Wood French Doors: How To Strip Varnish

One of the tasks that should be performed regularly on traditional wood French doors is stripping existing varnish and paint, then resealing the doors.  

Step 1 – Strip

The first step that should be undertaken is removing the existing varnish.  You can make quick work of this step with the use of a varnish/paint remover solvent and a sander.

Remove the doors from their hinges and lay them over a pair of sawhorses to make the work easier, then use the varnish/paint remover according to the package instructions.

Carefully sand the entire wood surface of the doors, until they are smooth and all of the existing varnish and paint has been removed.

Step 2-Stain

One the doors have been sanded smooth, then you are ready to re-stain them before you add new varnish.   If you are not planning on staining the doors and intend to paint them instead, skip this step and move on to Step 3.

Paint on a coat of stain and let it dry.  Repeat this at least one more time and several more if needed, until the doors are the desired depth of color.

Step 3-Varnish

If you have stained the doors to the desired color, then wait for the stain to entirely dry and then begin painting on the new varnish.  Waiting until each coat is dry, place at least two coats of varnish on the wood surface of the doors.

If you are planning on painting the doors once the varnish is dry, then paint at least two coats of paint on the doors, allowing each coat to dry before placing the next coat of paint.