How to Achieve a Lasting Wooden Door Stain

Sep 27 2012

The application of wood stain is essential in enhancing the appearance of your wooden door. Although you can hire a professional service provider to do this job, a do-it-yourself method can actually prove more convenient and beneficial, especially to those who are conscious when it comes to both budget and project control.

The first thing to remember when it comes to proper wooden door staining, is choosing the best product. There are two generic options.
  • Oil-based
These products can be applied using a brush with natural bristle. They do not encourage dried lap stains, and do not raise the wood grain hence there is no need for extensive sanding.
  • Water-based
These low-odor and quick-drying products allow users to cover more areas faster. Post-staining clean-up is also more convenient given the process only requires the use of water and soap. Lastly, water-based staining products offer more color options, giving homeowners more freedom and flexibility in relation to their preferred door style or design.

Once you have already determined the best staining product to use on your wooden door, the next step is the actual application. Here are some tips to get you going on the right track.
  • The surface should be rid of prior stain or finish for this will not facilitate the wood’s absorption of the new stain product.
  • Use 150 to 220 grit sanding paper to open the pores of the wood, and allow it to absorb the staining product.
  • When applying stain, employ any of these items: bristle brush, aerosol can, foam brush, or cloth. It is important to apply enough stain agent so as to ensure maximum absorption.
  • Allow the stain to settle on the wood surface. The longer this takes, the better the stain absorption will be.
  • For color consistency, make sure to place equal stain amount on all areas of the wood. If some areas get more than required, immediately wipe off the stain product so as to prevent it from drying and eventually causing concerns like uneven surface and color, as well as adhesion issues.
  • Once the surface has already dried, wipe off the unabsorbed stain using a clean and dry cloth. Make sure to wipe parallel to the wood’s grain direction. Failure to do this may result to swirl prints or marks.
  • Lastly, you have to bear in mind that staining specifically achieves color enhancement. It does not give protection to your wooden door. This said it is imperative that a finishing is applied after the staining process.

Other precautionary actions
  • Make sure to remove hinges, knobs, and other metal components from the door panel to prevent these items from absorbing the stain.
  • Make sure to do ample sanding before the staining process.
  • Properly stir the staining product’s container so as to ensure color consistency.
  • Follow directions shown in the product label. If it says that a second coating is necessary, do so.
  • Apply finish once the stain has already dried.

Final notes: The process of staining isn’t all that different from painting; it can actually be easier. However, if you are attempting this for the first time, make sure you get the correct stain for the job and that you read the manufacturer’s notes and instructions to the letter before buying your stain.

Jove Arthurs is a self-taught DIY craftsman who also currently works for Door Emporium, an online provider of solid wood AAW doors.
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