Stripping And Refinishing Wood Doors: Steps & Items Needed To Strip & Refinish A Wood Door

Steps & Items Needed To Strip & Refinish A Wood Door

Stripping as well as the refinishing process is an easy task to perform yourself if you follow the right technique & use the right tools. Refinishing a wooden door will give it an amazing look & to perform this process, you first need to gather some of the required items & then follow the certain steps carefully & achieve the desired result of your work:

Items Needed

  • Hammer, Nail, 2 Sawhorses & Screwdriver
  • Paint Stripper & Natural-Bristle Paintbrush
  • Rubber Gloves, Goggles, Mask & Paint Scraper
  • 00 Steel Wool, Putty Knife & Water
  • Masking Tape, Masking Paper & Pad Sander
  • 100-, 120-, 150- And 220-Grit Sandpaper
  • Rotary Tool, Sanding Accessory & Wood Conditioner
  • Paintbrush, Stain, Rags, Paint Or Clear Finish & Soap


  1. Firstly, close the door and then detach the hinge pins with the help of a hammer and nail. Now, delicately open the door, wrench off the hinges, and position it flat on a pair of sawhorses. If in case the door is very heavy, then you need to have the assistance of someone.
  2. Next, with the help of a screwdriver, detach all the hardware parts & then keep them at a safe place in a box, including all the screws, so that they can be used again later.
  3. Now, take natural-bristle paintbrush & start paint stripper on one of the sides of the door. Make sure to use the safety equipment like rubber gloves, goggles, and a mask during this process as paint strippers usually contain methylene chloride, which is hugely caustic.
  4. Wait for the finish to start sparkling and then brush off the stripper and finish with a paint scraper. Remember to brush before the finish has a chance to dry out. Apply a second coat of stripper and brush unreachable patches of old finish with the help of a 00 steel wool. With the help of the corner of a putty knife, remove the finish from the nook and tight spaces in molding.
  5. Cleanse the door with clear water in order to counterbalance the stripper and eliminate residue, then revolve the door over and clean out the other side. Give the door time to dry & keep it as it is for overnight. Wrap both sides of any windows the door may have with the help of masking tape and masking paper.
  6. Now it is time for sanding process & start sanding the wood with the help of a pad sander. Use 100-grit sandpaper in order to sand off the leftover finish residue and stain. Again sand, but this time with the help of a 120-grit paper. Finally, hand-sand with the help of a 150-grit paper. Sand inside moldings, features, as well as chisels with the help of a rotary tool with sanding accessory at low speed. In order to prevent reshaping the wood, you need to use average pressure.
  7. Apply wood conditioner coat with the help of a paintbrush if the door is composed of pine or another softwood, and you are planning to stain it. The conditioner assists the wood suck up the stain more evenly and helps to avoid splotching.
  8. Now apply liquid stain by scraping it on with the help of a paintbrush and cleaning the excess with a rag before it dries. If in case you are using a gel stain, cleanse it on with a rag and cleanse the excess with another rag, but make sure to do it with the grain of the wood.
  9. Apply a coat of clear finish or paint. The exceptional clear finish for the exterior part of the door is spar varnish, due to the reason that it blocks ultraviolet sunlight. You can use this type of finish for both sides, or you can paint the interior part with polyurethane.
  10. Sand the first paint coat or finish with the help of 220-grit sandpaper after it dries, which takes nearly 8 hours or even more. Then paint a second coat before the first coat dries completely. When the second coat dries as well, sand it, then hang the door in order to paint the third coat. Make sure to keep the door open while the finish dries. Finally, detach the masking tape & then attach the hardware back on the door.
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