Applying Exterior Door Stain: Mistakes to Avoid Applying Exterior Door Stain: Mistakes to Avoid

Although applying exterior door stain is not that difficult to do, there are some common mistakes which can be easily avoided. Frequently applying door stain to exterior doors will help prolong the life of your door by protecting it from the elements and adverse weather conditions. Be sure to recognize these simple mistakes and your door staining project will be made easier.

Prepare Properly

Insufficient preparation is one of the most common mistakes to burden a DIY enthusiast who might be staining an external door. Be sure to take your door off of the hinges and lay it flat to help avoid runs and sags in the stain. Use a commercial wood stripper to remove any old stain and varnish. Wash off and sand the door down. Failing to prepare an external door will result in a blotchy and uneven finish.

Avoid Color Mistakes by Using a Sample

One of the most common mistakes made when it comes to using wood stain is that people choose the wrong color. Use a test sample to overcome this problem. Testing out the door stain will enable you to tell whether the shade of stain is right for the particular exterior door and whether it will match the rest of your property. Always test on an inconspicuous area of the door.

Avoid Uneven Color by Applying Shellac

Uneven and inconsistent stain finishes are a common mistake. One tip that many DIY enthusiasts are unaware of is the application of a washcoat comprised of thinned shellac prior to rubbing on the stain. The properties in the shellac will ensure all applications of stain will dry uniformly.

Brush out Any Blotches

Blotchy stain has to be the most widespread mistake when applying door stain, but this can be easily avoided. Birch, maple, cherry and pine colored stain are the most likely to cause blotches and pigmentation. If blotches are appearing in your door stain, wait until the door dries and remove the stain with a stripper and then sand down the affected area again. Alternatively, if the blemishes are not too noticeable, use a glaze or varnish to lessen the contrast between uneven color tones. Apply the glaze to the whole door, as this will guarantee a uniform finish.

Evade Stain Segregation

Failing to complete applying the door stain in one go will result in clear segregation of the stain, which will be visible when the door dries. Regardless of the size of your external door, going to make a coffee or watch television for an hour will affect your door stain's even appearance. This is easily avoided by completing the job in one go.

Excess Stain Leads to Unnecessary Anguish

Another mistake both DIY enthusiasts, and even some professional decorators, commonly make is failing to wipe off any excess stain. In not doing so, the door stain take much longer to dry, leaving it more likely to collect dust and debris. Also, the finish will not be as smooth and even.

Avoid Brush Strokes

Stained doors covered in brush stroke marks are a fairly common sight. Take care not to brush over any varnish that has already been applied, and this will prevent brush stroke marks from appearing. 

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