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Old 06-17-2020, 11:33 PM   #1
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Recommendations for modern Stain on Alder Front Door


Hi,

We are remodeling our house with a modern concept. Getting ready to install our new front door. It is made out of Fir wood.

I know very little about stains. We are trying to go for a dark brown / dark grayish brown look with a subtle gloss. I was wondering if I can please get some advice which stain would be the best for this.

I guess recc'd color we can try and recc'd brands would be great. Thanks!
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Old 06-17-2020, 11:35 PM   #2
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Re: Recommendations for modern Stain on Alder Front Door


Which is it? Fir or Alder?
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Old 06-17-2020, 11:42 PM   #3
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Re: Recommendations for modern Stain on Alder Front Door


It is Fir.
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Old 06-18-2020, 12:00 AM   #4
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Re: Recommendations for modern Stain on Alder Front Door


Espresso is very modern. But on fir it would probably need to be a two or three step process to get the dark color you want. An aniline dye to give you a dark, even base color... then a thinned sealer to partially seal in that base color and prevent blotching, followed by a wiping stain to bring out the grain. Then the finish of your choice. IMO matte is preferable.
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Old 06-18-2020, 12:04 AM   #5
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Re: Recommendations for modern Stain on Alder Front Door


Quote:
Originally Posted by XSleeper View Post
Espresso is very modern. But on fir it would probably need to be a two or three step process to get the dark color you want. An aniline dye to give you a dark, even base color... then a thinned sealer to partially seal in that base color and prevent blotching, followed by a wiping stain to bring out the grain. Then the finish of your choice. IMO matte is preferable.
Thanks! I like Espresso. Any particular brand you recc'd?
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Old 06-18-2020, 07:30 AM   #6
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Re: Recommendations for modern Stain on Alder Front Door


If you want something easy to use, General Finishes has some good water based dye stains and finishes. They have a nice web site with videos that explain the process. They probably do a better job of explaining why to use a dye first.

Dyes color wood evenly, giving you a nice deep base color, which is especially important if you want a dark, dark finish that is largely consistent. Then you can tweak it one way or another with a tinted stain if you want to add a complimentary shade in the early wood, which will absorb more pigment and get even darker. How much contrast you want between the early wood and late wood is up to you, depending on what color combination you pick. So you might use a brown dye with an espresso stain if you want more grain, more contrast. But if you want less grain, less contrast and a more even dark color, you might go with an espresso dye followed by an espresso stain. Write them and ask them questions they are pretty helpful.

And I cant stress this enough. Test your dye and stain on a sample of wood that is a similar species and grain to your door. Don't ever apply dye and stain to your finished product (your door) until you are sure you like it on your sample. Because there is no going back once you stain it.

I dont know how many people I have seen make this mistake. They get completely done staining their project and THEN they decide they don't like it. How stupid!
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Old 06-18-2020, 09:53 AM   #7
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Re: Recommendations for modern Stain on Alder Front Door


Thank you. This really helps.
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Old 06-18-2020, 10:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rimmi2002 View Post
Hi,

We are remodeling our house with a modern concept. Getting ready to install our new front door. It is made out of Fir wood.

I know very little about stains. We are trying to go for a dark brown / dark grayish brown look with a subtle gloss. I was wondering if I can please get some advice which stain would be the best for this.

I guess recc'd color we can try and recc'd brands would be great. Thanks!
Fir is a completely different wood than alder. Alder is the poormans cherry. You can get it straight grain or because alder is wild wood you can get really nice looking knotty alder.

Here is a sample of knotty alder:
Sand to 150
Condition with benite
Scuff with fine grit sponge
Stain with lenmar 'ebony'
2 coats lenmar dull rubbed precat lacquer or polyurethane.

Second photo has a black glaze applied

FYI water based dyes are not recommended for exterior use
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Recommendations for modern Stain on Alder Front Door-img_20191228_132511201_hdr_1592490081518.jpg   Recommendations for modern Stain on Alder Front Door-img_20200326_104232_01_1592492832807.jpg  
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Old 06-22-2020, 09:49 PM   #9
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Re: Recommendations for modern Stain on Alder Front Door


Thanks for all your help. I have one more beginner's question.

I'm thinking about trying this dye stain from general finishes (Dark Brown)

https://www.amazon.com/General-Finis...74&sr=8-4&th=1

The dye will be for the front door. The outdoor part will get direct sun exposure. I'm planning on putting on a UV protective topcoat. Does it matter if I use a interior stain versus exterior stain.

These are the general finishes exterior stains. They do not have espresso in exterior stain.

https://www.amazon.com/General-Finis...5&sr=8-24&th=1



But they do have espresso in the interior stain

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JNOHB3S...2s9dHJ1ZQ&th=1

And I'm really liking Onyx as Well. In the samples they show it highlights the grain alot better than espresso, especially on oak.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JNOHB3S...2s9dHJ1ZQ&th=1

Thanks for your help.

Last edited by rimmi2002; 06-22-2020 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 06-22-2020, 11:25 PM   #10
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Re: Recommendations for modern Stain on Alder Front Door


use an interior stain with an exterior topcoat. Exterior stains are designed for decks and outside wood and stuff to be used by themselves.
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Old 06-25-2020, 09:12 PM   #11
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Re: Recommendations for modern Stain on Alder Front Door


For Douglas Fir, do I need to use a wood conditioner prior to applying a water based stain?
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Old 06-26-2020, 04:31 AM   #12
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Re: Recommendations for modern Stain on Alder Front Door


I rarely ever use water based stains but if I remember correctly fir doesn't need a wood conditioner.
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Old 06-26-2020, 08:57 PM   #13
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Re: Recommendations for modern Stain on Alder Front Door


If it looks blotchy when you start to stain, stop, sand it off, and condition it and restain. Im not familiar with waterborne stains either though, so I dont know... Its not like you ever NEED to condition anything, it just looks better.
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Old 06-26-2020, 11:04 PM   #14
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Re: Recommendations for modern Stain on Alder Front Door


depends on what WB stain you use. Some come out unnaturally even like the new GF 'retail' stain or saman stains. Some turn out like traditional oil based stains like GF RTM, Dye or Target coatings.
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Old 07-04-2020, 09:27 PM   #15
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Re: Recommendations for modern Stain on Alder Front Door


I tried General Finishes (Espresso Stain and dark brown dye). Of the two I liked the dark brown dye.

I was surprised by how dark it stains with just one stain on the fir. In contrast 2 coats on my oak kitchen cabinets barely darkened them. Is this because the fir is a softwood, that it stains so dark with only one coat?

Also was a little disappointed to find out that the lines don't actually stain. The area in between the lines actually stains. I was hoping for the lines to stay in darker in the in between area to be lighter.

Picture attached. Underneath is the cabinet door. I stained the inside Raw wood. On top of it is a piece of Fir.



For protecting the side of the door that faces the outside gets a few hours of direct sun, I am thinking of using:

General Finishes Exterior 360

Is this a good choice? Are there better topcoats out there for Outdoor protection?

For the indoor I am thinking:

General Finish Gloss

Thanks for you help.
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