Re: Total newbie - Front door treatment for new home (Rick) wrote:

The "Dark Brown Mahogany stain" is a good aesthetic choice...regardless of the other colors ["Rule of three"] on the front of your house. Varnished, or clear finished, woodwork is almost a "free" fourth color. Ask someone with a developed color sense.
For an exterior application I would never use a product marked for "interior" use regardless of topcoats...and am unfamiliar with any new Minwax stain marketed for exterior use.
Sikkins makes "Cetol 1," an alkyd oil pigmented basecoat, in a Mahogany that will mute the red. ry=exterior
In sunlight mahogany tends brownish naturally. An unstained mahogany door with the amber cast of varnish would take on the "orangishness" of a vintage Chris Craft runabout's hull, I suspect.
Sikkens' is a two-part system. Their topcoat, Cetol TGL, is available in either gloss (which is what I will always, perhaps "superstitiously," recommend first for water-shedding "slickness"), and satin.
The alternative method, and possibly more appropriate for "solar oven" situations, is a compatible exterior stain covered with a few to several coats of Pratt & Lambert Vitralite UVA Spar Varnish  also marketed as "Sunbounce."
My understanding is that McCloskey's top-end UVA spar varnish is also excellent.
Do it right the first time and you will have a maintenance-free wood door (given proper joinery). Its beauty, as well as its strength, will be a blessing to you and your family for the life of the house: provided it is installed thoroughly and correctly (the exception).
Going to all this trouble, do yourself a favor and put a nice Baldwin mortice lock on it as well...using all the parts...particularly the armored steel ring and lag screws behind the strike plate.
Doors - Locks - Weatherstripping
POB 250121 Atlanta GA 30325
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