Painting & Decorating Question

Most efficient way of preparing wood (with multi layers of old paint) for painting?

Just purchased a large victorian house and the internal paint work on doors, door frames, skirting boards etc is very poor with many layers of old paint. If it is best to strip back to the wood its a massive job - any quickish good ways of doing it? One thought is to use a stripping company where they can strip the doors for just £15 each and maybe that would give me a head start? any ideas appreciated

11 Answers

Best Answer

Wow ! What a lot of choice you have. First the do not's, do not burn of because of the age of the property there will be lead paint, also the house will be dry and therefore a cinder could set your home alight. Nitromorse ! What a messy long winded way to create lots of work for yourself. Dipping the doors - as J Turner says ... Finally 2 pack nice idea but you will have more, harder, sanding to do why make more work for yourselves. There are still options though - sanding with an orbital palm sander (wear a dust mask, FFP2) using a good quality oxide paper grade 80 then by hand sand the mouldings, then fill and sand with grade 120 clean down and paint, then face fill and sand with 240 finishing paper clean down and paint to a finish. Then there is a product called 'peelaway' check it out on the the internet is easiest, Good luck Kevin G

Answered 24th Apr 2011

Kevin Grimmond & Son Decorating

Member since 11 Feb 2011

A quick way to sort this out would be to rub down and fill where needed then give the wood 2 coats of undercoat and a gloss .The other option is to bun the old paint off but this is a messy process but it can give you the best result .

Answered 20th Apr 2011


Member since 21 Jan 2011

Hello there. I think the quickest way to strip the paint of the woodwork is to us a paint stripper torch. Its like a blow torch only smaller and much easier to handle. You would work your way along the skirting/arch' lightly flicking the flame on a 6 inch area until the paint bubbles then just scrape off. Then you move your way along. It is a really quick way to do it!!
Alternatively, you could buy a paint thinner (stripper) solution. With protective gloves you would put some solution on a cloth and rub the woodwork. Sometimes it can take a few hours before its ready to be scraped and depending on how many layers of paint, you may need to go over it again.

I hope this helps.
Kind regards, Mike.

Answered 20th Apr 2011

MH Property Maintenance

Member since 20 Aug 2009

If your looking at keeping the original joinery then first look at getting the doors dipped, fixings like skirting and frames you could use nitromors (read the label) or a heat gun, it will take a long time but you'll have the original wood! be careful with lead paints too....
You could get a carpenter to replace door frames and skirtings with new if you feel its to much to strip off

Good luck


Answered 20th Apr 2011


Member since 26 Oct 2008

your idea for the doors is right, it will save you loads of timebut you still have to remove and refit them,another way is to use a heat gun and scraper then sand down,1 drawback is the smell, hope this helps,regards, Terry.

Answered 20th Apr 2011

tm property services

Member since 9 Mar 2011

Hi, It depends on what quality of finish that you are striving for. To get the best result you would need to strip back all of the old paint back to bare wood by chemical removal / heat removal then clean prime undercoat and gloss. The doors wood be the easiest as they can be removed and chemicaly stripped by a specialist company as you have suggested. However you can still achieve a good finish by removing any loose paint rubbing down cleaning and then undercoating and glossing.
Best of luck with your project. Regards Bizz Ness Property Maintenance.

Answered 20th Apr 2011

Bizz-Ness Property Maintenance

Member since 27 Feb 2011

its a house you are living in you can take your time i would take it back to bare wood sand down with a orbital sander then i would use the leyland paint system two coats of flexable primmer undercoat and a coat of flexeble gloss or eggshell hope this helps

Answered 28th Apr 2011


Member since 23 Aug 2009

I would consider replacing the wood work as stripping really needs to be carried out by a professional so as not to scorch (if using a flame or heat gun), you dont wan't to be burning off any lead based paint (pre 1960's) as Kev said. you can get a match on all old profiles and the finish will of course be excellent. Stripping costs will be astronomical, as it is a very slow, tedious and time consuming task. I would probably dip the doors as it's nice to have originals, but beware they really dry out the wood making them prone to cracking (if as i guess they are 4 or 6 panel doors. check out your local timber merchant to see what prices they can do and compare to a quote or two for stripping?

Good Luck


Answered 15th May 2011

Brush Strokes South West Ltd

Member since 12 May 2011

A heat gun would be useful to remove The tough top layers of paint then we would recommend Nitromoors Paint remover, applied by brush and removed with a scraper or stripping tool.
The final coat of nitromoors could be removed with wire wool to leave a smooth, clean finish.
As with all chemical treatments, great care should be taken before and during use. The use of safety protective equipment is highly recommended.The following link gives details of chemical ingredients, health and safety issues and all data required for use and first aid measures.
Hope this helps give some idea of an effective way of recovering the original timber finishes.
We agree for large areas such as doors etc then a reputable company would be advantageous to remove finishes back to the original timber work.


Answered 20th Apr 2011

KB Home improvements

Member since 19 May 2010

A good sand down, followed by a two pack filler in all the indentions in the wood , sand down again and prime .Use a matt or satin finish as this does not highlight any imperfections.

Answered 20th Apr 2011

Proctor Decorating

Member since 6 Mar 2011

Hi you can use these companys but some time when they dip the doors it eats the glue so u might need a carpenter to re glue and cramp the door afterwards. the best way would to use a hot air gun or nitro morse which is like a waterbourn acid that takes layers of paint of wood and metal alike but wear gloves as this can cause a burning on the hands if not washed off straight away.

kind regards James

Answered 20th Apr 2011

J Turner Decorating

Member since 9 Apr 2011

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