LumberJocks

stain and top coat for exterior doug fir doors

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by citybilly posted 09-16-2017 02:03 AM 461 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View citybilly's profile

citybilly

5 posts in 91 days


09-16-2017 02:03 AM

I have five Douglass fir exterior doors, four are new Simpson doors, unfinished, veneer over finger jointed pieces. One is solid and about 90 yrs old, it has had many layers of paint stripped off. Ideally for the stain color, i dont want to leave them natural or light colored but dont want to try to make them look like some species they are not and stain them very dark. I wanted a medium tone stain without a lot of contrast between to soft light grain and hard sappy darker wood. Also I didnt want to use poly either water or solvent/oil base , i prefer to use a wiping finish i could reapply every year or so. I considered a penetrating oil like Penofin, tried a sample on DF and while i want a low sheen it was completely flat on the DF. Also I was concerned about the amount of protection i would get from the Penofin (or other penetrating oil) in regards to moisture absorption swelling and shrinking doors? Am I wrong about the penatrating oil? It just doesnt look like its protecting anything. I spoke to a rep at Rockler and he recommended General Finishes gel stain and top coat with GF Arm R Seal . He said he had used this combo on a few doors with good results. That he could wipe on another coat of Arm R Seal when the finish was degrading and he didnt have to sand or strip the top coat. So I ordered a half pint of the GF ArmRseal and several half pints of gel and their regular oil based stains for samples. The results were only so so. I think the DF is a little porous for the ArmRseal, or maybe its to soft and absorbent for any penetrating type of finish coat. With 3 coats of satin Arm R Seal it was just beginning to build on the soft doug fir. I think the ArmRseal is basically a wipe on poly? Also the stains were still leaving to much contrast, the gels were better. I tried a sample with zinser seal coat underneath and it was great looking, very even but realized later that shellac even dewaxed as a conditioner is not for exterior. So i called General Finishes and the rep said absolutely do not use arm r seal for exterior! He recommends their water base stain and conditioner with their exterior 450 water based poly top coat. Im skeptical about the water base stain because I’ve had horrible result with WB stains in the past being blotchy and uneven. Maybe with conditioner, but on the doug fir? Also dont solvent/oil base stains usually give a little extra protection? I didnt think the water base poly would be better than the arm r seal for exterior use but he GF rep told me the arm seal will crack and the exterior 450 water base stuff is more flexible in temp change, expand and contract cycles. He also told me that i could scuff and recoat without completely sanding/stripping for maintenance. So i guess thats what i will try it unless anyone has other suggestions. The things I wanted were 1. stain a medium tone and to limit blotching and contrast between soft light pulpy wood and hard darker sappy wood. 2. a low sheen top coat that could be maintenanced more frequently instead of sanded and stripped every few yrs. One more thing is that all of these doors are underneath porch roofs, some deeper roofs than others but at min 6’ setback in front and 2’ at one side. In windy driving rain the bottoms of the door do get wet from rain blowing in from the sides of the overhangs. Thanks so much to anyone who reads my novel ! I know Im ripe for jokes but please make one useful suggestion for each joke, thanks again.


10 replies so far

View bobkberg's profile

bobkberg

439 posts in 2910 days


#1 posted 09-20-2017 05:47 PM

Hi Citybilly,

I take a different approach (poly), but this should apply to any of your suggested approaches. I had the opportunity to speak with a paint chemist some years ago, and one of the things I learned was that exposing a new wood finish to ultraviolet light (meaning outdoors) too soon accelerates the aging. I learned by accident that keeping something indoors for a couple of months will greatly increase the life of the finish and the quality of it.

So whatever you choose to do, keep the finished doors inside, or cover a mounted door with some kind of blocking paper for a minimum of 6 weeks (or longer) to let the finish cure without the presence of ultraviolet light.

Regards,

Bob

-- Bob www.singularengineering.com - A sideline, not how I earn a living

View citybilly's profile

citybilly

5 posts in 91 days


#2 posted 09-21-2017 05:58 PM

Thanks Bob, that’s a good tip, make sense I wonder about covering a new finish with building paper after finish has reached the “dry to touch stage” or possibly a little longer and then give it the 2 months cure time. I don’t think I have the luxury of keeping the doors unmounted in a dust free, temperature, and humidity controlled space for that length of time. I would have to cover them with something when the finish permits.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

1176 posts in 1635 days


#3 posted 09-21-2017 08:20 PM

I refinished the fir doors in my house but first they were dipped and stripped for me.I think I used Generals pecan stain and urethane gel top coat. First order of business was to seal the wood with a unwaxed shellac. I also remember it taking forever but then again I don’t like refinishing or stains.Time well spent they still look great.
My doors were hung in 1950 so they are clear VG with a plywood panels.

