Here's the situation. I have an unfinished second floor in my home. We are finally getting around to finishing it, and a month or so ago we bought 4 Masonite pre-hung raised panel wooden doors from Home Depot to put on the 2 bedrooms, the bathroom, and the closet upstairs. My plan was to stain them and then poly them first before attempting to hang them.
I went away for a week in December for work, and when I got home, all the doors were up. My wife thought she'd surprise me and hired someone to put them in, since I had been walking around for a couple weeks saying I wasn't sure I'd be able to hang these doors properly myself, not having done that sort of thing before.
Anyways, now the doors are installed, but not stained or poly'd. So, I stained them a couple weeks ago. That went well. But this morning I started to poly one, and it took me 2 HOURS to do the frame and only one side of the door. It was the biggest mess you've ever seen.
I used a 3-inch foam brush (from Home Depot), as it says on the Minwax can you can use. I had poly dripping off the brush onto the floor, running down my hand and arms, bits of foam coming off getting stuck in the poly on the door .... then, just went I thought I'd gotten a good coat on a certain section, I'd catch it from another angle in the light and see a large area that didn't have any poly at all on it. The foam brush just didn't seem to be spreading the poly well and covering the door properly. Am I doing something wrong ? The Minwax instructions says a foam brush can be used but it's obviously not doing it well.
I'd like to hear from contractors, carpenters etc out there how they do this without having it become a fiasco and taking 4 weeks to do 4 doors. I stopped after the one side. How am I going to 2 sides on 4 doors, 3 times (coats) over !! It'll take me a year !
Should I spray it ? Should I use a bristle brush ? I thought the foam would work out better because I could just toss it when I was done and grab a new one for the next coat. Can't do that with a bristle brush - I'll have to clean it after each time, and then the next time, the coat won't be as smooth because the bristle's always stiffen up after cleaning in paint thinner.
I think I'm going to pull the hinge pins and take the doors down so I can poly them flat, which should get around the mess caused by the poly running on the doors, but that won't help with the pre-hung frames.
What I really need to know is the proper technique for applying poly and the proper tools to use.
Thanks for listening to my rant and hopefully someone out there has some advice for me.