How To Stain A Wooden Door

How To Stain A Wooden Door | Purcellpro Painting | Willow Grove PA Painter Services

Ah, stained wood.

A timeless way to enhance the beauty of your home.

Staining wood not only helps it look better, it actually helps protect it from the elements.

In particular, ultraviolet light from the sun can discolor and damage your wood – stain helps prevent that damage.

It also prevents other materials from soaking into the wood, which might cause damage both structural and aesthetic.

And perhaps most importantly, it makes your wood inhospitable for termites and other wood-boring pests.

But how do you make sure you’re doing it properly?

Read on to find out, or contact PurcellPro Painters, a professional residential and commercial painting company in Willow Grove, PA.

First, Gather Your Tools

It’s easy to get excited about a new project and jump hog wild into it.

Before you do, though, make sure you have all the tools you need.

In particular, you’ll need:

  • The stain itself (obviously)
  • A scraper tool
  • A stir stick
  • A disposable paint brush
  • Some sandpaper (80 and 180 grit)

Actually Staining The Door

Now that you have all the tools and supplies you need to stain your door, it’s time to get to work on actually doing the work.

1. Remove All The Hardware

First of all, make sure you remove any doorknobs, locks, door knockers, or anything else that isn’t wood on your door.

If you’re a skilled painter, you can get away with just painting around these, but stain is much more finicky.

It’s easier to get drips and streaks in your stain, and they tend to be more noticeable as well.

2. Sand The Door

Next, you’ll need to sand the door.

There are a couple of reasons for this.

First of all, smoothing out any catches or rough spots in the wood will help your finished product look much better.

As well, if your door was stained before and you’re redoing it, sanding off the top surface can help your new stain stick better.

I know nobody wants to hear this, since sanding is generally the least exciting part of any painting or staining project, but it really does make a difference.

3. Clean The Door

Now, clean the door.

Make sure it’s free of any sawdust or other impurities.

It doesn’t need to be laboratory perfect, but get it as clean as possible.

4. Take Off The Weather Stripping

Next, remove the weather stripping.

You’ll have to replace it when you’re done, but it will make for not only a cleaner look, it will also make sure the stain does its job of sealing your door and protecting it from the elements.

5. Stir – Don’t Shake – Your Stain

Now, get your stain ready.

But as much as you might enjoy James Bond films, you’ll have to do the opposite – stirred, not shaken, is best for stain.


There are a number of different compounds within stain, and pigment tends to be one of the heavier ones.

As a result, it tends to settle to the bottom of the can.

When you shake your stain, it will mix some of that pigment, but by no means all of it.

To properly get it mixed, you’ll need to agitate the pigment at the bottom, which will get your stain looking the way you want it to.

6. Stain Your Door

Now it’s time to actually stain your door.

You’ll want to apply it with long, even strokes of your brush, following the wood grain.

Apply it to all sides of your door, including the top and sides, and the bottom if you can (though most of the time you won’t be able to).

Be very wary of drips – these will ruin your finish.

Once that’s finished, give it 24 hours to dry fully, then give it another coat.

In most cases, two coats should be enough.

how to paint and stain your own home and what you need to know | Purcellpro Painting | Willow Grove PA Painter Services

Should You Remove Your Door Before Staining?

There are pros and cons to both approaches.

If you remove your door and stain it horizontally, it tends to finish more evenly and be a little more forgiving when it comes to errors.

However, if you stain your door vertically, you can do both sides at the same time.

Call PurcellPro Painters

Do you have a door you need stained, or a much bigger staining project?

No problem – call PurcellPro Painters today.

Got a painting project in mind? Give us Call

We’ll arrange for a free on site estimate for any interior or exterior painting needs you have.

Purcellpro Painting Inc
642 Cowpath Rd suite 293,
Lansdale, PA 19446


At Purcellpro Painting Inc we pride ourselves on top quality painters and painting solutions for residential and commercial customers in Montgomery and Bucks counties, Pennsylvania.