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Stripping and painting wooden gates

(6 Posts)
wowfudge Tue 30-Jun-15 22:23:57

We took the wooden gates to our drive off to sand the badly cracked varnish/stain back then re-do them with something - possibly paint - instead.

That was more than a year ago - the varnish proved to be extremely difficult to remove and even after using a heat gun and different sanding methods we only got one side of one gate done between us after hours of work.

Does anyone have any experience of having gates dripped and stripped? There's a place near us where our NDN had some internal doors done. I'm thinking we either do that then paint them, if not too expensive, or give up and get new gates. I hate the way the place looks without gates.

Advice on painting gates also gratefully received!

PigletJohn Wed 01-Jul-15 08:25:26

Outdoor timber expands and contracts a lot with moisture and hear, so a flexible coating such as fence stain or linseed oil will last better. Varnish is a very poor coating and needs lots of maintenance.

What kind of power sander did you use?

wowfudge Wed 01-Jul-15 10:13:23

Thanks - we've used three different ones: a sheet sander with a large plate with coarse sand paper, one of those revolving sanding wheels on a drill and a detail sander with coarse paper. I think the finish is some sort of stain and varnish as it is so stubborn.

PigletJohn Wed 01-Jul-15 10:29:50

Varish tends to melt and clog the paper. But the flat orbital sander should do most of it, you would just have to keep changing the sheet.

If there is a possibility that a waxy fence stain was used, a power washer will blast it off. It does raise the grain but that will be ok for a rustic look. However fence stain does not crack (and is easy to recoat) so probably not what you are realing with.

wowfudge Wed 01-Jul-15 12:19:44

I'm seriously considering new gates! There are so many other things to do it's hard to justify spending more time on them - nothing had been done in terms of their maintenance in over ten years until we bought the place.

PigletJohn Wed 01-Jul-15 12:32:27

if the surface is fairly rough, try sloshing a dark brown water-based fence stain on. If it adheres, it will make them look presentable and is very easy to recoat in future. The more the old stain or varnish is weathered away, the easier it will be.

Water-based stain is very cheap and easy to apply, and needs no sanding down before recoating. If you want to change to a lighter colour, a jetwasher will take it off. If you have a jetwasher, try it on your old varnish, but I doubt it will work unless it is in very poor condition. You have to hold the nozzle close to the surface.

It's easier if, like me, you like dark brown outdoor timber, though other colours are available.

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