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August 8, 2011

I am notorious for starting project with a lot of gusto and enthusiasm, and then walking away with the project half finished to start a new project with just as much excitement as I had for the original task.
This weekend Geoff and I worked on wrapping up some of these outstanding projects.
First up, finishing the interior side of the front door. Last year ( I know, it’s terrible it has taken me this long to get to this). I took the door down and stripped both sides with Kleanstrip paint stripper. I had no idea what was underneath, but because of the style of the door, I was sure that it must be some type of stain worthy wood. The door had been painted 3 times over the original stain which was a dark mahogany color. Black, White and finally a thick coat of red paint.  I don’t know what’s wrong with people. The previous owner (PO) didn’t even remove the iron door hardware before putting on the coat of read paint. The hardware was splashed with paint here and there – a really sloppy job.
Stripping the door was tedious! I felt like a mad scientist out in the garage scrapping and stripping all of the old paint away. The door is paneled and getting the paint out of each beveled trim piece around each panel was painstaking. So work it though! I cleaned the door with mineral spirits and sanded it with a palm sanded (180 and then 220 grit). I had just enough time to put on two coats of stain and three coats of poly on the exterior side of the door before the weather was too cold to work on it any more. That left the interior side, stripped, partially sanded and looking very rustic all Winter……Spring…..and almost this Summer.
To finish the interior side last week I used a heat gun to remove the tiny strips of paint that the sanding and stripping failed to remove. I used a palm sander on 150 grit to remove the old stain finish the stripper didn’t completely take off the year before. This took f-o-r-e-v-e-r. I had to hand sand all of the panels and panel trim. Once it was all done I completed the sanding with 220 grit paper.
I used Minwax oil based stain in red mahogany. I applied it with a brush and let it sit for 15 minutes or so. I wiped off the excess stain with paper towel and let it dry overnight. So far I had put on one coat of clear satin polyurethane. I have to sand it and add two more coats before it is done. Has anyone tried to put poly on something interior when you have 2 dogs and a cat? I had to tape off the vestibule to prevent any hair from floating into the wet finish. I also removed the locks and handle like you are supposed to . This is the only way to get a really clean finish around the hardware and the prevent getting any stain/poly on the hardware.

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