How to stain your interior wooden door

Last Updated on April 22, 2022 by Kravelv

A wooden interior door is inherently beautiful and crates a very homely feeling, but it might not always match the other colors or tones in your home. Adding stain to stripped or bare wood can change the color and highlight the grain pattern of your wooden interior door.

Staining wooden doors is a great way to freshen up the décor without the need to renovate the entire room. Here are some instructions and tips for staining your interior doors correctly so that you end up with the beautiful and complete interior décor you have always wanted.

1.     Stain color selection

You have plenty of stain color options to choose from. If you are considering traditional lumber materials, there’s cherry, maple, oak, pine, walnut, mahogany and many more found at . Your door might not be made from a specific kind of wood, but you can pick a stain modeled after one of these natural woods. Each option has a unique color and grain, but since the stains are synthetic, there are several additional iterations and options available such as chocolate, burgundy, and espresso, among others.

2.     Door and hardware removal

To make your sanding, staining, and finishing easier, you need to remove the door along with the hardware such as handles, etc. If yours is a hinged door, first close it. Then, push the hinge pin out from the bottom using a nail and hammer, by inserting the nail into the bottom of the hinge and tapping it lightly upward. Avoid using the nail and hammer to pull hinge pins all the way out. Instead, push them out of the hinge.

3.     Sanding the surface of the Door

Now that you have removed the door off its hinges, you now need to lay it down on the space you have chosen for staining. Ensure that you first spread a tack cloth or tarp out to avoid staining you don’t wish to stain. The door should be flat to allow for easier sanding and staining. While a sander can reduce the amount of work required, hand sanding is more fun. Sanding down the wood helps even out its texture and ensure that the coat of stain is consistent.

4.     Staining the Door

Pour the stain into a staining tray and use a brush or pad to apply the stain. Use wiping motions while you work the stain into the wood and make sure that you follow the grain. Try working quickly and accurately to ensure that the wood absorbs the stain evenly. If there are any drips or runs, try wiping them away immediately using a clean rag.

You can apply multiple coats of stain if you want a deeper, richer look. However, you should ensure that a coat of stain is completely dry before applying another one. That said, door staining should be considered a 3-day project since once the door is dry, it should be turned over and stained on the other side. After both sides are stained, wipe it down and let it air dry once more.

5.     Wiping down the Door

Once you finish staining the door, you should add varnish if needed, and wipe down the door using a lint-free rag. Wiping down the door after staining and varnishing it will help get rid of lingering drips and streaks that can cause blotchy and uneven staining. Wiping down the door also helps speed up the drying process.

6.     Air drying the Door

After you have wiped down the door, you should allow it to air dry. This typically takes about 24 hours, but it could be longer in humid areas. To ensure the best results, refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Ideally, the door should be lifted and placed almost upright against a wall to dry completely. Don’t forget to check the door’s edges for runs and then wipe them off as needed.

7.     Reattaching your freshly stained door and Hardware

Reassemble your freshly stained door by reattaching any locks, handles, knobs, and weather stripping. Obviously, the process will be slightly different if you have a sliding door. It can be the perfect opportunity to change your door hardware such as the handles or even to redo the weather stripping on the door. Reattaching the door may be a 2-person job, especially if you are installing double doors.

Final Thoughts

Staining a wooden interior door is all about giving the wood character and color as well as emphasizing the wood’s natural grain. Door staining might be a drawn-out procedure, but rushing it or skipping some steps will only result in a sub-par finish that you probably won’t like.

It is always easier to avoid mistakes by taking your time as opposed to correcting them later. Working consistently, working with the natural grain rather than against it, and allowing for sufficient drying time are all important, so don’t be tempted to try fast-tracking the process.

Kravelv is a full time digital marketer and part time furniture and cabinet maker. During his free time he would like to create something out of recycled woods, this varies from toys, furnitures plant boxes etc. Follow him on Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook