I felt confident after reading John Dee's step by step instructions (see here). John Dee is from This Old House. He is a pro and I am not as I soon discovered! But, I told myself I would be saving so much money by doing it myself (always a stickler for that!)
Needless to say after a lot of sanding (bye-bye fingerprints) I succumbed to chemical stripping (with gloves) to get the stubborn stain off. I started with the side light (shown in the above photo) and then did the opposite sidelight. Then I tackled the door. I was pleasantly surprised to find out the door was fiberglass which meant the stain came off with little resistance using a chemical stripper.
This is the door after 2 coats. Because the wood, molding and door are all different materials they took the stain to varying degrees. I kept adding more coats to achieve more of a uniform color.
Little tidbits: I used Minwax stain in Red Mahogany.
All of my materials cost about $50: sandpaper, gloves, mineral spirits, brush, stain and polyurethane. I found small brass brushes (which look like toothbrushes) worked great for getting the stain out around the moldings.
I learned the hard way that sandpaper will etch glass so be careful when sanding near glass! Also, I will need to touch up the trim paint since sanding, scraping and chemical stripper were not kind to it.
I am glad this project is checked off the list!