previous
  • Clever daily tip in your inbox
    Clever daily tip in your inbox
  • 7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
    7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
  • Design Inspiration
    Design Inspiration
  • Magazine Departments
    Magazine Departments
  • Hot Water Now
    Hot Water Now
  • All about Roofing
    All about Roofing
  • Basement Remodeling Tips
    Basement Remodeling Tips
  • Read FHB on Your iPad
    Read FHB on Your iPad
  • Custom Flooring Inspiration
    Custom Flooring Inspiration
  • Pro Tool Rental. Learn More.
    Pro Tool Rental. Learn More.
  • 7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
    7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
  • 7 Small Bathroom Layouts
    7 Small Bathroom Layouts
  • Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
    Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
  • Energy-Smart Details
    Energy-Smart Details
  • Remodeling Articles
    Remodeling Articles
  • Tips & Techniques for Painting
    Tips & Techniques for Painting
  • Radiant Heat Comparison
    Radiant Heat Comparison
  • Classic Cabinets
    Classic Cabinets
  • Video: Install a Fence
    Video: Install a Fence
  • Master Carpenter Videos
    Master Carpenter Videos
  • 9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
    9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
next

Wood-grain stain on painted doors

Q: How can I put a wood-grain finish on interior, six-panel hardboard doors that are primed white?





A: Johannes Boonstra, a technical advisor for Akzo Coatings, Inc., in Troy, Michigan, replies: Most door manufacturers suggest you apply stain directly over their gray or white primer to get a woodgrain effect, but you’ll get nicer results by first applying a coat of tinted primer resembling the fond (base) color of a particular wood. You can have primer tinted at a paint store. Experiment with different samples to get a color you like.

To avoid runs, work with the doors laid flat on sawhorses. Once the primer has dried, clean the surface with denatured alcohol and clean rags, lightly sand the surface using 220-grit sandpaper or Scotch-Brite pads, then vacuum the door and follow with a water-dampened cloth to remove fine dust particles.

You create the wood-grain effect by applying a solvent-based wiping stain over the primer, then wiping the stain down with a lint-free cloth after the stain sets up—usually within 10 to 15 minutes. You might consider practicing on the inside of a closet door to get some application experience. If you don’t like what you see, the stain can be wiped off with mineral spirits.

Let the wiped-down stain dry, which may take 24 hours or longer, then either brush or spray on two coats of a high-quality clear top coat (gloss, satin or matte) to finish the project. This top coat protects the stain and assures easy cleaning. Allow the stain to dry completely before you apply the top coat; otherwise, it will dissolve the stain and ruin the wood-grain effect. Oil or waterborne top coats may be used, though some oil products, polyurethanes especially, tend to yellow. If you choose a waterborne top coat, contact the manufacturer to make sure it’s compatible with the wiping stain.

Take your time and work in a dust-free environment. The application sequence to the panel door may work best in the following order: First wipe down the panels, let them dry and apply the top coat; then finish the inner stiles, followed by the rails and finally the outer stiles. Always follow recommended drying times and contact the manufacturers to assure the compatibility of all the finish products.

By the way, most hardboard-door manufacturers have finishing manuals available; some even provide videotapes. When purchasing these doors, always request a finishing manual and read it carefully before you start painting.


From Fine Homebuilding 85, pp. 18 January 1, 2004