Author Topic: Sanding hollow core doors  (Read 1215 times)

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Sanding hollow core doors
« on: March 18, 2019, 06:00 PM »
The previous owner of our 60 year old home painted some sort of light brown white wash on all of the woodwork.   It scraps and sands off easily from the base board, quarter round, case molding, jambs.....   Sanded one door and when I finished the door you can see where the ribs are.     Any suggestions for festool settings on a CT26E and DTS400 sander to avoid or minimize this?   Thanks in advance.   

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Offline JD2720

  • Posts: 1078
Re: Sanding hollow core doors
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2019, 07:41 PM »
Sanding hollow core doors will never go well because there is not enough internal support to keep the surfaces flat. Paint remover would be my suggestion.

Offline Pnw painter

  • Posts: 201
Re: Sanding hollow core doors
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2019, 12:44 AM »
The veneers are so thin on hollow core doors that it’s almost impossible to sand or even strip the doors without damaging the veneer.

Maybe faux finish or paint them white? Otherwise you might consider replacing the doors.


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Online Bob D.

  • Posts: 932
Re: Sanding hollow core doors
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2019, 04:53 AM »
Cover them with a new skin of wood veneer or laminate. You could even choose to do a different treatment on each side of the door to match the décor of the rooms. You can buy birch or cherry veneer wide enough to cover a door. Of course this could get expensive if you have many doors to do but compare the cost to getting, hanging, and fitting new doors with hardware or moving the hardware off the old doors.
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Offline magellan

  • Posts: 197
Re: Sanding hollow core doors
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2019, 06:45 AM »
Hollow core doors do not have a very thick skin on them. As was mentioned to do a veneer over lay.  It’s a decision you have to make.  The veneer costs about as much as a new door costs.  I just finished a few doors yesterday putting on a mahogany veneer. Most hollow core doors were mahogany yrs ago.  I’m not sure what the veneer is now. If they are painted and you would like a stained look I’d suggest you buy new ones. 

New doors cost between $32.00 -$42.00.  Veneer is $25.00 to $42.00.  I just bought mine from JSO products in Kentucky. Paper we backed mahogany veneer, it was very nice color and I knew I was getting mahogany.  The older doors from the 50’s and 60’s were birch doors that were made with a bit more quality. 

I did the veneer on my old doors so they would all match plus I was cutting louvers that I made into 2 doors for ventilation for a furnace room. 

Offline dgpainting

  • Posts: 6
Re: Sanding hollow core doors
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2019, 01:51 AM »
I'm a painter and we often come across this and replacement is almost always the best remedy if you're after a true finish. The doors are cheap but remember to take into account the cost of cutting the hinge recesses and door handle holes if you're not doing it yourself. The cheap ones come in common sizes but your old door may not be this so would have to be custom made which is a different story.

Offline Untidy Shop

  • Posts: 2695
Re: Sanding hollow core doors
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2019, 08:18 AM »
Agree with others, not worth the time and hassle compared to just purchasing a new hollow core door. Old solid doors are another matter.
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Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1524
Re: Sanding hollow core doors
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2019, 09:48 AM »
@tlamoureux55@gmail.com
Using something Festool calls an interface pad (sponge like material) between the abrasive sheet and the pad on their round format sanders will allow the paper to follow the contours of the door face better and may alleviate some of this unevenness you are experiencing with the sanding.  It's wavy because the internal structure isn't continuous.  I'm not sure if Festool sells an interface pad for their DTS line of sanders, but I know they sell them for their 125mm and 150mm sanders. 
-Raj

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 5553
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Re: Sanding hollow core doors
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2019, 05:24 PM »
If yer just goig to repaint them all you really need to do is scratch the surface and repaint.

Sanding to the original material IMO isnt really necessary.

 Id clean the old finish with TSP to get anything on the doors that could interfere with the paint them scratch the surface with 180 and repaint.

Offline Pnw painter

  • Posts: 201
Re: Sanding hollow core doors
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2019, 11:55 PM »
Hollow core doors do not have a very thick skin on them. As was mentioned to do a veneer over lay.  It’s a decision you have to make.  The veneer costs about as much as a new door costs.  I just finished a few doors yesterday putting on a mahogany veneer. Most hollow core doors were mahogany yrs ago.  I’m not sure what the veneer is now. If they are painted and you would like a stained look I’d suggest you buy new ones. 

New doors cost between $32.00 -$42.00.  Veneer is $25.00 to $42.00.  I just bought mine from JSO products in Kentucky. Paper we backed mahogany veneer, it was very nice color and I knew I was getting mahogany.  The older doors from the 50’s and 60’s were birch doors that were made with a bit more quality. 

I did the veneer on my old doors so they would all match plus I was cutting louvers that I made into 2 doors for ventilation for a furnace room.
I’ve never attempted applying a veneer on a door door before. Is it tough to do?


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Re: Sanding hollow core doors
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2019, 11:09 AM »
Thanks, everyone for your insights.   Because of the beautiful grain of these older doors I am going to try to strip them.    I will let you how it goes.