In this video, Ask This Old House general contractor, Tom Silva, helps two homeowners meticulously restore their original, 1918 front door using paint stripper, mahogany veneer, polyurethane finish, and a polyurethane finish.
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Tom Silva restores an antique door that is believed to be original to a 1918 home. The door has charm but it is fading from the sun, chipping from the original veneer over the door, and has lots of issues with the current door hardware. The homeowners wanted to sand it down and refinish on their own, but they were afraid that they would ruin the intricate detail in the moulding.
Tom warns that working on doors like theirs can be a ton of work. The beading detail alone will take a long time to strip down properly. Also, making the proper adjustments to the hardware—especially if they opt to replace it—can be both expensive and time-consuming. On top of that, applying a finish also takes a while. Still, the homeowners decide to forward with the project, and they get to work.
Time: 5-6 hours
Skill Level: Moderate
Utility knife [https://amzn.to/2R0jBod]
Nail puller [https://amzn.to/3eTdSsw]
Small paint brush [https://amzn.to/33j1wV4]
Straight edge [https://amzn.to/3xQGpHx]
Measuring tape [https://amzn.to/3uA3VXe]
Sanding block [https://amzn.to/3b5at8y]
Random orbital sander [https://amzn.to/3tmjosE]
Synthetic paint brush [https://amzn.to/3umSsdJ]
Rubber mallet [https://amzn.to/3nRMkrB]
Brad nailer [https://amzn.to/3ejBdo3]
Paint roller [https://amzn.to/3tjXw13]
Paint stripper [https://amzn.to/3xPhYKM]
Wood filler [https://amzn.to/2PTj2w7]
Epoxy glue [https://amzn.to/3xSgzTB]
Plastic wrapping [https://amzn.to/3eoa9Eh]
Peel-and-stick veneer [https://thd.co/3nQ72I8]
Sanding sealer [https://amzn.to/3ejBDuD]
Exterior window sealant [https://amzn.to/3nQtd0U]
Polyurethane finish [https://amzn.to/3tn8y5M]
Where to find it?
To restore the original 1918 front door, Tom used a variety of tools and techniques:
To strip the trim detail of its old finish, Tom applied paint & varnish stripper [https://amzn.to/3xPhYKM] by Max Strip [https://maxstrip.com/]. The stripper is eco-friendly and low VOC, which makes it safer to use indoors than a traditional paint stripper. The brass scrub brushes used to actually remove the finish can be found at any home center.
To repair the door and smooth out imperfections, Tom applied a few coats of Bondo Wood Filler [https://amzn.to/2PTj2w7], which is manufactured by 3M [https://www.3m.com/]. He then sanded the door smooth using a random orbital sander ETS EC 150/5 EQ-Plus [https://bit.ly/3b4Kyhu], which is manufactured by Festool [https://www.festoolusa.com/].
To resurface the door, Tom applied a sheet of khaya mahogany peel-and-stick veneer from Boulter Plywood [https://www.boulterplywood.com/]. The veneer can be cut with a utility knife and applied evenly using a roller, which can be found at any home center.
Tom replaced the old hardware with a full mortise Harrison entryset [https://bit.ly/3ui3dOp] with a Providence knob in an oil-rubbed bronze finish, which was provided by Emtek [https://emtek.com/]. The tools required to replace the hardware, including the screwdriver and chisel, can be found at home centers.
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From the makers of This Old House, America’s first and most trusted home improvement show, Ask This Old House answers the steady stream of home improvement questions asked by viewers across the United States. Covering topics from landscaping to electrical to HVAC and plumbing to painting and more. Ask This Old House features the experts from This Old House, including general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, landscape contractor Jenn Nawada, master carpenter Norm Abram, and host Kevin O’Connor. Ask This Old House helps you protect and preserve your greatest investment—your home.
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How to Restore an Antique Door | Ask This Old House