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Finishing interior oak doors

13879 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  cabinetman
I need to finish three interior oak (solid core) doors. They are Mastercraft from Menards. I was wondering if I could get a brief rundown of the appropriate steps to take. From what I understand, I should use one coat of stain and then two or more coats of polyurethane. Does that sound right? Also, does the environment in which I finish the doors matter. They are currenly in my garage (while other work is being done in the basement). The temp is around 90 degrees. Thank you very much for any help you can provide!
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I personally don't like the polyurethane for doors. A good Spar varnish is better. The doors should be fine to finish in the enviroment that they are in now just be aware that the stain and finish will dry rather quick so you will have to work fast. For sure do it in the shade.
You know what, forget what I said. I was re reading this and realized that they are interior doors and not exterior which is what I thought it said.

For interior I like Laquer. Spray a coat of sealer first then sand and laquer.
Try a few test pieces of various finishes first. You might be suprised to find something you like that you didn't expect.
I like polyurethane on some things and others I don't. Some things look good to me in high gloss and others look terrible in it. Some things to me don't look good in anything but semi or satin, and vice versa. You just gotta do some test pieces unless you know you will, or will not like something based on experience. Test pieces are nearly mandatory unless you want to roll the dice only to possibly find you spent hours finishing something and decide you hate it.

I don't know where you live but that matters as to whether or not it is fine to do your finishing work in your garage. If you live in Corpus Christi, Texas this time of year your humidity is like 9000%. No, it ain't cool to finsih your door in your garage, it can do nasty things.
Most PUs want less than 50% humidity I think. If it's a little higher you should be fine but if you're in 80%+ I would do something to get it down or pick a back bedroom you aren't using or something.

Just my 2 pennies.
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Stain, sealer, tack sand, sealer, tack sand, lacquer, lacquer:thumbsup:
As TT said, do samples for sure. I would stain, and if you have the ability to spray, either water based polyurethane or lacquer. Of course, do the intermediary steps for whatever you pick. If you use water based, your humidity problem won't be an issue, except for maybe a little longer dry time (a safe finish). As for lacquer and humidity, lotsa retrarder.

If you don't have spray equipment, you can brush or wipe on either waterbase poly or oil base poly.
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