How to Stain Oak Doors

Treating & Finishing

Staining or oiling a solid oak door should not be rushed - it's a process and if done correctly - the results will be well worth the effort. The finish will depend on the overall look you are trying to achieve and how well you prepare the oak doors.

Things you need ...

  • Orbital Sander
  • Sanding pads 150 grit - 250 grit
  • Safety Goggles & Safety Mask
  • Latex or Safety Gloves
  • Various Grit Sanding pads - Coarse to super fine grades
  • Wire Wool
  • Micro Fiber Cloth or Tack Cloth
  • Varnish Paint Brush or Lint Free Cloths
  • Stain
  • Masking Tape - For Glazed doors and Door Knobs
  • Dust Sheets

You can start to finish the doors in situ or off the hinges - leaning against a garden wall or or in the shed. Outside is best if you are using a power sander.

For A Fine Finish

  • Start by masking any glass or door furniture.
  • Choose a coarse sandpaper first and start sanding in a circular motion - much quicker if you have an orbital sander. Don't rush and don't press to hard. Next change the sand paper to a lesser grit - continue this process until you get to the finest grit paper. Make sure to wipe any dust off the doors in between changing sanding pads.
  • Wipe away dust with a micro fiber cloth - use a damp lint free cloth to wipe away any remaining sawdust.
  • Start to apply the stain  with a brush or lint free cloth - working the stain into the wood. When dry - rub the door with wire wool - this will remove any small wood fibers that may have appeared.
  • Clean with a micro fiber cloth.
  • Start the second coat of stain.
  • Buff the the door with the 250 grit for a silky smooth finish.
  • You can add more coats depending on how dark you want the door to look.

Gloss - Satin or Matt

To add colour to solid oak internal doors - you can stain, using light or dark colours. Solid Oak doors have more open grain than other hardwood doors and they absorb more stain, leaving a much more detailed finish. The stain or oil lasts longer and unlike paint, doesn’t need re-painting every year! Any type of varnish or lacquer can be used on solid oak doors,  but we always recommend finishing with a product to protect the wood from moisture and marks. Most varnishes come in gloss, satin or matt - this will be personal preference when deciding which one to buy - the same goes for wood stains.

A Good Investment

Solid oak internal doors can be more costly than other cheaper doors, but they last longer and age with the property. Due to advanced manufacturing techniques the cost has decreased recently. Engineered oak doors are available - but they lack true feeling and character. Today most oak doors sold are engineered and these are a fraction cheaper in cost compared to genuine solid oak doors, and they lack the true texture and feel of real wood. So why not treat your home with solid oak doors for that unique style and warmth for your property.


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