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Old 09-18-2015, 11:19 AM   #1
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Refinishing Weathered, Color-Stained Door


Hi all,

Ten years ago we installed a new hemlock pine door. We finished it with Minwax water-based stain designed to accept a "decorator" color; in our case, a sort of "spice red." On top we put a semi-gloss spar finish. This finish is good in that it shows the natural wood grain. (Picture of finish attached. You can see the "original" depth of color on door edge, which is protected by the weatherstrip.)

Fast forward ten years, and the semi-gloss is now dulled and the stain somewhat faded. To repair the finish, I'd consider lightly sanding (maybe fine steel wool on panel moldings), touching up the stain where there are any nicks that show bare wood, and then refinishing with new spar finish.

But my wife would like to get the faded color closer to its original shade. If I want to reapply any of the stain (which I still have), would I need to bring the entire door finish down to bare wood? Not a pretty picture.

Are there any other good ways to get the wood grain look--or am I better off throwing in the towel, and just choosing the same color in a good PAINT, and then maybe top-coating with spar finish? The door gets a fair amount of weather.

Thanks in advance for your ideas!
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Old 09-18-2015, 12:15 PM   #2
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Stain strippers exist, but you might need to strip and/or sand off the spar finish first.

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Old 09-18-2015, 12:24 PM   #3
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Ah. I hadn't thought of stripping off the spar finish. Maybe if I did that, would it be possible to just wipe/rub a thin coat of stain into the old? Stripping stain just to get down to plain pine doesn't seem worth the trouble.
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Old 09-18-2015, 02:24 PM   #4
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Don't use steel wool with a water based stain. Any small fibers of steel wool will rust.
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Old 09-18-2015, 03:13 PM   #5
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Good tip, thanks.

My thinking now is to
Lightly sand the surface (not enough to take off the original stain)
Clean/wipe down with mineral spirits
Remove any excess and let dry finish
Finish with a few thin coats of oil-based spar urethane

Sound about right? Thanks.
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Old 09-18-2015, 04:04 PM   #6
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You are aware that the color red is one of the most susceptible colors for UV damage?
This refinishing ritual will be played out a few more times during the doors life.
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Old 09-18-2015, 04:35 PM   #7
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Wish full thinking on your part trying to make this a quick and easy job.
Just trying to get off the Spar and the not some of the the stain is just not going to happen.
Want a sealer that will last far longer, higher build up, faster drying, does not yellow, at least 5 times the UV protection of any so called Marine Spar, self leveling then go with Bristol finish.
It's what Pro antique boat restorers use.
http://bristolfinish.us/
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Old 09-18-2015, 04:57 PM   #8
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If it's just the Spar that's faded it doesn't need to be stripped. Just rough sanded and put on a new topcoat. That's it's big advantage over poly.
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Old 09-18-2015, 05:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToolSeeker View Post
If it's just the Spar that's faded it doesn't need to be stripped. Just rough sanded and put on a new topcoat. That's it's big advantage over poly.
Except he wants to re do the red stain. I don't see how one could get the spar off enough to re stain it without taking most of the stain with it. I am going to have to agree with old Joe here, this will not be a quick and easy job.
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Old 09-18-2015, 06:30 PM   #10
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Good points all! I am beginning to back off the idea of redoing the stain.

While I am not necessarily looking for a "quick and easy job," (when did I ever have one of those, anyway?) I am not interested in taking this door down to bare wood. It's a pine door. Before I went to that much effort, I would just punt and coat the door with paint or solid stain, and forget about recreating the original appearance.

So, the question now becomes, can I replace the spar finish that's on the door without completely starting from scratch? If so, I'll definitely look into the Bristol Spar.

As for red doors, who knows why they are so popular considering how much of a beating they take from UV. They are everywhere!

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