-- Aj

View citybilly's profile

citybilly

5 posts in 91 days


#4 posted 09-21-2017 09:19 PM

Aj are your doors exterior? Mine are, I really like dewaxed shellac for a sealer/conditioner but I’ve always heard shellac + outdoors = bad, Im not sure if that applies to sealer but didnt want to take a chance, 4 of my doors are new DF venner over finger joint blocking and one is old 90+ yrs old solid wood, paint stripped, looks like DF something in pine, spruce fir type group. I like the GF products I’ve used but never tried any thing for exterior. I looked at the GF Outdoor Oil and if I went with a film finish poly/varnish I would probably use the GF exterior 450. Thats still an option I think the maintenance on a acrylic poly maybe a little easier than a solvent based varnish at strip/sand and re-coat time. GF rep told me I could get away with spot sanding the 450 and touch up if I didnt let it go to long. Im leaning toward a penetrating oil type finish, so I think Im going to try Waterlox marine unless I’m persuaded by something last minute. Seems like Sikkens proluxe semitransparent stain (cetol 1) had a lot of loyalist but I think they were all before the VOC laws changed the formula. I also tested some oil base paint base which dries clear and according to many is suppose to outlast just about any other top coat. I just didnt like the fact that it doesnt level itself at all and you can really see the brush lines. There is a small paint company in Brooklyn that still make their paint right there. I spoke to the chemist and he gave me a few samples , one had silicone in it and he said it was quite flexible and UV resistant. It was tempting but the appearance while very clear when dry was just to textured. Interesting though when the right project comes along I want to try it. Heres a bit on the paint base if anyone is curious. http://forums.finewoodworking.com/fine-woodworking-knots/finishing/exterior-door-finish

View gargey's profile

gargey

862 posts in 613 days


#5 posted 09-21-2017 09:20 PM

Did not read due to lack of paragraphs.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

1176 posts in 1635 days


#6 posted 09-22-2017 12:32 AM

No

-- Aj

View citybilly's profile

citybilly

5 posts in 91 days


#7 posted 09-22-2017 03:35 PM



Did not read due to lack of paragraphs.

- gargey


I’m sorry gargey, I’m so self absorbed thinking about my doors. Very selfish of me to not consider how my poor word structure might disturb others. But thanks for pointing it out, I understand the importance, I should put my pencil to paper instead of pine and work on it. You make a good point, that one should hone his grammatical skills before his chisels. It’s a good thing for me that the Union entry examine consist of a physical test as well the written. If it was just the written they would have rightfully denied me membership! (End paragraph here)

I breathed a sigh of relief when I stumbled on LumberJocks because I knew that having nothing more than a high school education I would never be able to make an inquiry at LumberNerds. I guess I made a critical mistake when I took that first job stick framing houses when I was 16, in 1978, should have tried to go to college darn it.
I am a little torn though, you see there’s an old Jamaican boat builder who has a little wood shop in East Ny that I visit from time to time and he’s always had what I thought were really interesting technique’s. However his English is dreadful, so I think the next time he misspeaks I think I will just say ” Jimmy sorry but I can’t listen to your advice ” I’ll visit you later and see if your English has improved.
I wonder if Sam Maloof had proper paragraph structure and length? If not would you ignore what he had written?

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

1504 posts in 1225 days


#8 posted 09-22-2017 04:20 PM

Citybilly, just like almost any online community, you will occasionally find a few people who never learned manners. Anonymity brings out the worst in the worst people. I’ve learned that if you just ignore them, they usually just go away. You will find that most of the people on this sight aren’t like that and are happy to help no matter what your skill level. However, I will say that have learned it helps if you keep your comments and questions a brief as possible to relay the information you need to because you are more likely to get the help you want. Human nature will cause people to stop reading if you write too much. I should know, I have never been accused of saying too little ;-).

Welcome to Lumberjocks!

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View citybilly's profile

citybilly

5 posts in 91 days


#9 posted 09-22-2017 06:44 PM

Thanks Lazyman, I admittedly am not up to speed with online community etiquette and protocol, I dont even use facebook, not familiar with all the acronyms and such. I even have a hard time keeping text messages short. I did a bit of an information dumb to try and limit the back and forth. I guess the back and forth is part of the process. I do think he may have missed out by not reading because the paint base thing is something that I dont think a lot of woodworkers/finishers are aware of.

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

747 posts in 332 days


#10 posted 09-22-2017 10:39 PM

Don’t use Arm-R-Seal, as has been pointed out by the tech and others it is an interior finish and will not withstand the UV exposure.

If you have the ability to spray your topcoat, you might consider using Target EM9300. It is a water borne polycarbonate urethane formulated to exterior use and would likely hold up well for the application you describe above. Jeff at Target can provide you with additional guidance.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com