Douglas Fir Door Finishing Question - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 03-05-2012, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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Douglas Fir Door Finishing Question

Hi,

I built a solid douglas fir door for the front of our house, using vg doug fir. I have two questions that I'm hoping someone can help with:

1. I installed the door and intended to finish it right away, but because of some complications, it's been left unfinished for a few weeks to a month. It's not in a terribly exposed location, but it's also been really rainy and humid, so I think the door has expanded. Is there a way to go about drying it out now that it's installed?

2. I'd like a somewhat natural finish on this door. I love the grain and honey color of douglas fir, so I want to accentuate these qualities rather than hide them. But I also want UV and moisture protection on the door. Any thoughts about what to finish it with?

(The windows on the house are Loewen all-wood douglas fir windows. Loewen recommends finishing their windows with a pre-stain conditioner, then a stain, then a spar urethane sealer. Is this a good idea? I'm worried that a stain, even natural, will change the color and graining of the wood.)
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post #2 of 4 Old 03-05-2012, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwjo View Post
Hi,

I built a solid douglas fir door for the front of our house, using vg doug fir. I have two questions that I'm hoping someone can help with:

1. I installed the door and intended to finish it right away, but because of some complications, it's been left unfinished for a few weeks to a month. It's not in a terribly exposed location, but it's also been really rainy and humid, so I think the door has expanded. Is there a way to go about drying it out now that it's installed?

2. I'd like a somewhat natural finish on this door. I love the grain and honey color of douglas fir, so I want to accentuate these qualities rather than hide them. But I also want UV and moisture protection on the door. Any thoughts about what to finish it with?

(The windows on the house are Loewen all-wood douglas fir windows. Loewen recommends finishing their windows with a pre-stain conditioner, then a stain, then a spar urethane sealer. Is this a good idea? I'm worried that a stain, even natural, will change the color and graining of the wood.)
I love natural finished fir. As with cherry, fir will darken with age and takes on a beautiful deep amber reddish patina. If you are not going to stain it (my choice) then you can skip the pre-sealer and go right to the poly if you want, but a pre-sealer won't hurt. Because it was left unfinished for a while, you will probably have to lightly sand the whole door before finishing. But you should get something on the door as soon as possible.

Bret
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post #3 of 4 Old 03-05-2012, 11:17 AM
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I've had similar conditions when doing doors. If you can hang any cheapo door temporarily to allow the Fir door to dry out, that's what I did. It's a lot easier to do the finishing when the door isn't hanging.

I also like the natural look. My only dislike for a spar type finish, or any film type finish is that it will fail, and is a PITA to address. You stated that the door has limited exposure, so it may last a bit longer before you need to do any sanding to recoat.

You might want to check into Penofin for a finish. All it takes for rehabbing is to clean and recoat...no sanding.







.
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post #4 of 4 Old 03-05-2012, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Have you ever used Penofin? Looks really interesting and ideal for this project. Does it protect against moisture and UV in the way that a poly-based film coating would?
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