Stain A Wood Door

How to Stain a Wood Door – Step-by-Step Guide


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If you are searching for how to stain a wood door, that means your door is not in great shape. Either it has started to show signs of wear and tear or started rotting due to the weather or the sun.

Your wooden door is the first thing your guests will notice when they visit your home. So you want to welcome them with a classy-looking door. And not a rotting or peeling door or a worn-out door.

In such cases, it’s necessary to stain the door. Because staining a wood door can make it visually appealing and welcoming.

Learning how to stain a wood door is a great way to improve the condition and look of your wooden door.

But remember that only knowing the process is not enough. You also need the appropriate tools to stain your wood doors to showcase their natural beauty and appearance.

Let’s see what tools you need to stain a wood door properly. Everything you need for this job will easily be available at the local hardware shop.

Tools needed for the job

  • Stain
  • Stain-tray
  • Wire wool
  • Dust sheet
  • Latex gloves
  • Tack cloth
  • Sandpaper
  • Polyurethane
  • Screwdriver

Once you have gathered all the necessary tools, it’s time to stain your wood door. But you have to remember that staining requires you to remove and refit the door. So, you should be ready for any extra help if you need it.

Now follow this step-by-step guide on how to stain a wood door to refurbish your wooden door with a completely new look.

How to stain a wood door – A step-by-step guide

Step 1: Prepare the door by removing it from its place.

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When staining a door, it’s important to remove it from its place.

While removing the door, start by pulling the pins of the hinges holding the door. It should not be too difficult when you use a screwdriver. You have to push the pins until the hinge plate releases the door. Once it comes out of its place, remove it and the door should come out easily.

If the door’s weight makes removal difficult, wedge a crowbar under the door to lift it off the hinges.

Keep in mind that you have only to stain the wooden part of the door and not the metal hardware. So, remove any hardware like knockers, knobs, or locks attached to the door.

Now lay it flat on a sawhorse to start the next step on how to stain a wood door.

Step 2: Sand the door.

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Now that the door is off the hinges and placed on a sawhorse, it’s time to sand the door.

Sanding the door will help in two ways. First, if there is any previous paint or stain, it will be removed. Second, the fibers will open to accept the stain better.

That is why a thorough sanding is necessary before you stain your wooden door.

You can use either a sander or sandpaper(220-grit for the best result) to start sanding. Start from one end and gradually cover the whole surface. If necessary, replace the sandpaper when it is almost worn out.

After sanding the whole surface properly, wipe it out with a tack cloth. The tack cloth will remove the sediments and sawdust from the surface of the door.

The wooden surface must be completely free from dust and grain before applying the stain.

Step 3: Choose and prepare the right door stain.

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Choosing the right stain is necessary to stain a wood door. After all, you would not want the stain to come out in a few weeks. So, choose a good quality stain. For this purpose, petroleum base stains are always preferable.

When you go to the hardware store, they have a variety of stains, and all are used for different surfaces. So, if you know what wood you have, it is easier to get the stain. Choose the stain that matches your preferences of color and variety.

Once you get the right stain, prepare it as per the manual provided by the manufacturer.

Now you are ready to go to the next step on how to stain a wood door.

Step 4: Start the staining process.

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Before starting the stain work, put on your protective gloves and eyeglass.

First, start with the first coat of stain. Use a cloth pad(lint-free cloth is recommended) to apply the stain on the wooded surface of your door.

Remember to keep the door flat all the while to let the stain spread properly on all sides. Maintain a proper motion without any break when spreading the stain on the wood.

If you are using a gel-based stain, you can use a brush. There is no harm in that. But try to follow the instructions given by the manufacturer.

Remove the excess stain by wiping it out with a wet cloth. This will also prevent dark spots of uneven stain pools.

After finishing the first coat, let it dry for a few hours. After a few hours, you check the door to see if the stain is properly dry or not.

If you find that the first has dried properly, you can start with the second coat of stain. Repeat the process of the first coat, and that’s it.

Step 5: Give the final touch with an Urethane finish.

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Remember, the stain is only to color the wooden surface. Along with that, you have to keep the stain permanent.

For that reason, you can give your door an extra coating of urethane. Follow the same process of staining the door to apply the urethane finish coating.

After finishing the final finishing coating of urethane, let it dry for about 18-24 hours.

After 24 hours, your door is ready with a new stain coating. You can now get the tools to refit it back to its original place.

Step 6: Refit the door in its place.

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Before refitting the door in its place, reinstall the hardware like knockers, knobs, or locks attached to the door. Then put the door by reinstalling the hinge in its place.

If you are unsure about refitting or finding it difficult, you may call a professional to help you in this process.

The final words

Staining a wooden door is an important step towards adding an appealing look and some durability to it. We hope the information in this step-by-step guide on how to stain a wood door will help you stain your wooden door in the proper way. So you don’t have to feel ashamed of your old rotting door now. Using this guide you can DIY a stain job with ease.