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Of all the cost-friendly ways that you can change up your home, applying an exterior door stain is the one that will make the greatest impact, especially when it comes to bigger doors.  

Aside from being affordable, it’s also extremely easy to apply an exterior door stain. In fact, you can do it yourself without anything more than an instructional guide and a few hours of free time. 

However, as affordable and simple as applying an exterior door stain is, a lot of DIY enthusiasts can’t help but make mistakes. Thankfully, these mistakes can be avoided with ease, especially when you apply a new coat to it from time to time. 

By following the right tips as revealed by our expert exterior painters, not only will you be able to avoid making mistakes, but you’ll also be able to protect your door from adverse weather conditions and other problems. 

7 Must-Read Tips on How To Stain Your Front Door:

Prepare the Door Properly 

One of the main reasons why exterior door stains fail in the first place is that people forget to prepare them properly for a fresh set of coats. In order to ensure that you won’t have to deal with any problems when staining your door, follow this simple checklist:  

  • Take your door off its hinges 
  • Lay it flat on an even surface to avoid any sags or runs in the stain 
  • Remove the old stain layer and additional varnish with a commercial wood stripper 
  • Wash off any excess substances to prepare for sanding 
  • Sand the door down to the raw material and ensure that it’s bare all around

By following these crucial steps, you can keep the next set of layers blotch and spot-free long after the application process. 

Use a Test Sample 

  • The stain application process may go smoothly until it’s actually time to apply the stains on the door, simply because you may not know how you’re supposed to move the brush or use it. 

In order to avoid doing something that you’ll probably regret later, do a trial run first on a test sample. You can use a spare piece of wood to ensure that you’re not a shade too dark or too light. 

Avoid Uneven Coats with Shellac 

If you apply a fresh coat of Shellac before the rubbing or staining process, you will be able to ensure that the coats of the stains on your door will stay even by facilitating the drying process in the chemicals of your paint. This will cause it to dry uniformly. 

Sand Out the Blotches

  • Typically, exterior door staining can cause a few blotches to show up here and there throughout the entire process. However, most people tend to shrug off the imperfections because they think they will “subside eventually.” 

However, such blotches can actually cause major imperfections in the final product. Should any blotches come up or form during the process, wait until the coating dries and then sand the imperfections off as carefully as you can. 

Apply Door Stain in One Go

  • To avoid the segregation of stain, it is very important that you apply the door stain in one single go. This is something most people ignore because segregation is only visible after the paint has dried up. 

Regardless of how the big the door is, you need to make sure that you stain the door without taking breaks. Even taking a short break to drink coffee or tea could result in segregation and an uneven look. 

  • This is why it is important to have time on your hand before you start the staining job. If you think you do not have a couple of hours to spare for the job, we highly recommend waiting until the time is available. 

Wipe Any Excess Stain

  • One of the biggest problems people make while DIY-ing a door stain is that they don’t wipe off the excess stain left after you have finished with a coat. 

If you ignore the excess stain, the stain will take a lot longer to dry and the door will start to collect dust and debris which will become visible on the stain.

  • Moreover, the gel stain will not appear to be smooth and even after you have done refinishing the door.

If you do have to take a break while staining the entry door, we recommend removing the door from the hinges and taking it to a place where dust and dander are the lowest. 

Using Brush Strokes will Leave Stroke Marks

  • There is a reason why professional painters don’t use brush strokes when staining a wood door.

If you brush over any varnish that has already been applied to the door, it will prevent brush stroke marks from appearing when the job is done.

  • Be very careful with brush strokes and avoid brushing over applied varnish at all costs.  

Need a Hand With Door Staining?

Door staining is a complicated job, especially in Texas where the weather is harsh and dust and dander is high.

Although we fully encourage DIY-ing the job to save money, we believe it is important to get help when you are not familiar with the concepts of staining.

Encore Painting offers all kinds of exterior and interior paint jobs at the best prices. We use award-winning methods to complete every paint job and only the best and most trusted paint materials are used

If you’re worried about the cost of staining the front door, check our free online estimate calculator. We guarantee that you won’t find a better price anywhere else in Texas.