We had made 2 doors with glass inserts for our shop. The doors were
made out of 2x4's routed inside for the glass to fit into.
The guy who made them used cheap pine and primed them. We went and
painted them. But now I hate the look. I can see many depressions in
because of the softness of the wood. I want to maybe stain the doors.
Dumb question - Can I stain over the latex paint? Or should I sand
everything down. I can see having trouble sanding the trim near the
What stripper would be the best to remove the latex paint and primer?
My other thought was to cover all the wood with a laminate similar to
making counter tops.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Here is a link to the picture of the door.
Thanks in advance.
I rehab old houses in my spare time, so I run into doors in this condition
frequently. You can't "stain" over the paint, but you could fill the
depressions with body filler, sand, and then repaint.
I have had good luck with the natural citrus stripper. YMMV. Sanding around
the glass shouldn't be a problem, maybe just a little tedious to get in
there. You should be able to get most of the paint off with the stripper.
I think this would be more trouble and look worse.
Staining is out of the question. You will never get the paint
removed well enough for that IMHO.
Latex enamel is very difficult to remove in my experience. Paint
removers do not work well with it. The best success I have had
was to use straight lacquer thinner which will soften the latex
and allow you to remove stringy, nasty ribbons of the material.
You have now learned that surface preparation is over 90% of any
finishing project. The filling and sanding needed to have
happened before the paint. The entire door should have been
skimmed with Bondo or other suitable filler and finish sanded
before applying paint. I would be concerned about the adhesion of
Bondo or any filler on top of the latex and would recommend
removing it down to bare wood and digging it out of the dents and
chips to aid in adhering filler. After applying filler, sand with
an extremely critical eye. Fill again and sand again if required.
Prime! This is when you will find the imperfections. A heavy
bodied primer can be sanded and redone until the imperfections are
taken care of.
All of this is a lot of work. You can sand it and declare "good
enough", but you cannot effectively sand latex paint until it is
fully cured - a week or more with good conditions. Even when
cured it will tend to clog sandpaper quickly. Most painters would
tend to use oil base enamel. I wish I could see an easier out for
you. You might consider "antiquing" the door. It won't fill any
of the nicks and dings, but may disguise enough of them to become
acceptable for you and also head toward the staining idea.
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
DanG (remove the sevens)
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