Need guidance re: finishing birch doors

Old 03-14-06, 08:32 PM
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Question Need guidance re: finishing birch doors

Hi, I just purchased Jeld-Wen birch interior doors and am confused about how to finish them. Here's what they recommend:

Are they saying not to stain them, or to use a non-penetrating stain (if such a thing exists)?

Ideally I'd like the doors to be orangish/reddish like this sample:

I'm not sure if this look can be achieved using only a sealer or if I need to stain. I've read that polyurethane can give birch an amber appearance, so maybe that's all I need. I've also read that birch can be difficult to stain evenly.

I've never done this before so I appreciate any assistance/tips you can give me. Thanks!
Old 03-15-06, 06:03 AM
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They are not saying that you can't stain the doors but are recomending that you treat the doors with a wood conditioner [wash coat] first. You can either buy this product or make your own by thinning varnish with an equal amount of varnish [or slightly more] A wash coat helps to even out the stain more so there are less variances in the color. It is not necesarry unless you are concerned with not having a lot of color variance.

Birch will not turn that color with varnish/poly alone. Amber is more of a yellowing tone. You will need to use stain to get that color. Any paint store [not dept] should be able to assist you in picking the right color stain for your job.

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