Since this particular door is so time consuming and incredibly heavy, I stripped one side at a time. This second part shows the stripping of the interior side of the door. This side went faster because it has simpler panel mouldings as well as no trim around the upper glass opening. There are mouldings that hold the glass, but they are plain, and they were stripped separately.
This side of the door seemed to be a matching old shellac and varnish finish, but it was about twice as dark as the reverse side.
Again, photo disclaimer: due to poor lighting, a lot of these photos have a very reddish or yellowish cast to them.
I have no idea why they did the finishing AFTER installing the hardware. In normal woodworking this is something we'd NEVER do.
Fist panel stripped. You can already see a huge colour difference.
Also note: the blue cream carton is cut with a window opening on one side. The goopy old varnish is scraped into this for easy disposal.
Gelled finish nearly ready to remove.
Bottom half done. Please note the "water mark" in the lower right corner. This happens a lot when rinsing/wiping the door down. To fix this, you just go over it with the rinse solution and steel wool, and wipe it until the mark is gone. If you leave any of these blotchy areas, they will show later.
Door stripping DONE! Note the 4 mouldings for the glass.