Remove emulsion only from door previously painted with oil based paint

20 Apr 2016
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United Kingdom
My glazed back door had a good quality satinwood finish, then last year someone emulsion painted it without any cleaning or other preparation. Predictably that emulsion is now pealing off in places. Any suggestions on how can I remove that emulsion with minimum damage to the glazing sealant and underlying satinwood ? Is there an emulsion only paint stripper? I can’t see sanding all the raised panels and decorative sticking would be practicable.
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emulsion softens with water. You can try wetting it with washing-up liquid in warm water and rubbing it with a green nylon pan scourer (or white, which is softer). residue in nooks and crannies can be removed with a stiff brush after it has been softened by the initial clean. Don't let it dry or it will harden again.

you will probably still have a few bits that need a scraper or fine sanding.
Sometimes just applying water, and not use the scourer, can make the emulsion bubble up sufficiently to simply peel it off.
Meths will soften the water based paint.

A couple of months ago I had to remove badly applied waterbased eggshell from some doors that had previously been painted with oil based paints.

I sanded the flat sections but the mouldings kept clogging the sand paper. It didn't have any meths to had so I used cellulose gun cleaner. Within seconds of applying the cellulose the waterbased paint started to crack and blister. I then used loads of kitchen paper to remove the gooey mess. The old oil based paint wasn't affected by the cellulose.

As an aside, I have only ever found one waterbased finish that sands without clogging my abrasives. I am going to stick with oil based wood finishes until I retire/kick the bucket.
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Oh, i forgot to add, every water based finish that I have encountered breaks down when it comes in to contact with the oils in people's skin (and that includes workshop sprayed kitchen cupboard doors). I guess you could just apply olive oil over it and then let it soften it slowly. You will then be able to use a plastic scraper (to remove the paint).

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