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Hello all,
I've been awarded the task of refinishing two cedar wood garage doors. Location is suburban Chicago and western facing. The original finish was a Sikkens Cetol 1 and Cetol 23. I have successfully removed the Sikkens and bought 4 gallons (total) of Sikkens in Dark Oak and Red Mohagany. This is what I believe the former finish to be since the owner supplied a can with the written mix on it. Here's my problem. I cannot get the Sikkens to come out nice and smooth. It's all dust bumpy and looks like crap. So after 10 or so trials, I am looking at switching finishes. I just bought a quart of Old Masters Rich Mohagany wiping stain and no joke, the color is perfect. One coat is nice but two is awesome. My question is, is this a good plan? Next, what to top it with? I want a flat, hand rub type finish. I was thinking of two coats Epifanes High Gloss topped with one coat Epifanes Matte finish.

Before ---


After, wet ---


After, dry ---
 

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To me it doesn't look like you completely stripped the old finish off.

The Sikkens 23, it's like the old oil based house paint without the color. It's not going to be as durable as a marine grade varnish.

I wouldn't change finishes once you start. You don't know if one is compatible with the other or not. What you have if you could even up the color you could probably continue with Sikkens.

The dusty bumpy finish is normal with a film finish. A certain amount of dust never gets cleaned off after sanding and any finish raises the grain so it tends to make it fuzzy. It's necessary to sand the finish between coats. Every time you sand it and apply another coat the finish gets smoother. The finish needs to be sanded anyway. The finish needs to be roughened so the next coat will adhere better.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
OK, maybe I'll try sanding the finish and add another coat. Just to be clear, I haven't yet started staining the doors. I'm just using test pieces to get the color and sheen correct before moving on to the doors. The second pic, I believe, is just after spraying the doors with a cleaner/brightener. The first pic is before. There are some rather oddball pieces of wood that are pretty dark.

btw, what grit should I sand the finish with? The doors now are sanded using 80grit.

Thanks for the help
 

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Nix on film finishes for exposed wood!

Stick with an oil penetrating finish like Sikkens. Film finishes crack and peal over time especially when exposed to sunlight from a Western exposure. You can easily renew an oil finish without stripping, not so with a film finish.

https://www.twincreeksloghomes.com/cetol-srd-translucent-stain.html
 
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