So here is a project that many of us have probably never been too brave to take on. Just like anything we see that is beautiful, we think to ourselves how talented and skilled the creator must have been...right? Or maybe we think that we just don't have the skill set, or it will take too long, and the process has to be long and tedious? For me, anything that had to do with a finished wood product like doors, I decided to leave to the professionals. That is actually a very good idea for some things, but we also must remember what the cost is and whether the "do it yourself " route would be worth taking on?
Well I am here to tell you that YOU....Yes YOU can be a novice door stain and finisher without any formal training or the word professional any where in your resume......That's good NEWS!!!!!
Step 1 of getting started is to decide on the type of wood species that will go with your homes architecture. There are many to choose from. They include but not limited to, Poplar, Oak, Birch, Pine, Hickory and Walnut. Each wood has their own wood grain pattern and will have differ from each other in hardness.
Step 2 is once you have your doors, you will need to prepare to have the right equipment for staining your doors with and what will hold the doors for making the work more convenient. I suggest using 3 saw horses made out of wood. Each door goes between saw horse, and then I take a screw on each end and run it through the top of the saw horse and into the top of the door. This allows the door to swivel and dry on both sides without having to lay it on top of the horse and mark up the finish. To keep the door in place, place another screw through the saw horse and into one of the ends. This will keep it stable while staining. Once you are ready for the other side, than you can remove the stability screw and flip it over.
Other equipment you will need are 2 and 4 inch stain brushes, lint free rags, stain sponges, 600 grit sand paper and turpentine. Make sure to cover the floor you are working on with a large plastic covering as well.....plan ahead!!!!
Step 3 you will start applying the wood conditioner on both sides with a standard application paint brush. Once this dries which is around 2 hours, than it's time to apply your stain. The wood conditioner allows the stain to absorb more evenly for better performance and look when starting to stain.
Step 4 you will begin to apply the stain. As a rule of thumb, you want to apply stain in the routed out areas first, apply liberally but make sure that you do the door in sections at a time. You will also want to apply the stain the same way the grain is running. You will be surprised at how well the stain absorbs. Once you have applied, you will then take the stain sponge and wipe off the excess and repeat the process until the door is complete. Since you are using the saw horse to suspend the doors, you can flip it over and begin the other side. The drying time is around 12+ hours. It will normally take Just ONE coat on most doors. That's good news!!!!
Step 5: Apply Polyurethane finish. I like to use an Oil base Poly for better protection. Min Wax makes a great product and it applies great. You will need to decide what kind of finish you want. Choices are Satan, Semi-Gloss and Gloss. For interior doors i recommend Satan finish, but that's just me. TIP: When using Satan or Semi-Gloss, you want to make sure you stir the can before each application. The reason according to mfg, is each can starts out Gloss, but to get semi gloss or Satan finish, flatteners are added. Those flattners sink to the bottom if left to settle, and your finish once dried will be a hazy film look. So make sure you stir the can!!!! After you have finished the first coat, let the product dry overnight. Once dry, you will take your 600 gritt sand paper and lightly sand the whole door. This will leave white chalky streaks on the door, and it looks as if you are scratching the doors surface. YIKES!!! But not worry....All we are doing here is roughing up the first coat so that the second coat will adhere better. Once sanded, take a damp lint free cloth and wipe of the chalky residue. Once that is clean, than it's time to apply the second coat. Make sure that your brush is clean and that you have stirred the CAN!!!! Just making sure you don't forget!!!!
After Drying completely for 24 hours, your finished product should be as perfect as a professional could do. Trust Me....you will be shocked yet super proud of yourself!!!!!
Please remember to check back on the blog for more home improving tips, ideas, improvements, and what to look for when buying a home!!!