Author Topic: Dipping/restoring old doors  (Read 1594 times)

Offline KateJH

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Dipping/restoring old doors
« on: July 03, 2015, 01:36:55 PM »
Hello all --  I'm new to Jackson Heights, enjoying the neighborhood, and learning a lot from this forum.

Wondering if anyone has used a service they've been happy with for stripping paint from wooden doors? (Ideally one that picks up and delivers...)

My husband and I are looking to restore nine nice and solid mid-century interior doors. We've tested the paint layers for lead (negative, happily!) and started stripping one of the doors with a chemical stripper. It's slow-going, and very fumy work to be doing inside the apartment, even with all the wndows open -- so we're thinking about getting a pro.

We'd refinish the doors ourselves from there, and hopefully find some nice vintage brass doorknobs at Build It Green or the like.

Thanks for any recommendations!

Offline Shelby2

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Re: Dipping/restoring old doors
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2015, 07:31:04 PM »
If you don't get any replies here, try the Brownstoner site.  dipping doors site:brownstoner.com

Offline KateJH

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Re: Dipping/restoring old doors
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2015, 10:56:35 AM »
Thanks much for the suggestion, Shelby2. A poster on Brownstowner mentions a company called Dip 'N Strip in Hackensack that I've seen listed elesewhere, so I'll start by searching for more reviews on them.

Offline NYC Native

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Re: Dipping/restoring old doors
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2015, 12:09:09 AM »
Hard work, expensive.  Unless the doors are very intricate or have historical value it will  be cheaper to simply replace.  If you are looking for the satisfaction of doing some of the work yourself then that's where the true value lies and you will not be disappointed.  The doors will become a conversation piece, retaking their rightful place in the unit, more so because or your elbow grease. 

If your door is flat you can have a wood floor man pick them up and sand them down for you relatively cheap in a matter of hours. Obviously, more likely than not your door will have some intricate details.   If you know for a fact that there is no lead paint then use the heat gun and for those small, hard to get spots using the spray type paint stripper.  I would want to be 100% sure none of those paint layers contain lead, so hopefully you used an XRF test or a paint chip was sent to a lab for AAS analyses.   

Take some pictures of your doors if you don't mind.  Would be great to see the project evolve.


Best of Luck!
Time is running out!

Offline KateJH

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Re: Dipping/restoring old doors
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2015, 04:31:17 PM »
Many thanks, NYC Native!

We're looking forward to this as a "de-renovation" project -- replacing the hollow-core composite doors that came with our apartment when we bought it with original hardwood doors salvaged from another unit in our building undergoing demolition work.

Sounds like we might want to double-check the accuracy of the type of lead-paint test kit my husband bought at a hardware store -- especially since we are thinking of using a heat gun.

Here's a photo of the door we've started working on, and another of my favorite: the closet door decorated with Betty Boop stickers.

A future project will be to replace the bathroom tiling put in just before we bought the apartment last year (which is already cracking and threatening to fall off the wall), with subway titles in classic white with black trim. Much to do, but should be fun.

Jackson Heights Life

Re: Dipping/restoring old doors
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2015, 04:31:17 PM »