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post #1 of 26 Old 09-09-2008, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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Question Questions about finishing douglas fir...

This door is in 2 other posts in this forum. It's kind of becoming a pain in my neck.

This is my dilemma. The 7 or so different colors of paint I stripped from the inside face of the door relatively easily. The outside I had to break out the heat gun to get the final layer off. Now that I have over 90% of the door bare wood I'd like to consider finishing it today and tomorrow at the latest. Here are my questions.

1. The outside of the door has some dark sappy spots in it. Will the wood/stain conditioner "neutralize" those areas? I know doug fir needs a wood conditioner so it's not blotchy.

2. If the wood/stain conditioner won't fix it am I better off painting the outside face with exterior paint?

3. If I do stain the outside should I use a marine grade or exterior stain if I plan to poly the entire door with a marine grade polyuerathane?

Any comments about what I should and shouldn't do sanding the door right now will be more than appreciated. I'm going back outside to finish sanding the remaining paint off with 80 grit on my random orbit sander and then I'll smooth the entire door over with 120 and the random orbit sander.

This door is 60 years old and in great shape so I really want to do the craftsman of this door and the door itself justice by doing it right.

P.s. what would be the best kind of wood filler for accepting stain and blending in the best?
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Last edited by TheRecklessOne; 09-09-2008 at 01:52 PM. Reason: forgot something
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post #2 of 26 Old 09-10-2008, 10:17 AM
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I've refinished several exterior doors and fabricated from scratch a Mahogany entry door. If the door is stripped down to bare wood (and it may take several applications), and is ready for finish, conditioning may prevent splotching, and may not.

I've had my fill with stains and marine spar varnishes. They all fail sooner or later, and most of the time it's sooner. If a clear/stained finish is desired I would use just a plain oiled finish, like BLO, or pure Tung Oil. There isn't any sanding per se to do when reapplication is necessary. There isn't much UV protection, but it is the most natural wood friendly finish.

My last door I opted to use paint, as that is, IMO, the best protection.






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post #3 of 26 Old 09-10-2008, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks cabinetman! If I use BLO(?) or tung oil that won't make it darker. I'm looking to stain it much darker than natural. Is tung oil something I put on after the stain? I'm very new to finishing wood...
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post #4 of 26 Old 09-10-2008, 11:15 AM
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I stain, and then oil. BLO will add an amber tint, whereas pure Tung oil won't. Pure Tung oil will take a bit longer to dry. You can experiment with samples and add stain to the oil, or just stain first, and then oil.






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post #5 of 26 Old 09-10-2008, 11:16 AM
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I also have finished and refinished many doors and have found paint to be the longest lasting finish for exterior doors.

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post #6 of 26 Old 09-10-2008, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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When staining should I opt for gel, water, or oil based stain? I've gel stained before and it was pretty easy. Should I sand after I condition the wood?
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post #7 of 26 Old 09-10-2008, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRecklessOne View Post
Thanks cabinetman! If I use BLO(?) or tung oil that won't make it darker. I'm looking to stain it much darker than natural. Is tung oil something I put on after the stain? I'm very new to finishing wood...
BLO is Boiled Linseed Oil, I believe. (Just in case the (?) was because you didn't know what BLO was. )
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post #8 of 26 Old 09-10-2008, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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HAHA thanks a lot! I figured it out after a trip to Home Depot today.
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post #9 of 26 Old 09-10-2008, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRecklessOne View Post
HAHA thanks a lot! I figured it out after a trip to Home Depot today.
If you decide to use tung oil, do not use the minwax or formby's tung oil finish - it is not tung oil and actually has little to no tung oil in it - they are more of a wiping varnish. Home Depot nor Lowes does not sell pure tung oil.
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post #10 of 26 Old 09-10-2008, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Here's the plan my wife and I have formulated...

We haven't had a back door on our house in a week + so we're going to paint the outside face and all edges with 2 coats exterior grade primer until we decide what color we're going to side our house. The interior face of the door: after conditioning the surface, giving it a light sanding, we're going to stain it a dark "red mahogany" because it closely matches the cabinets we're installing shortly. Then I'm painting the window mouldings, trim and panels black to accent the counter tops we're putting on those cabinets.
To finish and protect the stained interior I'll be applying 2 coats of satin poly, sanding, finish coat of satin poly.

I'll probably even add a UV blocking film to the windows, adding new hardware, etc....

Do you fellas see any problems with this plan as of yet?
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post #11 of 26 Old 09-11-2008, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quick update...Turned out the exact color we wanted...I tested the stain on the home made threshold I made from so called doug fir select from Lowe's. The best 2 pieces I found were still garbage...the threshold took almost as much sanding as the door.
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post #12 of 26 Old 09-14-2008, 12:04 PM
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That door is cleaning up pretty nice Reckless.

