FAQ’s

Often times people are looking for ways to prep, paint, stain, and/or clear coat a door or even multiple doors.  What is an efficient way to do this and how can anyone achieve a professional finish on their doors?  Below are some frequently asked questions along with step by step tutorials to answer them.  We hope you find this helpful when approaching your next door finishing project.

How do I prep a door for painting?

–  I recommend using latex gloves during this process.

1).  Remove your door from the door jam and remove the hinges.  Do this so you can work on the door horizontally and not have to work around the hinges.  If you have multiple doors to prep, make sure you number your doors and your jams with matching numbers.  I recommend that you write the number in one of the hinge areas and place a piece of masking tape over it to avoid painting over the numbers.

2).  Set your door on a pair of saw horses and then attach Super Stackers to each end of the door (the top and bottom of the door).  You can then prep both sides of the door without getting fingerprints on a completed side.  If you are doing multiple doors, you can use the Super Stackers to stack them on top of one another (without them touching) taking up less space while you prep the remaining doors.

3).  If your door is already pre-primed or pre-painted the main prep work is to sand the entire door lightly, eliminating any existing blemishes ie: scratches, fingerprints, grease, etc.  I recommend using a foam sanding block, medium or light grit.  Foam sanding blocks are somewhat flexible and allow you to sand any radius, concave, or convex areas that your door may have.  If it is a paneled door, then you may have these areas to deal with.

4).  If your door has a significant blemish ie: a gouge, a run in the existing primer or paint, etc. than your prep work may be a little more extensive.

– If you have gouges you will have to fill them with the appropriate filler (depending on the door material).  Ask someone at your local paint and/or hardware store for the right filler.  Once you have filled your gouges and given them the proper amount of time to dry you can then sand the filler down to get a smooth/even surface with the rest of your door.  You may have to use a more aggressive grit of sand paper to sand down the filler, but make sure not to scratch the areas around it.  Use a medium to fine grit sanding block to get your desired smoothness.

– If you have runs in your paint or primer than again you may have to use a more aggressive grit of sand paper to get them out.  Use a medium to fine grit sanding block to get your desired smoothness.

5).  If your door is not primed or painted you will want to complete steps 1 – 4 and then prime the door.  Follow the instructions under How to paint a door? for priming your prepped door.

How do I paint a door?

1).  Set your prepped door with Super Stackers attached on saw horses.

2).  If you have a paint sprayer, this is the only way to go.  Spraying doors makes for a professional paint finish every time.  With Super Stackers attached you can spray both sides and both edges of the door without any wait time.  If you are doing multiple doors you can use the Super Stackers to stack them on top of one another (without them touching) taking up less space while you paint the remaining doors.

3).  If you do not have a paint sprayer, then I suggest that you use a fine nap Mini-Roller cover and Mini-Roller frame.  If you have a door with panels start by rolling the panels, getting in all the corners and painting the entirety of all the panels.  Make sure to smooth out the paint from the rollers edge by lightly rolling over each edge..  Then roll the edges of the door.  Make sure to smooth out the paint from the rollers edge by lightly rolling over each edge. .  Finally roll the faces of the door from top to bottom and from one side to the other, overlapping each time.  Make sure to smooth out the paint from the rollers edge by lightly rolling over each edge.

– Remember that you can paint both sides and edges of your door by using Super Stackers.  You can also stack multiple doors on top of one another to dry and take up less space by using Super Stackers.

4).  Repeat steps 1-3 for a second coat after the first coat of paint has cured on your door.  Check specs on paint can label to determine cure time between coats.

How do I prep a door for staining.

–  I recommend using latex gloves during this process.

1).  Remove your door from the door jam and remove the hinges.  Do this so you can work on the door horizontally and not have to work around the hinges.  If you have multiple doors to prep, make sure you number your doors and your jams with matching numbers.  I recommend that you write the number in one of the hinge areas and place a piece of masking tape over it to avoid staining over the numbers.

2).  Set your door on a pair of saw horses and then attach Super Stackers to each end of the door (the top and bottom of the door).  You can then prep both sides of the door without getting fingerprints on a completed side.  If you are doing multiple doors you can use the Super Stackers to stack them on top of one another (without them touching) taking up less space while you prep the remaining doors.

3).  *Note: in some extreme cases when a  door/doors have been handled a lot before they have been sealed with conditioner, stain, and/or a clear coat you may want to consider this step.  If the door/doors have not been handled a lot you can skip this step and move straight to 4.  In extreme cases you can detect stains that have penetrated deep in the wood by lightly misting the door with water, using a spray bottle.  Make sure to test the spray bottle on something other than the door before to be sure that it is a light mist.  This will expose any deep stains that might not have been detected before.  If no stains are detected move to step 4.  If stains are detected you will want to sand them out using an orbital sander.  I recommend using 220 grit sanding discs.  Any coarser than that and you run the risk of leaving orbital sanding marks in the door.

–  I include all the information in step 3 because I have had the unfortunate experience of finishing a door package that had hidden stains in them and we didn’t see them until after applying the stain.  It ended up costing us a lot of time and money to correct and I don’t want anyone else to have that experience.

4).  With new wood doors it is crucial to sand the entire door evenly, eliminating any existing blemishes ie: scratches, fingerprints, grease, etc.  This ensures that your stain will take consistently.  I recommend using a foam sanding block, medium or light grit.  Foam sanding blocks are somewhat flexible and allow you to sand any radius, concave, or convex areas that your door may have.  If it is a paneled door than you may have these areas to deal with.

5).  If you are refinishing doors that have an existing finish on them, then an orbital sander is called for once again.  You may find yourself using a courser grit of sanding discs for getting through the existing finish, but once you get to wood, be sure to use a finer grit.  Again, you don’t want to end up with orbital sanding marks in the door/doors.  Make sure to sand as evenly as possible for your stain to take consistently.

How do I stain a door?

–  I recommend using latex gloves during this process.

– Depending on the type of wood the door/doors are made of you may want to apply wood conditioner before staining the door/doors.  Softer woods will look very blotchy(not stain evenly) if you do not condition them first.  Always sample stains on a piece of wood that is the same as your doors before finishing the doors themselves.  If wood conditioner is necessary, follow the steps below for applying it.

1).  Set your prepped door with Super Stackers attached on saw horses.

2).  This may sound a little funny to most, but after doing hundreds of doors in my day, trust me!  Take a foam sponge ( one that you would use to wash a car or grout tile) cut it in half and dip it in your stain.  Use the stain soaked sponge to apply your stain, getting the stain in every crack and crevice.  It doesn’t matter which direction you go in, just get it on there.  You will be amazed at how fast this process can be!

3). Back wipe the excess stain with painters rags.  You can buy these at your local hardware or paint store.  Make sure that you have an even and consistent finish once you have back wiped the stain.

– Remember that you can stain both sides and edges of your door by using Super Stackers.  You can also stack multiple doors on top of one another to dry and take up less space by using Super Stackers.

How do I clear coat a door?