Aug 19, 2012

stain your doors darker!

our house is filled with dirty, ugly orange wood doors. this is why i have absolutely no reservations about painting them ((here and here...so far)).

after i painted the upstairs bathroom a very light blue, the orange doors seemed even more orange and i decided to try staining them.

they couldn't get any worse, right?


i went with minwax gel stain in {walnut}.

i used gel stain because i had no intention of taking the doors off, lugging them through the house and to the garage to stain them horizontally...then dragging them back up and reattaching them.

i applied the first coat with a foam brush, then waited a little bit longer than directed before wiping off -- because i got distracted. it stained very nicely, but WOW -- the excess gel on the surface of the door was very sticky...almost like honey. when the directions say to wipe off three minutes later...WIPE OFF THREE MINUTES LATER.

after the first coat. scary.

i applied the next two coats with a rag. i HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend this method vs brushing it on. i just put a glob of gel on the rag and wiped in the direction of the grain. i didn't go back to wipe off any excess...because there wasn't any excess. sooo much easier.
   i finished by brushing on a couple of coats of minwax satin polycrylic. 

the project took over a week because i let each coat of stain and topcoat sit for at least 24 hours. 

...but i think it was worth it!

(( the other door in the bathroom ))

soooooooooooo much better!

after how well these bathroom doors turned out, i'm very VERY excited to stain some more doors................!

* mari


  1. Doors look awesome! You are doing such an amazing job with your new home :)


  2. Sooooo much better!!! Love it!!!

  3. thanks to both of you! it makes a HUGE difference in person definitely.

  4. Did your doors have poly of them before or did u sand at all? Just curious be ause I have some cabinets I need to work on. They look really great!

    1. hi kirsten, i did a light sanding and then wiped the doors clean before beginning the project. :)

      good luck with your cabinets!


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