Sunday, November 9, 2014

Au naturel…. or Oak Naturel?

In the adventure of the windows, it was time to also change the colour of our front door.  The brick on our house is a brown, red, orange mix and our door was last painted a nice harvest orange.  But after 5 years, it was starting to look a bit beaten up (goodness knows how, it's not that exposed) so it was time to redo it.

My Mum came down to help out with another Lady-Do Day, where ladies get sh*t done, so a job that would have taken me 10hrs on my own took us 5hs together.  NOW, I'm nowhere near done, so there'll be many more hours to go… but at least it's been started.

You can see the four different
removal attempts
Once we got the door downstairs, we pulled out our personal preferences for stripping paint.

Mine is a heat gun, which can burn the wood quite badly if you don't pay attention and it also releases fumes into the air, but goodness it's fast.

My Mum likes the SPR (Silent Paint Remover) which is also a heat tool, but it doesn't release fumes and is safer… and a bit slower.

Neither of these worked to our satisfaction, so we got out the chemicals… which also stink, and make more of a mess.
Turns out this one was the best!
I luckily had two chemical strippers in the basement, one that was called Natura and was said to be a natural product.  It worked fine to take one layer of paint off (the orange) but wasn't strong enough to go deeper.  Since we had multiple layers to go through, that didn't work for us.

The second type I had was this gel based one.  It certainly didn't smell great, but it really did the job.  In the photo above, you can see nature (where Mum is scraping), SPR around the door slot, heat gun where the knocker was and gel in that clear square patch.  Wowsers!

You can see the dark area
(doggy scratches & damage)
SO, we made ourselves a plan and headed out to buy more of this gel magic.  Guess what my Home Hardware doesn't stock anymore?  Yup, the gel paint remover we just discovered.  I checked just now, and it's not at Home Depot or Lee Valley either, so it seems I'm out of luck.

We grabbed the next best thing and spent a few hours stripping 5 layers of paint off the door.  In doing so, we discovered that the door is a lovely oak (or so it seems) and has a really damaged section down the centre.  You can see the nice wood in the bottom left and the damage in the centre.  

I think once the pet pooch from 1939 scratched the bottom of the door to pieces, everyone thereafter just thought "forget it, paint the thing".  Lucky for me, I don't mind a bit of character ;) so I'm going to see just how damaged it is after two more steps.

SOOOO, 5 hours down… orange, muted blue, vibrant blue, primer and sage green are gone!  and the door has been rehung.  I am going to strip it once or twice more with steel wool and the paint stripper (don't worry, it's safe) and then I'll wash it and sand it down properly.  Then comes the rehab part (linseed oil and wood hardener) and I can stain it!  Woo hoo!!  

OH!  I nearly forgot to show you the before and after at this stage.  You can really see the dark damaged area in the centre in this picture.  Here's to hoping I can 'heal' that part!

Left: original, taken without direct sun (which I kind of regret because it was quite the orange)
Right:  after taking 5 layers off, taken with morning sun (looks like I might need a dark stain to go with the brick)
Happy Sunday, folk!

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  1. Too bad my planer is only 12 inches wide. If you can pull the door apart, we can plane it in pieces???
    Looks good! L - D.

    1. I don't think I'll risk pulling the door apart ;) Thanks though! It'll just be some hours of love put into getting it smooth - luckily, it's solid wood!