How to clean antique entry doors
Antique entry doors can present unique cleaning challenges. Though most doors can be cleaned with a mild soap and water, some antique entry doors need more extensive care.
Tips and Tricks for Making Antique Entry Doors Look New
Often, antique entry doors have seen many years of regular use. As a result, the varnish, paint, grime, and other buildup on them can turn once-pristine doors into a serious cleaning job.
Always start with mild soap and water. Use plenty of elbow grease, washing the door with a fine scrubber or tough rag. This will remove much of the surface residue. If the door is heavily coated, next turn to something a bit stronger, such as vinegar or commercial cleaning products, to remove another layer of grime.
If you want to strip the door down to the bare wood, you might need to remove years of built-up varnish and paint. Use methylene chloride for this. It can be found at your local home improvement store. You may need to take the door off the hinges and carry it outside first, as ventilation is a must.
Simply brush the methylene chloride on the door, cover it with wax paper to slow the evaporation, and let the chemical do the work. When the recommended amount of time has elapsed, remove the paint "sludge" with a plastic spatula. Clean the wood with mineral spirits, and finish it with your choice of stain.
After the heavy work is done, keep the door clean by occasionally washing it with a mild soap and water.
Cleaning Antique Entry Doors: An Important Caveat
Antique entry doors with many layers of paint could pose the threat of lead exposure. If you suspect the paint on your door might be lead based, take the proper precautions to ensure safety and prevent lead contamination in or around your home.