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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the process of replacing all the old wainscotting in a study with really nice alder raised panels. The problem I have is the wooden french doors in the room. I imagine they are made of poplar. They are stained, and the new woodwork is not going to match the old stain on the french doors.

Is it possible to remove this old stain and restain to match the new woodwork? They have multiple glass panels. I can't imagine sanding these doors, trying to get into the detailed spaced among the panels would be a night mare. If it is possible to get rid of the stain, can it be done chemically?
 

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I've seen it done, but wouldn't do it myself. It involved using a gel-type stripper to remove the poly/varnish finish, and scrubbing with fine steel wool repeatedly, slowly removing the stain. Then using a wood bleach to lighten it up. Never will get it back to 'bare wood'. And it was a messy procedure. It would work though if you needed a lighter stain than the existing one.

And I'm not sure, but I know there are companies that dip old doors and windows to strip paint, maybe one in your area can do it for stain too.

Good luck.
 

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3 M makes a great jell striper, and its not as much work as it sounds. Pull the door pins and set up on some saw horses. After apply the striper and wait about 45 minutes (time varies according to hummidity). Use a just little water with the steel wool to re-activate the striper as you go. Repeat the process until your happy with it. Then sand it down good. I use a dremel a lot at this process. Bob
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Since posting this I have been looking at these french doors some more and I came up with a solution that is kind of cheating.

I could easily sand all the flat surfaces of the doors, the fronts surrounding the glass, the top edges and sides, and even the door jams, after removing the molding that acts as the stops, (that could easily be replaced with some alder).

Then I could cheat buy painting the inset molding around all the windows a dark color. I think I could get away with that and it wouldn't look obvious why it was done.

However, I would really like to do it right.

I have contacted one dipper, and they said they can only dip for paint removal, something about the age of the stain and how it won't react?

The bleaching makes some sense, but I don't think it would effect the stain until I got the varnish/poly layer removed first, which brings me back to the sanding problem I think.

The gel stripper is for stains? not just paint? It seems paint is rather easy to get rid off, there are so many products for that, but stains seem to be more specialized and there are less solutions.
 

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If this was a true historical restoration I would say put your nose to the wheel and watch the hours add up, but if you have a customer footing the bill and its nothing you can't replace then by all means its probably cheaper to change out. Getting totally rid of stain can be a very messy and labour intensive deal.

Mike F said:
I'm in the process of replacing all the old wainscotting in a study with really nice alder raised panels. The problem I have is the wooden french doors in the room. I imagine they are made of poplar. They are stained, and the new woodwork is not going to match the old stain on the french doors.

Is it possible to remove this old stain and restain to match the new woodwork? They have multiple glass panels. I can't imagine sanding these doors, trying to get into the detailed spaced among the panels would be a night mare. If it is possible to get rid of the stain, can it be done chemically?
 

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The method I would use is shelac stain they used it in the old days You would add the shelac chips until you have the desired color or shadow. they have differant basesyou have to match your new base stain
 
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