To Strip or Not to Strip?

That is the question you should all be asking when staring at old door with layers of paint. I am on a quest to get all hardwood doors for the VIB. And obviously without a money-pit, we have to get them second-hand, which means they have tons of paint on them. But you known, I think being old and all gives the doors, what do they call it, character!

Anywho, back to the door. Our first door to be replaced will be in the kitchen, and will feature glass boxes so as to allow in more light. The old paint on the door was bubbly, and I had been itching to try out the PeelAway 7 that I got awhile back specially for this purpose. I have heard remarkable things about the product (and given that its like $20 per quart) it had better be as good as advertised.


On the can it says to apply it and leave it on for 2-24 hours. Since waiting is the easy part, we smeared it on (gooey and not smelly, nice!), applied the peelaway paper -but really just use parchment or saran wrap – and left to about our day.

24 hours later:

+ 3 hours of scraping later,


and another cote of application, some more waiting and scraping, here’s what we got:

does it take off the paint easily? yes! but on large surfaces. you gotta scrape in the crevices, which is hard!

did i kind of hate it while we were doing it? yes. not because of the scraping but mostly because I was afraid we would ruin the door AND spend all this time doing it.

did it turn out well? dunno. the jury is still out on how it will come out — we did damage some of the wood because it got so soft. The door still needs to be sanded and painted to see how it looks.

to strip or not to strip? well, we could have just sanded and repainted? still not sure. alas, i will have to face this question at some point if we are looking to salvage our historic moldings and trim.