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Old 05-21-2013, 08:34 AM   #1
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Entry door stain and finish $ 2000 !?!?!?!?


Hey guys... I just got a couple of quotes to stain and varnish a Red mahogany entry door. The door is 36x80 inches with 2 12 inch side lites. The door is currently in storage and is unfinished. Does $1500- $2000 seem high to have this door stained and finished??? Seems really high to me. I'm ok with staining and varnishing doors but this door will be installed for the life of the home and I don't wanna to screw it up. Any recommendations??


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Old 05-21-2013, 09:02 AM   #2
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Entry door stain and finish $ 2000 !?!?!?!?


Seems kinda high. Lotta variables though. I could see spending 20 hrs on it for nice multiple coat finish, and if its 50$ an hr or so in your area....
Sealing the top and bottom edges well is important for long life.

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Old 05-21-2013, 09:57 AM   #3
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Entry door stain and finish $ 2000 !?!?!?!?


Is that real wood or fiberglass?
Does it sit in the direct sun?
If it does a dark stain is going to destroy that door.

Only sealer I would trust for a far longer ife is Bristal finish.
It's what Pro antique boat refinishers use on the bright work. (wood)

http://bristolfinish.com/

It's not cheap but it's the best, it drys fast and almost never needs sanding between coats.
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:38 AM   #4
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Entry door stain and finish $ 2000 !?!?!?!?


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Is that real wood or fiberglass?
Does it sit in the direct sun?
If it does a dark stain is going to destroy that door.

Only sealer I would trust for a far longer ife is Bristal finish.
It's what Pro antique boat refinishers use on the bright work. (wood)

http://bristolfinish.com/

It's not cheap but it's the best, it drys fast and almost never needs sanding between coats.
The door is wood and gets direct sunlight 80% of the day... also having a portico installed so that might help with the sunlight...
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:06 PM   #5
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Entry door stain and finish $ 2000 !?!?!?!?


I would get three estimates so you know. In my neighborhood I do not know finishing a door like that front and back would be any cheaper.

And people see a door like that and the home it must match and see $$$. I don't have to remind you of where you live either I am sure.

As mentioned there are just too many variables and it serves no purpose to get estimates from a DIY site like this. Here is the statement from the site moderators.

"How much will it cost?" Asking for price estimates here.

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Old 05-21-2013, 10:22 PM   #6
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Entry door stain and finish $ 2000 !?!?!?!?


Hey REELNAUTI,
It’s not uncommon for a painter unfamiliar with finishing to bid high and hope for the best. When you’re not sure what you’re doing a high price gives you a cushion. High prices don’t always mean excellence. Have you seen any of his previous projects similar to yours? If he were to apply one coat of stain and three coats of varnish, the total cost of material used should not exceed at most $100. Taking in account removing the door lock and weather strips (he is going to remove the lock isn’t he?) and sanding between coats, which at most four hours. At a price of $1,500 he’s making around $75 per hour. NOT BAD Makes me want to recalculate my prices and order my Mercedes.
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Old 05-22-2013, 12:21 AM   #7
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Entry door stain and finish $ 2000 !?!?!?!?


Umm, if it's an unfinished door how hard is to buy a quart of stain and a brush and stain it yourself? couple of coats of finish and it's done, it's not rocket science and it's certainly not a $2,000 job!
I could BUILD a door like that for that much, can't imagine anyone charging that much just to stain and finish it, geez!!!
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Old 05-22-2013, 01:22 AM   #8
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Entry door stain and finish $ 2000 !?!?!?!?


Again, without actually knowing what it is you expect in terms of finishing both sides of the door it is hard to judge how much time it would take. And you haven't really specified the materials you want.

Finally, as stated, whether you experience a quote of $1500-2000 as sticker shock depends on where you are. I think it is high but not out of the ballpark. And depending on where you are on Long Island, it may be the going rate. Only a couple more estimates from your area will let you know.

I would not approach the project quite so casually as how hard can it be to slap on some stain and some finish especially since you have stated this is going to be a focal point of the home. You may have to seal or condition the wood before thinking of staining it. A cabinetmaker or fine finisher may be your best option.

The door is likely to take in a lot of heat and have two different climates on either side of it most of the year which could be hard on the finish so Joe C's idea of looking toward the marine world might be worth thinking about if you do not get the confident answers you want from a real paint store or woodworking supplier.

I think someone is looking at more than four hours per side, and spread over a week or more to do this door right.

Last edited by user1007; 05-22-2013 at 08:57 AM. Reason: changed would to wood
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:12 AM   #9
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Entry door stain and finish $ 2000 !?!?!?!?


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Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
Again, without actually knowing what it is you expect in terms of finishing both sides of the door it is hard to judge how much time it would take. And you haven't really specified the materials you want.

Finally, as stated, whether you experience a quote of $1500-2000 as sticker shock depends on where you are. I think it is high but not out of the ballpark. And depending on where you are on Long Island, it may be the going rate. Only a couple more estimates from your area will let you know.

I would not approach the project quite so casually as how hard can it be to slap on some stain and some finish especially since you have stated this is going to be a focal point of the home. You may have to seal or condition the would before thinking of staining it. A cabinetmaker or fine finisher may be your best option.

The door is likely to take in a lot of heat and have two different climates on either side of it most of the year which could be hard on the finish so Joe C's idea of looking toward the marine world might be worth thinking about if you do not get the confident answers you want from a real paint store or woodworking supplier.

I think someone is looking at more than four hours per side, and spread over a week or more to do this door right.
We're not talking about one door here, but two, as there is an inside and outside. So we're down to 750.00 - 1,000.00 per door. We're also talking about a minimum of four days of labor, minimum if you count one day to stain and three coats minimum of varnish, with 24 hours of dry time between. The bid might even include four coats. How much pre-stain sanding/work/prep is there to do? Is there putty work. Will the guy have to take the hardware off and re-install every day? We're probably looking at more like six - seven days of labor. At six days and 2000.00 we're down to about 330.00 per day, not an outrageous number for a house on Long Guyland.

Another thing we're not taking to account is the value of the job relative to the cost of the door. 2000.00 would seem outrageous to paint a 400.00 door. But, would it seem so for a 10k door. If the painter breaks it, he buys it. We can't tell by the pic, but it's probably much larger than an average entry way. Also, if that was just getting primer and two coats of paint I could easily see a price of 750.00. Regardless of what finish that door gets there is a lot of complex brush work and it needs to be thought out properly. It could be a seriously wild ass guess (SWAG), but it could also be well thought, experience based price by a seasoned contractor. I think it's the latter. I'm sure that's not the only door of that type on Long Guyland. I'm also kind of surprised by some of the comments.

And thanks SD. I think the comment about slapping some stain and varnish by the HO was ignorant and irresponsible. Ignorant in the sense of having no knowledge of what's involved and how difficult that would be, even for a pro. That's not a housing project where the results matter little. The finish needs to be as perfect as possible, right Homeowner? It's painstaking detail.

Personally, I have no issue with that price range at all, and I wouldn't bid it for much less than that. While paying that price doesn't guarantee a good outcome, you won't get a good one without it. Get other estimates. Check references for quality and satisfaction from other customers. Your investing a small fortune already, why balk at costs when it comes time to finish it? OP, you have two choices. Wince once, when you cut the check, or wince every time you look at a lousy job.

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