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Thinking of refinishing this door.


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Our house was originally built in the early 60's with a down to the studs remodel in 2007 prior to our buying the place. While dinking around outside, I came across this door. I am sure it was the main door at one point. Heavy , solid core wood door. I am debating stripping it down and refinishing it for use as our basement door. I am not one for wood work and this would be my first project.

Looking for how to's and what to do's.

Thanks.

Rob

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The FIRST thing I'd do is make sure it isn't warped. If it is, it's not of much use. Unless, of course, you have a matching warped basement door jamb. Looks like it has dried leaves on it...where was it stored/found?

PS: Stripping down and refinishing a door with a bazillion recessed panels is an absolute PITA. Since it has no true historical or architectural value I'd suggest cleaning it and repainting it if you decide to use it.

Lastly, it looks more 70's or early 80's to me based on what I see here. Your area may vary.

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The interior side looks like it has some flaking lacquer finish over stained wood. That would be expected if the door had been stored outside where humidity levels changed. If you can remove or sand that effectively, you could paint it.

But depending on how you value your time it might be beneficial to buy a new steel or fiberglass-skinned door. As a plus, either of those would be insulated.

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If wife is imagining it stripped and refinished as natural wood, uh uh.

Paint. Clean it up and paint it if you do anything. Get some epoxy to fill and cover up all the stuff you find when you're cleaning it up.

I could find better things to do than resurrecting an old door that never had all that much going for it in the first place.

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I'd just clean it up, touch it up with a sander and paint it.

If you want to do a clear finish over wood, send it out to be dipped. It'll still need a ton of hand work afterwards.

I can appreciate the appeal of keeping the door in use in the house, but I've gotta say, that's one ugly door.

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Mid-Century Modern is a new class of historic houses (some are listed on the National Register) that is starting to take off. Google Retro Renovation and you may find a picture of that door. I think they list 59 Mid-Century House Museums on their site.

If you don't want to clean it up, try listing on Ebay or take it to a old house salvage yard and see what you can get for it. Somebody that wants to bring back poodle skirts and bobby socks will want it.

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It will need a frame to match, with hinges and latch routered to match, so it becomes a winter project.

It looks like the veneer is damaged a bit on the inside edge. If it is veneer, you can't sand it very much, and there is grain going two directions. I'd use a chemical stripper and a bunch of different scrapers. No, I wouldn't, but to save the door, that would be the way. [:)]

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When you finish it you'll need to ensure those panels are all kept free floating. If you end up gluing those panels to the stiles and rails with paint or varnish those panels are sure to split when that door expands. See it all the time with wood raised-panel doors that someone decided to paint and didn't want to leave those pesky joints free-floating.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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