Gerry
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post #13 of 26 Old 05-03-2010, 06:02 PM
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Questions about finishing douglas fir

To The reckless one - I read your posts about your douglas fir door and I have a similar situation - but here's my problem. I have a brand new douglas fir screen door that I want to stain EXACTLY like you did. I have gotten some sample douglas fir planks from local lumber yard to try different stains on and no matter if I try a light or dark stain - it ends up looking VERY STRIPED. The lighter areas of the wood do not pick up the stain and the dark grain picks up it all. I do not like this look. Here's what I did - sanded 120 - sanded 220 - put pre-stain on as directed - put minwax early american stain on - sit 5 minutes - wipe with rag - let sit overnight - did same thing two more times - still too light and STRIPED! I sampled minwax red mahogany (love the color on the can) as well as jacobean (very dark) - same thing happens but the stripes are just darker!! Can't get the uniform look. I plan to finish with a marine matte varnish - but am stuck right now just getting a nice dark uniform color. Can you tell me exactly what you did to get the even coverage of color?
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post #14 of 26 Old 05-03-2010, 06:06 PM
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try a second coat

The Pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity while the Optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty...
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post #15 of 26 Old 05-04-2010, 09:42 AM
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You could try a solid colour stain, although the door may end up looking a bit like it was painted, not stained.

Gerry
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post #16 of 26 Old 06-20-2010, 04:14 AM
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Same stripey problem with Doug fir

Same here!! Please help!

I just stripped all the trim in my house because it was a blotchy, gewy cherry mess. I'm trying to stain it darker like you are and can't get the light stripes to accEpt the stain-- what gives?

Also, is there anyone out there who has stained clear Doug fir a dark brown with good results? What brand/color? I have a 1929 Spanish bungalow so dark brown would fit the aesthetic - but is that a no-no with clear vert Doug? I'm a complete novice and scared to make a very expensive mistake. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattcas View Post
To The reckless one - I read your posts about your douglas fir door and I have a similar situation - but here's my problem. I have a brand new douglas fir screen door that I want to stain EXACTLY like you did. I have gotten some sample douglas fir planks from local lumber yard to try different stains on and no matter if I try a light or dark stain - it ends up looking VERY STRIPED. The lighter areas of the wood do not pick up the stain and the dark grain picks up it all. I do not like this look. Here's what I did - sanded 120 - sanded 220 - put pre-stain on as directed - put minwax early american stain on - sit 5 minutes - wipe with rag - let sit overnight - did same thing two more times - still too light and STRIPED! I sampled minwax red mahogany (love the color on the can) as well as jacobean (very dark) - same thing happens but the stripes are just darker!! Can't get the uniform look. I plan to finish with a marine matte varnish - but am stuck right now just getting a nice dark uniform color. Can you tell me exactly what you did to get the even coverage of color?
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post #17 of 26 Old 06-20-2010, 05:01 AM
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Douglas Fir does not take a penetrating stain nearly as well as some other woods. You need to use either a dye based stain that is sprayed or a gel based stain which is wiped. As with nearly anything, the higher quality the product used, the better the end results. If using a gel stain (which is what I would do), I would steer WELL clear of the Minwax crapola. Their idea of a gel stain is very runny with gritty pigment that you can actually feel when you rub it between your fingers. However, open a can of General Finishes gel stain http://www.generalfinishes.com/retai...ase-gel-stains and immediately see the difference. It is very thick, almost like a yougart and quite smooth. It's a dream to use on difficult to stain woods.

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post #18 of 26 Old 06-20-2010, 01:09 PM
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[QUOTE=JW_in_Indy;138721]Douglas Fir does not take a penetrating stain nearly as well as some other woods. You need to use either a dye based stain that is sprayed or a gel based stain which is wiped.

Thanks, JW - do you advise against going too dark brown (royal mahogony) with Doug Fir?

Reckless One, did you use a gel stain to achieve such an even, rich surface?
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post #19 of 26 Old 06-20-2010, 03:00 PM
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[quote=SunsetAvenue;138763]
Quote:
Originally Posted by JW_in_Indy View Post
Douglas Fir does not take a penetrating stain nearly as well as some other woods. You need to use either a dye based stain that is sprayed or a gel based stain which is wiped.

Thanks, JW - do you advise against going too dark brown (royal mahogony) with Doug Fir?

Reckless One, did you use a gel stain to achieve such an even, rich surface?

I've gotten good results with sanding to 150x-180x. Applying a conditioner, and using a wipe on pigmented oil base stain. It may take more than one stain application. Topcoat with a satin or semi-gloss.

In some cases spraying a blush mist of stain to even out the coloring helps.






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post #20 of 26 Old 06-20-2010, 07:47 PM
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Spraying a dye type stain or even a very high quality pigment based stain would probably be best because of the more control you typically have with toning and shading. But not all of us DIY'ers have spray equipment or more importantly, the proper space needed to do a good job spraying. If wiping on a penetrating stain on something like DF, I'd bet it WOULD take several coats to even remotely come out even. With a gel type stain on something like DF, you tend to have a bit more control for wiping and is a good compromise IMHO.

Of course, like anything, YMMV, FWIW, IMHO, just my $0.02 and all that.
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