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remove the paint, not the varnish underneath...

We have a 1920's bungalow. Half the interior (pine) trim has the original varnish, the rest was painted over. I'd like to strip the painted trim back down to the original varnish. (It looks like they used gloss latex.) Is this possible, or am I just going to end up with totally stripped wood?
I LOVE the look of the original varnished wood, and it just kills me that it was painted over.

Re: remove the paint, not the varnish underneath...

You may want to try heating the paint with a heatgun (not too much!), just enough to soften the paint. With any luck, the varnish won't soften as easily as the paint. At worst, you'll have to re-varnish the trim. Good luck!

Re: remove the paint, not the varnish underneath...

My doors are around 120 years old and I really wanted to keep the old and aged look, clean them up and match the color. Someone painted a few on the inside and left the outside stained.

I wanted them all to look old and like wood. Start with a painted white door.

I paint with a full, light coat of primer. (I use a water based product) Use a color that is one or two shades lighter than the finished color you want.

For a finish, You can use a tinted glaze coat to get a wood grained effect. On this door I just tinted some clear coat a very dark color or you can purchase a tinted varnish and it works great.

Keep in mind that the more wear and tear, nicks and imperfections make for a better old look.. I rarely sand anything. Maybe scrap a few chips but that's about it.

If you are looking for perfection.. don't use this method.. lol.. I want my house to look its age...

This door was white..

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