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Finishing Tips


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Preparation and Finishing:
Wood panel doors should be finished after they have been fitted and hung.  Remove door from hinges to a dry area.  Avoid finishing immediately after a rain or damp weather, or during periods of higher than average humidity.  The door itself must be dry.  Sand the entire surface with 150-180 grit sandpaper and/or steel wool to remove marks, fingerprints, stamps, etc.  Grease and oily stains can be removed with mineral spirits.  Do not use water or caustic  or abrasive cleaners.  Clean the door thoroughly with a cloth to remove dust.

“Do not use wood conditioners prior to staining mahogany, oak, cherry. Conditioner is good on woods with wild grain variations and most softwood products. On hardwoods, it most often seals the wood and prevents your stain from doing its job and penetrating the wood grain.  Your finishes will tend to be light and off color.”

To obtain a quality stain or clear finish, step 1 is to sand the door.  Step 2 clean the door using paint thinner or acetone. Now, follow the finishing procedure according to the instructions of the product you are using.  We use Sikkens which is a brush on finish.  Brush on 1st coat,  let dry & lightly sand.  Repeat for 2nd coat.  Apply 3rd coat. Done.

This is the ONLY product to use on your exterior wood doors!  Learn more about this stain on the sikkens website.

To obtain a quality painted finish, first use a good quality oil-base primer manufactured for exterior use.  Sand lightly when dry.  The second and third coats are "color" coats and may be either oil-base or latex-base exterior paints.

Finishing Tips:
Whatever finish desired, use sealers, primers, stains and finish coatings from the same manufacturer, if possible, to insure compatibility.  Follow the manufacturer's instructions.  Consult your paint dealer.
Use sealer, primer, clear finishes and paint liberally to fill in and bridge all voids in the joints between wood sections and between the wood and any glass or insets in the door.
Sand lightly between coats of sealer, stain, and clear finishes.  Never use lacquer-base stains or finishes on wood panel doors.  Nor should lacquer-thinner be used to clean any acrylic doors.

Painting a previously finished wood door:
If you would like to paint a previously finished door, we recommend using KILZ as the base coat.  It can be mixed to a tint close to your paint choice and comes in standard white.  Available at Lowes, Home Depot and paint stores everywhere.


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