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restaining doors

I have solid core 6 panel doors that are 20 years old.  My problem is the stain has changed colors over the years.  Can they be re-stained and if so how?

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Posted 2014-01-01T20:29:15+0000  by snapper snapper




Older solid core doors certainly can be re-statined, but they must be stripped back to bare wood first. This is usually done with chemical strippers. Sanding does not work well because it is too difficult to open the grain evenly, especially in the corners of panels and the fluting around their edges.


I suspect that a lot of what you are seeing is the yellowing of the varnish that was used. Often just getting rid of the old varnish is a great improvement. The stripping will not totally remove the old stain, and if redistributed evenly, may not actually require new stain.


Stain color can be alterred somewhat, but it is difficult to go significantly lighter or darker when refinishing. This is because the grain is never opened up and absorbant as is virgin wood. If your other woodwork has a similar stain on it, you may not even want to significantly change the color, but just bring it back to its original state.


If you do want to re-stain, MinWax oil stains do a good job and are relatively easy to use. No pre-stain sealer is normally needed when re-staining, again, because the wood has not been totally opened up like virgin wood.


After the doors have been stained and allowed to dry for several hours, you will want to apply at least two coats of urethane varnish.


This whole process does require a warm work place where you can make a little mess. Most people would be using their garage, but not everyone has a heated garage for wintertime use. To this extent, your project might better be done when the weather warms up. Cold and especially high relative humidty are not  friendly towards getting good results with stains and varnishes.


Hope this has helped.



Posted 2014-01-01T21:09:22+0000  by ordjen
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