3 Easy Steps: How to Stain a Front Door

How to Stain a Front Door

Stripping and Refinishing Wood Doors or Staining a New Door

Are you wondering how to stain a front door?

Your front door is the first thing that you, your family, and your guests and visitors see when they walk into your home. Because of this, you want it to look it’s very best.

Although you may not give much thought to the look of your front door, when you paint it or stain it anew, you’ll be amazed at how refreshed your house looks overall.

Some people change the color or look of their front door on a regular basis. Others leave it looking exactly the same for years or even decades.

If you’re thinking about giving your front door a makeover, you might consider staining it instead of painting it or instead of buying a new door. If you’re wondering how to stain a front door, then you came to the right place. 

How to Stain a Front Door in Three Easy Steps

To stain your front door, you’ll need to collect a few supplies first. You’ll need some sandpaper, some brushes, a drop cloth, some rags, and plenty of stain in the color that you desire. You’ll also want to wear old clothes – it’s called stain for a reason, and you’ll want to avoid staining any clothes that you love.

Step 1: Preparation 

What is the best way to put a stain on a door? The first step, preparation, is so important. Many people try to skip or rush this step, but that’s not wise. The time you take to prepare the surface will make all the difference when your project is complete.

If you’re staining a brand new door, your preparation is minimal. Making sure the surface is clean and going over it with some sandpaper will be all you need.

However, if you are trying to restain an existing door, you will need to wipe off any dirt and grime, then continue to sand off all of the old stains or paint before you begin to add new. Use 120 to 280 grit sandpaper depending on the existing stain or paint and the door condition. This job can be tedious and time-consuming, but it’s necessary. If you want high-quality results, you can’t just stain over an existing coating, even if the stain you’re using is dark.

For doors that have many coats of paint or stain from past updates, it might be wise to hire a professional to do the sanding and staining for you. It can be quite challenging for you to get it back down to plain wood on your own. 

Step 2: Stain the Door

Put on some gloves, it’s time to start staining the door. Even if you’ve never stained anything before, you may think staining a door is fairly easy because it’s just one big, mostly flat surface. However, following the grain the right way is vital and if your door is not completely flat, you may have a hard time making the stain set evenly; a professional can likely do a better job for you than you can do on your own. 

You might want to use a pre-stain wood conditioner to help the stain set evenly. This is helpful when the wood is porous and soft. The pre-stain wood conditioner will help to even out the surface so the stain can be absorbed in a consistent manner.

Use a brush to apply the stain. Apply it in the direction of the wood grain; don’t try to paint across at a perpendicular angle. Go over it lightly the first time and then go over it again with heavier strokes.

Step 3: Wipe It Down and Let It Dry

Once the door is stained, and once you have varnished it, if you choose to do so, all you have to do is wipe it down with a rag. This will help to eliminate drips and streaks and will help to even out the stain across the entire door once and for all.

Then, let it air dry for about twenty-four hours.  If it still feels tacky at that point, give it another twelve hours or so, and then it should be ready to be reinstalled and admired.

Happy Staining

Now that you know how to stain a front door, what’s holding you back? Go pick out some stain, gather your materials, remove the door from its hinges, and get started.

However, if you still feel hesitant about tackling this project on your own, we can help by doing it for you. Get in touch with our painting team at Carolina Blue Painting today. We can’t wait to hear from you.