How To: Stripping a Door

Perhaps you prefer the look of a rustic timber door, but you’re stuck with those tired old white painted doors all throughout the house. You don’t need to rush to replace all of the doors, first you could try stripping the door yourself to reveal the wood underneath the paint. There are plenty of ways to strip a door, and the cost-saving benefits are obvious, but how easy is it? By following these easy-to-digest steps, we’ll help you to strip down your doors and breathe new life into your home. Here’s how we’d do it at Leader Doors:

  • Patch Test the Paint Stripper Solution
    Trying out the solution on a small area of wood lets you judge how thickly you need to apply the product and how long you’ll need to leave it for it to be effective.
  • Apply the Stripper to the Whole Door
    Once you’ve worked out how thickly you need to apply the paint stripper, apply it to the full door to lift off all the layers of paint. Use a wide but slightly flexible scraper, and be sure to clear the surroundings first and wear appropriate safety gloves.
  • Leave The Paint to Dissolve
    Make sure to cover the paint stripper with clingfilm. The paste will eventually dissolve the paint to a water-soluble residue, which could take anywhere between 15 minutes to several days! It all depends on how thick the paint layers are on the door.
  • Clean Up The Paint
    If the softened paint peels away from the door when you remove the clingfilm, you know it’s ready. Dispose of the plastic and dissolved paint safely – if you don’t know how long the paint has been on the door it could contain lead, so it’s important to be very careful!
  • Scrub The Door
    If there’s any residual paint, clean this away with a scrubbing brush and warm water. Make sure to mop up any surplus water so it doesn’t raise the grain of the wood.
  • Check For Salt
    Once the wood is completely dry, you may find crystalline salt on the door. Brush this off and rinse the surface again. This time, try neutralising the wood by sponging it down with a solution of white vinegar in water (1 part vinegar, 3 parts water).
  • Smooth & Nourish
    Use fine grade glass paper to smooth the door, making sure that you follow the grain of the wood. Finally, protect the wood by applying a finish of liquid beeswax. Once it has dried, buff with a cotton cloth and add wax polish for an extra shine. 

Still not satisfied with your wood doors? Take a look at our full collection of internal doors in both wood and paint to achieve your dream interior décor.

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