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Staining Unfinished Commercial Doors

Staining your unfinished commercial doors is a great way to enhance their appearance. With a custom stain, you can give them a professional look that will best match the aesthetic and identity of your building. When you apply finish to a door, you highlight the intricate texture and elegant natural beauty of the wood, which can elevate the appearance of any room.

Staining isn’t necessarily an expert-level DIY project. In fact, it’s pretty easy to do! Your stain does require some specific items and basic know-how in order to get the job done right. If you’re thinking about buying unfinished commercial wood doors and staining them yourself, here are some tips to help you out.

What You’re Going to Need

You won’t need any power tools or heavy machinery to stain your commercial doors, but you will need the following:

  • Gloves
  • Rags
  • A tarp
  • Sandpaper
  • Polyurethane
  • Stain
  • A stain tray
  • A stain pad
  • Tools to remove door hardware
  • Sawhorses

Gathering your materials well in advance can make the whole process easier.

Choosing a Stain Color

Before you get to work on your doors, you’re going to need to decide on a stain color. This step should not be rushed, as once the doors are stained, the process of re-staining can be a pain. Consider the current flooring, trim, furniture, and wall color of the room that the door is going in. If at all possible, bring a sample of these to the hardware store in order to match it with a stain.

If you’re uncertain how to choose the stain that's best for your project, talk to someone at the hardware store and they’ll likely be glad to share their knowledge of the subject with you.  

Be Sure to Remove Door Hardware 

It may seem like a hassle to remove all the door’s hardware before you apply the stain, but you’ll regret skipping this step if you wind up getting stain on the handles, the locks, or any of the other hardware elements. Carefully remove them and keep them organized for easy reassembly when you’re finished.

Setting Up the Door 

Your door is going to need to be perfectly flat so that you can evenly coat it with stain without having to worry about the stain running or dripping. This is where the sawhorses come in. Set them up in an area with good ventilation (you don’t want to unnecessarily inhale stain fumes) and lay the door down on them so that they are as flat as possible.  

Always Sand the Door

Yes, even if your door is brand-new and unfinished, you’re still going to want to sand it. Sanding the door down before staining it will open up the wood fibers so that the door can more readily absorb the stain. You can start with a medium grit sandpaper (#120-150) and eventually work your way up to a finer grit (#180 for oil-based stains and #220 for water-based). Along the way, make sure that you are sanding with the grain of the wood.

Once you’ve sanded the door down enough, wipe it clean with a rag so that you don’t leave any sawdust that will get caught beneath the stain.

Protect Yourself

Before applying your first coat of stain, be sure to put on some gloves and possibly even protective eyewear. It’s also important to wear a dust mask or respirator, particularly if you are unable to stain in a well-ventilated area.

Tips for Applying Stain

When you apply the stain, be sure to do so with a cloth that does not have any lint or other particles on it. Apply light and equal pressure across the entire surface. Uneven pressure will result in an uneven stain.

Once you’ve allowed the first coat to dry, you can apply more coats if you’d like. Just be sure to sand the door down with fine grit sandpaper first and then wipe it clean.

Tips for Finishing the Door  

A polyurethane finish is necessary to protect the wood once you’ve achieved the color you’re looking for with your stain. There are a number of different finishes to choose from, so pick the one that best suits your project and grab a foam or bristle brush to apply it with.

Be sure to apply the stain in long, uniform strokes in order to ensure that the door is evenly covered. After the first layer is down, sand it and apply at least two more.

Unfinished Commercial Wood Doors from CDF Distributors

CDF Distributors offers a wide selection of both finished and unfinished wood doors for your commercial building. Our doors are fire rated for up to 90 minutes and come complete with frame and hardware. Let us help you get your DIY door project started!

If you’d like to know more about our unfinished commercial doors, contact the team at CDF Distributors by calling 1-855-769-9895 or e-mail us at [email protected] today!









February 1, 2021
Wayne Foreman

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