Restoring Woodwork Question- fixing spots, removing old paint splotches, matching old stain

Hi Everyone,

first time one home owner here. Our house was built in the early 1930s. We are currently in the process of restoring and renovating from head to toe, and had a couple questions about our woodwork. We believe that it is Douglas fir. 

1 - the house was smoked in heavily for years before we bought it. It needed a DEEP cleaning. We used heavy duty spray nine cleaner on the walls and ceilings to help remove the years of grime, smoke, and nicotine. We were careful, but in a few spots, some spray nine leaked on to the fbaseboard and caused streakingwhere it took off old finish as you can see in the pic. Note that spray nine strips the old floor finish right off as well, which is desired as the floors will be refinished. QUESTION - is there a way of blending/ fixing the baseboard where the discoloured sections are without stripping the whole thing?

2 - against the staircase, former owners, sometime quite a long time ago, turned a hallway into two closets. They painted the closet yellow, and quite a bit got onto the stair case, which is mostly beautiful wood. Any tips on removing the old paint? If we need to refinish the rails we will, but if we don’t have to do the whole thing it would be ideal....

3 - We aren’t sure where to begin with matching our old stain. We have some new trim (created closet, exposed chimney, added new beam) and really hope to match or come close to matching our old stuff. I realize it’s very much about guesswork and experimenting, but does anyone have any tips or have experience with this colour of wood? The wood is naturally different tones, which I’m sure is a bit of a benefit to us. I’m fairly sure the old finish is a shellac. 

Thanks in in advance for any help or suggestions in regards to advice, products, or processes. We fell in love with the character of this house and just hope to do it justice

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Justin, 

I have dealt extenisively with all of these issues. Only rarely is a full strip needed unless you want perfection.  Fortunately a combination of gentle scraping with a sharp paint scraper will remove the over painted areas and then you can mix stain to recreate the dark patina where you've gone down to wood and damaged edges and corners.  Wipe with denatured alcohol and then apply amber shellac which will blend pretty nicely with the old shellac finish and smooth things out, rub with scotch brite pads between coats and a light rubbing on the final coat will dull the high gloss slightly.

It probably won't be perfect but with some practice (start with closets or a darker room) you can hone your technique and get pretty good to tackle your stairs and other high visibility areas.

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