How to Strip Paint from Doors

Repainting your old internal door will transform the appearance of your room especially when chrome door handles are fitted to complement the new finish. It can be a messy and time consuming DIY job to undertake even more so when you’re repainting several doors at once but it’s certainly a job that’s worth while. This article on how to strip paint from doors aims to cover everything that you need to know in removing the old paint and preparing your doors to be transformed. But before you get started you will need to make sure you have the tools and personal protective equipment listed below plus no less than 4-5 hours per door that you aim to repaint.


The tools and personal protective equipment needed to complete the job include a paint scraper, shavehook, dustsheets, protective eyewear, old paintbrush, dust mask, rubber gloves, abrasive pads, sandpaper, chemical paint stripper and a bucket of clean water, it also makes for a more enjoyable day if you have a radio nearby and someone to make the tea or coffee.


Caution: If the paint you shall be stripping from the doors contains lead, which can be found in doors that were painted prior to the 80’s, then only chemical paint stripper should be used, never use heat guns duo to toxicity of the vapours created. Lead content testers can be purchased online or from some hardware stores.


The first step is to spread the dustsheets over the floor and underneath the first door you will be working on, remove the door handles and any other items of door furniture that are fitted before unscrewing the door hinges and lying the door down flat. Supporting the door on a work bench either end will not only make it easier to work on but improve results.


Next put on your sexy yellow marigolds, stylish protective eyewear, and dust mask before pouring a small amount of paint stripper into a container or jar. Make sure to replace the lid on the can of stripper as it will evaporate if left unsealed.


Use the old paintbrush to apply the stripper over a small section of the door, no more than 1/8th of the surface area at a time so that you have time to work before the stripper evaporates. Allow for it to absorb into the paint for a few minutes until the paint has softened sufficiently so that it easily scraps off using the scraper. Remove the paint form corners, intricate patterns and mouldings using a shavehook and if needed abrasive pads and sandpaper. Repeat this a section at a time until the door is completely stripped.


After having removed as much of the old paint from the door and door frame as possible, you need to neutralise the remaining of the stripper left on the surfaces using water. Do this using a sponge to apply the water to all sections of the door, and an old towel or rag to wipe up any excess or spilages.


The next step is to rub over the door using an abrasive pad removing any paint residues and leave to dry for at least 24 hours before repainting.


Now that you’ve successfully stripped the old paint it’s time to repaint the door, but before you do read our 8 helpful tips on painting interior doors.