08 October, 2010

Stripping Wood Doors, Part 42 -- Removing the Moulding Trim Around the Window

I've lost track of how long this project is really taking.

But, weeks after I started stripping the bathroom door, I finally got the rest of the whitish-yellow enamel out of the nooks and crannies. It was a brutal process, completed in the odd moment I found here and there. Here's the door, without its six coats of paint:

Next step is popping out the window glass so I can get the last bits of paint around the moulding trim. Many of the Web sites I found indicated that it wasn't worth saving the trim, that it would take hours to try, and that they should just be chipped out. What I couldn't find were good instructions on how to save them if I wanted to--I was probably using the wrong search terms, but whatever. We managed to figure something out.

I figured it would be more of a hassle to go out and get new trim and miter cut it to the exact proportions, so I really wanted to try reusing them first. So I took a box cutter with a thin blade and gently ran it along the seam to loosen any adhesive and remaining paint. (The box cutter belonged to my grandfather; I love using his old tools!)

Then I took an old screwdriver and a mallet to very gently separate the trim from the frame. A poor use for a screwdriver, I know, but it worked.

There are three nails holding in each piece, with a glob of some kind of adhesive in the corners. I would need to lift out a piece straight up first before removing the others.

I grabbed Ted, who is always happy to find a new use for his Dremmel, and within seconds he had cut through the nails on one side.

Then, using a spatula to protect the glass, he took the screwdriver and gently worked it along the edge to loosen the trim the rest of the way. It then popped straight up. The others quickly followed suit.

Voila! Half an hour from start to finish, we had the trim pieces and glass removed.

And seconds after that, we had the door flipped over to start stripping the other side. This side of the door has some very beat up, very bubbled and flaking shellac. It comes off very, very well with a dab of stripper. I should be able to sand everything in the next day or so. Maybe I'll actually have the door stained and back in place this time next week. We're all getting a little tired of the screen we're using to "give us some privacy."

The bathroom door was, by far, the worst one in the house as far as paint to be stripped. Every door in the basement (there are eight or nine of them, I forget) has paint, but it's a single layer of gray that comes off easily with a heat gun. There is only one other door in the ground floor unit with paint, and it, too, only looks like it has a coat or two of paint on it--and not the evil enamel. (The bathroom door in the tenant unit is equally offensive as this one was, but I won't be addressing that for years, yet.)

So, in other words, I'm glad I started with the worst of the bunch. Everything else is going to be easy after this.


Nina said...

Wow! Good job removing the trim. I am currently doing my front door and thought about removing the windows but the idea of breaking the trim scared the hell out of me, so I resorted to using dental tools to get the paint out of the cracks and edges.

Joanne said...

Those dental tools work really well; I used them to find the edge of the trim in the first place.

It was definitely scary to remove it, but I really wanted to try because my goal over the next few months is to create a stained glass panel for the bathroom door that matches the theme of the vintage stained glass in our living room. I took a class last winter, and need to justify the expense somehow. :-)

I'll probably save this glass panel and use it for the bathroom door upstairs in the tenant unit, which has a crack in it. Or, I might utilize the glass in the new panel for our bathroom door; I haven't decided yet.

Sharon Kwilter said...

Great blog post. Thanks for sharing your process for removing the glass. I have a number of built-ins with broken leaded glass and this may give me the bravery to try taking them apart. Thanks!

Joanne said...

Sharon -- I guess if you just go slowly it should be okay. There were a couple moments when I started to bend the trim and almost lost my nerve, but I figured I could always stop and push it back in place if I chickened out. :-)

Karen Anne said...

I'm thinking we should make a list of all the things you can use a screwdriver for :-) Really, is there any other tool as useful, maybe scissors.

Joanne said...

KA - You're probably right! But whenever I use a tool improperly, I picture my grandfather frowning at me. He was very big on the "right tool for the right job" philosophy.

Anonymous said...

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Joanne said...

Anonymous--That's so funny! Stop by and say hi if you catch me working in the yard.

We definitely love the neighborhood; it's got great schools (so we've been told, we don't have kids) and the people are really friendly. Hope you'll make it over here.

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