21 February 2008

Front Door Project: the Abrasive Story

Mom and I worked on the door a bit more the other day because the weather was nice. After an application of chemical stripper, much patient, diligent scrubbing with stiff bristled brushes (mom) and whining, stomping, and a hasty once-over scrub (me), I declared we were done with the stripper. I've had enough of this project. Remind me to thank my grandfather for thinning his paint and applying it in so many tissue thin layers.

We pulled out the big guns. Now we were finally seeing some results. I started with 60 grit on the orbital sander, then moved to 100 grit. Mom played around with her new 3D sander, which has three small rotating discs that flex; nice if you are working on something curved. Think men's electric razor. I guess I should have snapped a picture of it in action, but we were both tired by then.

The sanders made pretty quick work of those last two stubborn layers. Makes me wonder if we shouldn't have broken out the sanders earlier in the game. We flipped the door and gave the other side a quick wipe down with the denatured alcohol. For some reason I had it in my head that there was shellac on this side, not sure why. Turns out that's not the case, so all the denatured alcohol did was take off the top layer of dirt. I'll let Jack worry about what to do here.

Speaking of Jack, we expect him to pay us a visit any day now. He'll come and pick up the "new" front door, and the shiny new storm/screen door. Jack will take them back to his workshop, do his magic and when he returns them they'll both match in color and both look shiny new. I'm not sure exactly how he'll get the stained side to match, or anything about his process, but quite frankly at this point I don't care, just so long as someone else takes this project off my hands. Mom and I have done as much as we have the skills and patience for. Now it is up to Jack. I'm sure I won't feel as surly about the front door by the time it is returned to us, so maybe I'll ask Jack about his process. Then I can share that part of the saga with all of you.

p.s. for my friends and family who only read my blog to see pictures of Oliver, sorry to disappoint today, but chemicals, power tools, and puppies don't mix.


Jen said...

I'm planning to strip and refinish all my doors this summer. I'll have to keep this sander thing in mind - I have a feeling I will have 5 or 6 ultra-thick layers to deal with, rather than all the thin ones.

Too bad golden retrievers can't help with this. My two are the only helpers I will have!

Oliver's Bungalow said...

Jen- good luck to you. I don't think I have the patience for all the detail work anymore. I understand there are curved scrapers available, although my local hardware store did not have them. I think they would be extremely useful.