Interior Windows & Doors

Old 10-09-06, 10:31 AM
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Question Interior Windows & Doors

I am finishing the interior side of my windows and interior oak doors. I have done small projects before but am hoping for some help here! I am looking for kind of a how to on staining, nail hole filling and putting poly on. Thanks!
Old 10-09-06, 04:29 PM
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It's always a good idea to spend a little time prepping the wood before stain is applied. For smooth surfaces like doors and windows that do not have a lot of mill marks (planer knife indentations, such as you normally find on casing and other milled trim) you should lightly sand all surfaces with 150 or 180 grit sandpaper. If you have casing, jambs, or other trim that have mill marks, you may need to sand with 100, then 120, then 150, etc to get the mill marks out. This is time well spent, because those mill marks will really show up once the wood is stained. You can wipe the trim with paint thinner if you'd like to see how it looks wet- sometimes that will help you see if you have all the mill marks sanded out or not. Dark dirty looking marks and smudges on the wood can be wiped off with a rag and denatured alcohol.

Once you have the wood sanded and dusted off, you would likely want to mask off the glass on your windows. (If possible, it's easiest to remove the window sashes from the window frames, lay them flat, and work on them on a bench. Doors can be removed from the hinges, and all the hardware should be removed before staining and finishing.) I like to use precut corners to mask the corners of the glass, then I mask the edge of the glass with 1 or 1 1/2" blue painters' tape. You would also mask off anything that you don't want to get stain on. (Masking the trim where it meets the drywall does not work well, since stain can bleed around the edge of the trim and dry. Ideally, wax paper should have been installed behind the casing to make staining and varnishing easier.)

You'll likely want to brush on the stain with a china bristle brush, being careful not to flood the stain along the taped edges of the glass. A little stain will go a long ways so you would want to dry-brush these areas so that you spread the stain thin and have less problems with getting too much stain along taped edges because it will wick around the tape.

Most oil based stains only need to soak for a few minutes before they are wiped. So generally, you can brush on stain for about 10 minutes, then go back and wipe off everything you just stained, wiping off any excess stain before it starts getting sticky. (if the stain gets too sticky to wipe, you've probably waited too long to wipe.)

After you have stained all the wood, you likely need to wait at least 24 hours to apply any additional finish. Some stains require up to 72 hours, so be sure to check the instructions on the can. Also, if your doors or trim are red oak, you may need to wipe the wood several times, as red oak sometimes tends to bleed a little stain from it's open pores even after it is wiped several times.

You will want to follow the suggested directions on the can of finish you intend to use. Some finishes require sanding sealer, others do not. IMO, it's a good practice to use sanding sealer (or make your own by thinning your finish with thinner) because it raises wood fibers, which are then sanded off, and it results in a smoother finish.

At any rate, you will apply 1 coat of sealer/finish, then allow it to dry, and then sand it with 220 sandpaper or a 180 grit sanding sponge (which works better on curved surfaces).

After 1 coat of finish has been applied, you can fill nail holes with colored nail putty. Then you will apply another coat of finish, then allow it to dry, sand lightly, apply another coat of finish. 3 coats is usually good if you're using poly.

Hopefully this will get you started. If you have other questions, just ask.

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