around the camp fire. Naturally we burnt all the cutoffs from the build.
Did I mention that it was the best vacation I ever took?
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As long as no moisture gets INSIDE the door. If it does, it WILL pop the bondo. Bondo is for filling dents, not holes.
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Bondo can also be used to fill the gap between a piece of drywall that was cut too short to reach the ceiling. It dries fast enough to be sanded, primed and painted all in one afternoon. DAMHIKT
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...snip...

Why can't polyester resin be used for a door when it can be used for boat hulls?
http://www.uscomposites.com/polyesters.html
Once it's painted/sealed water should not be a problem. Ditto for glazing putty.
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Difficult to weld a foam core steel door
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On Wed, 30 Apr 2014 03:06:52 +0000 (UTC), DerbyDad03

Polyester resin and fiberglass is different than polyester resin and talc or whatever they use in Bondo as filler. I've used bondo on lots of cars - if the steel is not sealed well, moisture behind causes it to pop, eventually.
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For filling holes you want setting type compound - which is nasty to sand.
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