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Old 01-08-2010, 01:14 PM   #1
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Sand doors a must before stain/poly?

I have 5 solid pine doors to stain in my dad's basement. He is very wary about the mess (don't get me started) and says I don't need to sand, because they are brand new (contrary to the advice of the paint dept. at Menards). The product we are using is Minwax Polyshades stain and polyurethane in one step (classic oak satin supposedly only one shade darker than clear). Also, do I need to brush this on because of the polyurethane? My only experience with stain is putting it on with a rag or t-shirt. Thanks in advance for the help .

P.S. We also have to case/base everything (about 400 lin. ft.), which is why he wants to avoid the sanding.


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Old 01-08-2010, 03:16 PM   #2
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well first off, Polyshades is not the best product for new doors. It is just a tinted polyurethane. the color will not penetrate into the wood. so if the door gets damaged (scratch or chip) the color will come off too. It is used more for restoration work when you are changing the color of an existing stained and sealed wood.

you should sand the doors lightly with some 220 grit sandpaper. it will ensure a smoother surface when you are done - I would sand between coats also.

When you use the Polyshades, every coat you apply will make the wood darker. so you have to work fast on the door. with it being bare wood the material will dry faster and if you do not keep a wet edge you can run into problems with a uniform color.

I think you should return the material and stain and poly the door the correct way - with stain and poly. when you are looking for a quality finished product, shortcuts are not the way to go.

good luck


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Old 01-08-2010, 03:27 PM   #3
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Call me old school but I sand everything and I hate sanding. I use my Festool sanders w/CT33 vac so dust is not an issue in my shop. When I finish all my customers doors, crown, casing and base even though everything usually feels smooth you need to give it a once over in case there are any oils, dirt or containaments on the product to ensure a more uniform finish. I myself do not like the all-in-one finishing systems out there. I sand, tack cloth, seal, stain, rough up, tack cloth, clear, rough up, tack and clear all stain grade materials. Usually 2-3 coats of clear depending on product, use and location. Some doors even get as many as 5-6 coats of clear interior and 8-9 on exterior. Some people have said that its over kill but that is what I do. Over build, over strengthen and over engineer! I would rather spend the time and money doing it better than good the first time and know it will last and look good doing it. My customers also like my way of thinking knowing that they are getting quality.

Anyway that my .02 worth.
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:41 PM   #4
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Hand sand with 220 grit, sand out any marks ie. (Black marks), I usually then dust the door down with an old paint brush, wipe it down with tack cloth, you will have to apply a pre-treatment, Minwax pre-conditioner works good its for un-sealed, new wood. It should be applyed to bare wood that is soft before staining, it gives you a more uniform coat. After you apply that you can apply one coat of polyshades with a china brisle brush, then sand in between coats with 000 steel wool (lightly) apply the amount of coats you desire, for the color you want. I have used polyshades many times on literally over 100 doors 100 windows and hundreds of linear feet of trim, I've never had a problem with it. Work one section at a time, working from joint to joint, do your panels on the door first, work your way out. Watch for pools of the polyshade in the corners of your panels. You can rag a little of it off if you needed to.
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