Removing the final layers of paint from the door inside.
On the inside of the door, wood is now the dominate feature. There still remains paint and primer to remove with the palm sander over the larger flat areas. For the recessed areas the chemical paint stripper is necessary to remove paint there.

With the paint weakened by the chemical bath, a sharp chisel is able to lift it off the wood and get paint out of the corners. After the chemicals evaporate sandpaper is used on the remaining paint in the recessed area.

The front, or outside of the door before starting work.
The bottom of the outer side of the door. The brown is peeling away showing a yellow or gold underneath. There are a lot of marks and scratches in this area.

The upper frame still has some fragments of glass, which were carefully removed after this picture was taken.

The front doorknob area as it was.
This area shows a lot of wear, scratches, marks and irregular coloring. Since this is something I see every time I enter the house, I'm keen to get started returning this door back to nice and pretty.

Paint removal started at the top. The chemical remover works really good, but when it gets on your skin it burns. The chemical is still wet when the paint must be scraped off, that is when it usually gets you. Rubber gloves are essential for skin protection during cleanup but too cumbersome to use during scraping.

Stripping the paint.
This is a close up of the upper right corner of the door after the first application of chemical remover. It penetrated down to the primer in some areas, other areas will be more stubborn.

The same area, after a second chemical application and scraping in the upper section. This is a good comparison as the area to the right has had only a single application. Even now some of the top coat of paint is stubbornly hanging on but wood is showing over most of the area.

Wrinkled Paint and damaged wood.
With a fresh application of chemical remover the dark paint is wrinkling up and getting soft. The remover cannot penetrate multiple layers but it does work very well on whatever paint is on the surface.

In the lock area of the door there is some wood damage, dents and gouges. This will be repaired later after the paint is removed.

Door construction and piles of paint.
What I had thought were strips adding the decorative touch to the door was actually part of the construction method used in making the door. Here you can see the special router cuts on the bottom of the door, which extends all the way up and becomes part of the decorative function of the recessed areas. My thought to salvage strips from other doors for the window will not work after all.

This is the ever growing mountainous pile of paint being scraped from the outer side of the front door. In a previous era the door had a golden color.

Paint removal well under way.
This is how things look after two applications of the chemical paint remover. To give you an idea of the area that can be worked at one time, look at the scraper tool. From the tool to the bottom of the door is approximately the panel area that the chemical can be applied to in a single go.

The bottom of the closest door panel has had three applications of the chemical and is now showing bare wood.

Seeing mostly wood at this point.
All of the area of the lower door has now received three successive coats of chemical and three scrapings. Only the most stubborn paint now remains.

I've now tipped the door so it is standing on the floor with an edge standing up. Chemical remover has been applied to the edge as the paint is wrinkling up. Note that the moulding at the bottom of the window is mostly cleared of paint, this was a challenging area because of all the different shapes and contours in the moulding.

The door edges.
The white edge has now had one application of chemical and one scraping. The wood only shows in a few random spots, so another round of chemical and scraping is called for.

Flipping the door over now to clean up the dark edge.

Cleaning up the dark edge.
Here at the bottom edge I found a cockroack which met a wet and sticky end. This bug was captured in the wet paint when the dark color was applied and the door closed before the paint set. Yuck!

Here on the upper end of the dark edge the chemical remover is doing its work. The wrinkled up now wet and gooey paint is ready to be scraped off.

Let the sanding begin!
Now I'm back at where I started, with sanding tools. At first I thought sandpaper was all I would need, however there is no way I could have removed all that paint with sandpaper alone. The palm sander does excellent work on all the wide and flat spaces, hand sanding does the remainder.

Sandpaper folded around a tiny block of wood is very useful in the smaller spaces.

Paint is almost gone!
With the tiny sanding block I'm getting into the corners of the recessed areas. The tiny block also allows me to san the radius of the trim also. In the corners it was necessary to use a sharp chisel to remove stubborn paint.

With the outside of the door sanded down it was flipped over to recheck the inside and final sand whatever I missed before. some of the original primer remains behind as it is filling the low areas in the wood grain.

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