Q: My front door has two etched-glass panels with designs in them. While painting this door with latex paint I accidently got some of the paint on the glass, but failed to get the smears off while the paint was still fresh. When I tried a few days later it was impossible. Rubbing the paint off with steel wool did not work. Can you tell me how to remove the dried paint without damaging the glass?
A: Your best bet is to use a chemical paint remover. If possible, take the pieces of glass out of the door so they can be laid flat to work on. Place them in a shallow pan and brush liberal amounts of a water-wash paint remover over the stains until the paint is soft. Then flush away with plenty of water. Keep the piece of glass tipped so the dissolved paint and remover do not run onto the rest of the surface.
If you cannot take the glass out, you can apply the remover to the glass while it is in place and accomplish the same thing. Use a semi-paste type paint remover to minimize running, and even then you may have to repaint the wood around the glass.
Q: When we bought our house last fall, we were faced with having to do something about our kitchen cabinets. They are all wood, but the doors had some type of vinyl molding that was cracked and coming off in places. We removed all this fake molding, but some of the adhesive remains and has left a sticky mess. We want to repaint the cabinets, but don't know how to prepare them.
A: I suggest using a solvent to see if you can get the rest of the adhesive off. Try rubber cement thinner first (it's sold in art supply stores), and if this doesn't work, try lacquer thinner. Both are highly flammable, so use proper precautions. Next, sand with medium grit paper, then fine. Then prime the surface of each door with a pigmented shellac base sealer and stain killer (sold in paint stores). This will make a good base for any type of enamel you want to apply.