I asked last week on how to strip my 6 panel oak front door. I found a
furniture restoration place about a mile away from me that can strip a
door down in one day. If I dropped it off in the morning, it would be
done in the afternoon. They charge $325.
Just to compare, I called around to a few places to price a new 6
panel oak slab, and they seem to range from $515-$550. Of course I
would have to drill the deadbolt and lock holes, plus mortise out the
hinges.and if necessary trim the door.
So I'm trying to think now is it worth the $325 to just get the
original door stripped.
I haven't seen your door, but have you ever stripped one? Some are
easy and kinda fun, and somewhat satisfying. Others... not so much.
Stripping a door by hand can take hours, or days, depending on the
material to be stripped and your level of anal retentive tendencies.
A real cost assessment is in order. If you have the tools to easily
install the new door you could knock it out in, what, an hour? If
not, it's going to take... longer.
What's your time worth? Can you get $100 for your old door?
It depends on how many variables you want to consider.
With no picture its hard to say, Ive worked on many $1000+ oak doors,
houses and churches, in 90 one walnut pair of doors I redid for $1500,
the lady was offered 14,000.00 before I refinished the pair, they were
from the Pullman estate, the train guy. Go price one. If it sanded to
new wood its cheap at his price, restoring an old oak door and frame
today would be near 1-3000, and thats what a new one would cost of
real quality. After its stripped you still have to get to good wood by
sanding, unless its veneer. A new door will have to be hung and locks
installed. If its real quality refinish yours, but you need pro advise
like the furniture guy.
A quart of P&L Marine Varnish might cost 25- 40$....After all a boat
is just something floating that sucks your money down., Labor is what
costs to make a 80 yrs old door look new again. and 3$ worth of
sandpaper will only make the finnish of 5 coats.
I'd try to do it myself first. A can of stripper is about $7.00. A can of
paint thinner (to clean off the stripper remains) and other few bucks.
You'll also need a scraper, rags, toothbrush, disposable paint brush,
possibly rubber (not latex) gloves, open air, sandpaper, and a few hours.
The worst that can happen is that you muck it up - but the commercial place
Its definatly worth refinishing, it may need major [ minor to me]
sanding, unless its Veneer, it looks covered by an overhang which
protected it from UV rays, Strip it, sand to new grain, stain it and
use a Marine finish, a stain will be an issue unless you do the
frame. post better pics
Looking again, it is a job, its not very bad, but only a wood pro will
do you right. It could be a 9- 1200$ job, a new door fit and
finished will be at least 1000- 1500. Figure new hinges, and
instaling everything. Doors need maintenance, I would fix it, the
factory finish may have been junk
They aren't closeup enough to tell for absolutely sure, but from the
grain characteristics I see, it's highly unlikely imo that the door is
oak. Looks more like a stained pine or fir; outside possibility it's
another hardwood but it doesn't look at all like oak.
Unless it's solid (that is, not veneer over core) I'd not take it to a
dunk-type commercial stripper--their process is liable to lift the veneer.
As someone else says, varnish stripping isn't that bad compared to
paint--there are quite a number that are good for the job.
Overall, this doesn't really look like that tough a job other than time
fiddling around the panels, etc.; it isn't _that_ weathered from the
picture I looked at.
Based on what I can see in your photos, since you didn't post any close-
up photos, I can't say much about the current condition of the finish. I
wouldn't bother stripping the door. I would give it a good sanding, then
put on a couple of coats of spar varnish.
Yeah, the sanding's a bitch of a job, but you won't have to do it again
for another three or four years. There's no such thing as a permanent
finish for outdoors. Ultraviolet light destroys every finish we've been
able to invent. Since your door is behind a storm door, the heat in
there makes the finish degrade even faster. My church has 10-foot tall
solid oak doors that face west. The best I've been able to suggest to
them is to replace the polyurethane with some kind of penetrating oil
finish, then put a new coat on every six months.
Well ,I just got back from the paint store with all the stuff I need
to strip it: Rock Miracle, small wire brushes, drop clothes and
sandpaper. I'll be spending some time in the backyard. Hopefully it
will go well. I'll post pics when I'm done. Thanks for everyones help.
I would be reluctant to use wire brush on wood for fear of scarring it.
It would make more sense
if you plan on pretty serious sanding. I'm not familiar with Rock
Miracle, but with methylene stripper
I use old toothbrushes and wooden picks to get the gunk out of fine
crevices. Good luck.
What is included in the price other than stripping? Is the stripped
door prepared for refinishing - washed down, sanded, cleaned, etc.? As
others have stated, stripping all the finish out of the crevices requires
patience and effort. My guess is that the stripper you contacted has a
special tank for stripping doors so it takes little time compared to other
We had several doors in our house done by a stripping service. That
was years ago so mentioning the price now is meaningless. What you
were quoted was a tad high, but if the results were like mine, it is
worth it. The doors came back spotless, ready for refinish with a few
quick sanding swipes. The real time saver was being able to simply
screw the hardware back on and set the doors in place with the hinge
pins. It took the most time for the drop off and pick up of the doors.
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