door refurb

This is posted in uk.diy too but i thought that you might be able to use your wealth of knowledge to help too! So i apologise to any who are offended by cross posts!
Hi All,
I have just had my internal pine paneled doors chemically stripped to rid them of many many years worth of gloss paint... i have the doors back now but they are not in the condition that i was hoping for! I was hoping to have a nice clean pine colour that i could varnish. What i actually have is a darker colour which isnt particularly attractive. The person at the strippers said that they had been stained mahogany at some point, hence the dark pigmentation. Granted the doors are still drying out and some of the discolouration on them is due to them still being damp.
Now for the questions!
Once the doors have fully dried, do you think that sanding them with say, a belt sander, to remove a few mm from them would bring the finish up any better? Would anyone have any suggestions for revitalising them? Or should i go buy a tin of gloss paint!!?? :o)
I dont have a belt sander, i was looking at this one from machine mart... http://www.machinemart.co.uk/product.asp?p 0310001 do you think this would fit the bill?
How nice a finish would the belt sander give? Would i need to hand sand / orbital sand etc after belting?
TIA
Gerry
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Probably a bad idea. Your question makes you sound like you have little experience working with wood and that all by itself is good reason to be wary of a belt sander. A belt sander is a great tool, but one which requires a certain skill and knowledge of what to expect. It is far too easy, in fact it is predictable in the hands of a novice that a belt sander will create waves in your wood that will be nothing less than the ugliest thing you could ever find, once you apply a little varnish. Even little waves show up as huge irregularities once varnish is applied. The higher the gloss, the worse the problem.
I'd suggest you'd be better off with a random orbital sander or even a palm sander. Both are less aggressive than a belt sander, and less inclined to dig. You'd want to start with something on the order of 100 grit paper and take your time. Keep the tool moving. No matter what sander you end up using, the most important part is to keep it moving. Holding it in one place will create a divot. Patience. Lots of sandpaper and lots more patience. Keep working the whole door until you get the color down to an acceptable level. Stains can penetrate significantly into pine and you may not be able to get it all out, but you can probably get it to a much more acceptable level with some effort. After you get the door to a color you can live with, continue to sand it with less abrasive grits until you have it ready for a finish. You could probably move up to 150 grit and then to 200 or so. I would not go past 200 grit. Same thing - keep it moving. The secret is consistency across the entire door. Try to keep the sander on all places on the door the same amount as it was on other places. Does that make sense?
You should be able to get this door up to something you can live with this way. Just don't get in a rush. And don't buy that belt sander.
--

-Mike-
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If you take a belt sander to your doors, odds are you are going t
destroy them, or at least end up with doors that have significant lo spots from the sander cutting too aggressively. If you must sand them you would probably be better off using a random orbit sander and workin through a progression of grits (i.e. 80 grit, 150 grit, 220 grit).
Chlorine bleaches can be used to remove dye-based stain from wood. laundry grade like Clorex probably won't work because it isn' concentrated enough. Pool grade (calcium hypochlorite) may work, bu it is going to depend on the stain that was used. If you are going t go this route, make sure you test the chemical in an inconspicuou place to make sure it doesn't do more harm than good.
It may be possible to re-stain the doors (if you don't mind the darke color), then compensate for any variation in color with a tinte lacquer finish.
Good luck,
Scott
Cuprager Wrote:

-- makesawdust
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I have to agree with Mike that the belt sander may not be the best choice. Not only will you have problems on softer wood such as pine but the belt sander will not get into a lot of areas on a panel door. A smaller sander such as a palm sander will be less aggressive and get into some tighter areas. You will still probably have to do some detailed sanding by hand in some of the routed areas and the corners of the panels. The larger flat areas of the door should go pretty fast depending on the depth of the stain but all of the nooks and crannies will take some time.
I would try an area by hand with maybe 100 grit to see how deep the stain has penetrated. If it comes up relatively easily by hand, buy the sander and go at it. If you can't get the stain off by hand, (or at least enough to make you happy) you might be better off trying something else....maybe very dark stain or as a last resort, more paint.
Mike O.
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<snip>
Thanks for all of your help. I will be doing the work at the weekend and promise to let you know how i get on!
You are right in that i am a woodworking novice... so i might give the idea of using a belt sander a miss!!
Thanks again
Gerry
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