When you get a new exterior door it is very important to stain and varnish it as soon as possible to protect it from the elements. If you don’t stain a new exterior wooden door, then rain will rot the wood over time, and the sun will warp and bleach it if left untreated. Moss will grow, then plants and nature will dismantle it. Good hardwoods last unpreserved for a lot longer than soft white woods, which won’t last long at all. So it’s best to act quickly.
Paintbrush – it is important to use a good paintbrush when staining wood like this.
Sandpaper 180 grade and 240
White spirit and a cloth (to clean the dust off the wood after sanding)
Masking tape for locks and hardware if on the door
It is true that new wooden doors will have different shades of wood in their makeup, which will also transfer into the finished door, but this is a natural effect. Once the application of stain to the new wood is done evenly, the finish will be perfect.
You can choose a stain that complements the wood that was used to make the wooden door. Alternatively, you can choose a stain that will make the wood darker, say if you are matching to existing wood in your garden or on your house. You can not stain wood a lighter colour than it is, you can only go darker or coloured. The most important thing to remember is that the stain is being absorbed into the grain of the wood.
There are many different types of stains and varnishes when it comes to preserving your wood. You can get wood stain which is generally spirit-based and is just that; a wood stain/preservative. This finishes with a matt finish (no sheen) and comes in any wood colour you choose. It is possible then to varnish over this wood stain with a spirit or water-based varnish to further preserve and protect your wood. This is available in gloss satin or matt finishes. It is best to look at the tin for drying and re-coating times, as this varies with every product.
The product we are using in the photo samples below is a stain/varnish combination. It is designed so that you would not have to go to the trouble of getting two products to begin with. In other words, the wood stain and varnish are in the same tin. These also come in both water and oil-bases, and come in any colour and sheen finish. Stain varnishes are made by all manufactures, Ronseal, Dulux, etc, so just ask in any store.
Before staining your door, you will need to sand it down so the stain varnish will go on evenly.
The natural grain of the wood will be raised by the product, so it will need sanding with a lighter grade paper, say 240 or 320 grade, between coats. This way you will get an even smooth finish.
You will also need to wipe the door down every time to sand it; with a cloth and white spirit, to clean before varnishing. The use of rubber gloves is recommended for this.
When painting on the stain, paint one board at a time with the wood stain or varnish, illustrated in the photos. This way one gets an even application of product over the entire area. Avoid overlapping stain on any areas as this will make the finish patchy, shady and uneven.
Dip your brush into the tin and make sure that any excess is wiped off on the edge of the tin. You don’t want unseemly drips or excess stain in places. As explained above paint one board at a time until you have done three or four boards.
As your brush will now be quite dry because most of the stain or varnish will have been absorbed by the wood, go over what you have just done lightly brushing out the excess preventing any potential drips. Depending on the wood that your door is made of, be it hardwood or soft, and whether you are matching to existing wood will determine what products to use. Another option is to oil new wood, (generally hardwood) it is a personal choice but might best be answered in this blog on whether to use oil or varnish on exterior wood.