Staining a Interior Wood Door Print
Overall Skill Level: Beginner
Staining an Interior Door
This guide is designed to provide you with step by step instructions on staining a wood door.
  • Sandpaper
  • Stain Brush
  • Cleaning Rags
  • Finish Brush
  • Drop Cloth
  • Oil Based Stain
  • Polyurethane
Staining a Interior Wood Door
  1. Door terminology
    The image to right will help you familiarize yourself with the different door sections. These sections will be referred to through out the project.
  2. Place door on saw horses
    Begin by placing the door slab onto two padded saw horses. If the was prehung, remove the frame and all hinge materials before begining the stain process.
  3. Sand door
    Lightly sand all surfaces of your door unit using a fine grit sandpaper. For Finishing #220 is recommended. NOTE: While sanding, try to sand with the grain of the door. Cross sand may show up as lines in the staining process of the door.
  4. Check for glue
    Also, look for an dried glue or putty especially in the joint areas, if it is not removed by sanding it will affect the finished result.
  5. Apply stain
    Begin applying the stain to all surface areas of the door using a high quality stain brush. For best results we recommend an oil based stain. Allow the stain to dry according to the manufacturers drying recommendations. NOTE: If you are staining a "Soft" wood, apply a pre-stain wood conditioner to the surface of the door. This will help ensure even stain penetration and reduce streaking and blotching on soft or porous woods such as pine, fir, maple and alder.
  6. Remove excess
    Remove any excess stain from the door's surface using a clean rag.
  7. Apply polyurethane
    Once the stain is dry, apply at least one protective polyurethane coat to the door. Make sure to brush in the direction of the woodgrain to ensure that there will not be any cross grain strokes when you are finished. Follow the manufacturers drying directions for the polyurethane coat. Make sure the door is completely dry before hanging.
Products, materials, techniques, tools, building codes and local regulations are subject to change; therefore, Midwest Manufacturing assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any project. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed professional before beginning any project.