Old doors brought back to life

Project by GaryL posted 04-08-2013 10:06 PM 7549 views 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Finally talked the homeowner into letting me take her ugly doors and spruce them up a bit. They are about thirty-two years old. It was somewhat of a crapshoot with the doors being painted originally. I had sanded off a section to see if it was possible to bring these up to a stain grade. After stripping and getting the old garbage off (they don’t make a stripper that is worth a *%# anymore), mostly sanding it off, they were in decent condition. I ended up replacing the operating door stile on the lockset side do to being bored and drilled for a mortise style Baldwin lockset. She did not want to spring for new ones of that caliber (expensive) so everything was changed to modern tubular style locksets. Patched the other stile, new panel trim, lower raised panels, and seeded triple pane glass units. Finished with General Finishes 450 series stains and clear coat.

All in all, I was very happy how they turned out. I wasn’t expecting to be able to get a fir door, built to be painted not stained, to turn out as nice as it did. The homeowner loves it…that’s all that matters.

This is before I pulled them. For some reason I did not get a shot from outside. There was also some ugly orange wood storm doors that I removed.

In the shop ready to strip. The interior.

The weathered exterior.

This is the stile I replaced. After stripping I saw they had blew out the side when they had original bored for the mortise lockset. They finalized that decision for major surgery.

The new limb/stile ready for the transplant.

-- The difference between a pro and an amateur, an amateur points out his mistakes

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10 comments so far

View James101's profile


3 posts in 2656 days

posted 04-09-2013 02:48 AM

Excellent job Gary!!
What product did you end up using for stripper?
I used to use a product called “Dad’s” Pretty Toxic, but worked good. Don’t know if that’s still available or not.

View GaryL's profile


206 posts in 3473 days

posted 04-09-2013 10:37 AM

I used strip-eze (?) and also a varnish/stain stripper. They worked but not well. It took three applications and there was still a pretty good layer I ended up sanding off.
The good ol” days of lung burning, brain melting strippers that actually worked are far behind us I’m afraid.

-- The difference between a pro and an amateur, an amateur points out his mistakes

View J's profile


70 posts in 2883 days

posted 04-10-2013 10:09 PM

You certainly brought new life, and some great style to those old doors. What a transformation!

-- I found the board stretcher... finally!

View jim1953's profile


26 posts in 3824 days

posted 04-11-2013 03:25 AM

What a Great job

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


447 posts in 2909 days

posted 04-13-2013 05:26 AM

Gary, stunning work my. They look like very expensive brand new custom doors. You do amazing work.

-- Working on my home for 2 years and counting.

View GaryL's profile


206 posts in 3473 days

posted 04-13-2013 11:42 AM

Thanks for compliments guys. It sure made a difference in the front foyer and approaching the house from the drive. It brought it to life.

-- The difference between a pro and an amateur, an amateur points out his mistakes

View Dusty56's profile


27 posts in 3792 days

posted 04-26-2013 03:09 AM

WOW ! Those came out perfectly : ) Love the color as well as the Craftsmanship !

-- "I've got an hour glass figure , but , it's later than you think"! _Minnie Pearl

View BillyJ's profile


253 posts in 3944 days

posted 04-29-2013 07:42 PM

Very nice work Gary. Were you able to remove the lock-side style without damaging them or did you just bite the bullet and cut them? Very nice finishing work. I’d hire you in a heart-beat. Beauteous work young man.

-- No matter how many times I measure, I always forget the dimensions before I cut.

View giriraj98542's profile


19 posts in 319 days

posted 07-31-2019 12:02 PM

View angu's profile


23 posts in 213 days

posted 02-11-2020 09:38 AM

The old doors are still available in the market and it is still having great demand. There are some modifications legal cbd oil with thc that are doing to the old doors and that is attractive and giving the best look to the buildings.

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