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Finishing Exterior Doors - Before or After Hanging

Finishing Exterior Doors - Before or After Hanging

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  #1  
Old 06-08-15, 09:40 PM
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Finishing Exterior Doors - Before or After Hanging

Hello All,

We bought some Simpson solid wood doors and I have a few questions about finishing them.

Finish before or after hanging?
The instructions that Simpson provided state "Hang door before finishing, and then remove to finish properly." I am curious why? I have a read a few different web sites that state to hang first then remove to stain? What do I do without a front door for a couple of days while I am finishing it (or should it not take that long?), cover it with a sheet of plywood or something?

I started to remove the slabs from the jambs and work on them before we install them, then noticed the sticker on the side of the slab with the recommended instructions that stated the above. I wanted to see what other have done?

Type of Stain
I have some General Finishes brand gel stain that we are using on a lot of different things due to the fact it matches our floor color so well. We wanted to just stain the entire doors the same color. It is for interior use. I am curious if I could get away with using this on the entire door and then just top coating with a good exterior grade clear top coat? Or should I not cut corners here and look around for an exterior grade stain close enough to our color requirements? I am sure I know the answer here, but I thought I would see if anyone has some successful experience using an interior stain for an exterior application with a proper top coat?

Any help or guidance is greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

John
 
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Old 06-08-15, 10:38 PM
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You can certainly prefinish them before the install, but the danger in that is that they will get knicked up during the installation process.

I assume you have come across these instructions.

Door Care & Finishing | Simpson Door Company
 
  #3  
Old 06-09-15, 03:40 AM
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You use the same type of stain as you do for interior woodwork BUT the poly needs to be a spar urethane like Minwax's Helmsmans. It generally takes 3 coats of poly [sanding between coats] to get a nice finish. Don't forget to apply 1-2 coats of poly to the top and bottom edge of the door!

I normally stain/finish exterior doors after they are hung and do the work while they are in place. Obviously you need to take them down to coat the top/bottom.
 
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Old 06-09-15, 04:49 AM
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Door needs to be sealed on all sides.
If not it's going to expand and contract to much every time the humidity changes.
Is there a cover over this door on the outside to protect it from the sun?
Only sealer I'll use on a wood door that's in direct sun is Bristal Finish.
Bristol Finish | High Performance Wood Coatings
It has 5 times the UV protection that MinWax Helmsman does.
Fast drying, (three coats in one day is possible) self leveling, high build finish, no sanding needed between coats most often.
It's what pro antique boat restorers use all the time.
 
  #5  
Old 06-09-15, 03:30 PM
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Thanks

Thanks guys, I think I will hang them then finish them as the manufacturer suggests.

Two of the doors are covered by a patio cover, the other is not (just the ~1.5 foot overhang of the roof). But my house faces east and west so all doors will be in direct sunlight (in mid-Texas) at some point during the day so I will definitely look into Bristol Finish products in more detail. I did look at their website briefly and noticed that there is an amber finish and a clear. The clear states that it can be used on interior surfaces, not sure if the amber is for exterior and if it would alter the color of the stain any. I will do some more research, but just wanted to say thanks for the reply!

John
 
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Old 06-10-15, 02:59 AM
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I don't recall having used the Bristol finish but generally oil base finishes will deepen the colors in the stain or naturally in the wood. They also tend to amber/yellow as they age. UV rays are hard on spar varnish and exterior urethane so it's best to keep an eye on the finish and reapply when needed. When the coating first starts to break down all you have to do is sand it lightly and reapply. The longer you let a deteriorating finish go, the more involved the job becomes.

Whatever coating you use for the finish - make sure it's rated for exterior use!
 
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