Staining pine screen/storm door frame


To try to keep with the character of our 150yr old home, I am considering buying a real wood (pine) frame storm/screen door rather than using the IMHO cheapie-looking aluminum or vinyl doors that just bolt over the brick molding.
First, other than higher initial cost and the need for maintenance, are there any other negatives to wood frame?
Second, I would like to stain the door to show off the wood and be consistent with the stained wood main door.
Couple of questions: - What stain should I use? Is a regular Minwax stain (and sealer since pine) good enough for such exterior use?
- What (clear) finish is most appropriate for protecting the door from UV and other weather damage? (we live in the Northeast) Would you use a spar urethane? How many coats would you ud
Note the door manufacturer (The Combination Door Company) "recommends the use of Sikkens Cetol Door and Window finish." Are such finishes anything special or are they just pitching somebody elses product
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Yes, they can work. Gel stains seem to work better on pine if you are using a dark color.

I've had good luck with Minwax Helmsman on some outdoor furniture. You need at least three coats and you need a touchup every one to two years.

I used Cetol Marine on a lounge chair I made from Cypress. I'm not impressed and won't use it again. I don't like the way it went on, the way it covered, and the way it is holding up after only a couple of years. I"ve not used the door finish you speak of though; it may or may not be better.
I've used Penofin Oil on some Spanish cedar and mahogany furniture I've made and I like the way it looks, the way it is holding up, the ease of application, and the ease of putting on a coat every couple of years. Seems to have good UV protection also. I've never used it on pine though.
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blueman wrote:

Odds are the door maker knows more about finishing the product than anyone in this NG. They have recommended a well-respected product, so save yourself the hassle and just use it. To get the color you want, experiment on the inside lower stiles. Minwax is good stuff, but with pine, go easy on the stain, maybe even get some similar pine boards to play with at the lumber yard. The top finish will dictate the durability, so follow the Cetol directions to the letter. Install with three high quality hinges, 7" from the top, center, and 11" from the bottom. Good luck.
Joe
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Odds are, the door maker is getting paid by Cetol to tell you that.
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When we say that in computer helpdesk support, it means, "We tried this, and it works, and if you screw it up we can probably figure out how. You can use something else if you want, but if it goes bad on you, you're on your own."
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Pine is pine.
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Interesting... I would have thought so too. However, the "technician" I spoke to several times said that they (the manufacturer) don't know a lot about finishing the doors and that I would do better to ask the distributor. He really couldn't answer any questions about staining in general or about the Sikkens finish in particular that they recommend on their web site. This makes me wonder though whether they are simply getting paid to promote the Sikkens product and plaster the promotion on their web site. (I believe Edwin Pawloski had a similar hunch).

Thanks good suggestions!
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Their recommended coating is discontinued. Many of their others are marked "restricted" on the web site. That could mean new regulations that they haven't adapted to yet, or it could mean the products contain something nastier than other similar products.
I've used marine polyurethane coatings for quite a few outdoor projects and I've been pleased. In particular, I built a cold frame out of untreated pine 10 years ago. Obviously, polyurethane is not the recommended method for wood in contact with soil, but the wood has yet to rot.
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Sikkens products are very expensive and most must be reapplied every year or two without fail to keep up the appearance. Run with Minwax or Old Masters stain. If you're using pine, you'll want to either use a wood conditioner (Minwax makes one) prior to staining with a wiping or penetrating stain, or, as someone else suggested, use a gel stain. Take in a board from your house that's the color you want the screen door to be, along with a sample of the same wood as the new door to a paint store for color matching. Make sure they wipe the stain when checking the color. Any urethane or varnish rated for exterior finish should work fine. They'll have some at the paint store.
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