Yesterday as a test, I wiped on a small section of Helmsman Spar
urethane on my front entry door to see how it looks. This door has
been recently stripped down to bare wood and I believe its mahogony.
When it dried, it darkened the color of the wood pretty significantly.
Is this normal? I thought urethane was suppose to be clear for the
Wipe bare wood with mineral spirits. The wood will darken to approximate
the look you'll have after applying a non-staining finish like
polyurethane. The mineral spirits will evaporate off in a hour or so.
I've yet to find a finish that's truly colorless.
But he need exterior products, the UV protectors usualy give marine
products an amber color.
You are absolutely correct. I should have been paying attention to the
subject more closely! Sea fin is a good product for doors
Wood almost always darkens from a clear finish; maple the least. A good
way to test the effect
of clear finish is to wipe on solvent like mineral spirits - has
essentially same effect on color
but dries quickly. If I recall, your images of the partially stripped
door had a couple of sections
that had very light grain. This is common for doors that will be
painted, but might be less
desirable when you switch to clear finish. If the door will be in
strong sun or if the color isn't
uniform, I would paint it. What I saw that was stripped looked
(mostly) like pretty grain.
On Thu, 15 May 2008 06:36:56 -0700 (PDT), Mikepier
Usually a finish will darken the wood. To get an idea, wipe a scrap
piece with mineral spirits and you will see the wood darkens. You
could use water, but water will swell the wood and raise the grain.
If it faces the west sun I'd think long and hard about ANY urethane product.
I have a solid oak door that I had used the "Super Duper 7-Way Protectant,
UV Resistant, Moisture Resistant, etc. etc. etc." After a few years of
relentless sun exposure, the finish was peeling, curling, and just downright
giving up the fight to protect the wood. I spent an entire day with a
Dremel tool sanding all the nooks and crannies to get the last vestiges of
the old urethane finish off.
A good friend that spends a lot of time on wood covered boats told me about
Deks Olje - an oil finish that dries hard and never needs to be removed -
just apply another coat or two every few years. I applied it to the bare
wood 10 years ago and with a couple of reapplications along the way, the
door looks as good as new. There is a satin finish and a gloss finish
available. Easiest finish material I've ever used. Since it is oil, there
are no brush strokes or runs to worry about. The wood drinks it up like
water, creating a much better bond and barrier. After it dries (a day or
two) it is easily washable with water.
Urethane has its place, but heavy exposure to the sun and elements is not
its strong suit.
Just my .02 worth.....
I agree with the oil paint idea. But, I took a tip from the guy at the
hardware store, who's as obsessive about things as I am. I cut a piece of
3/4" ply the size of the door. Removed the door and screwed the plywood to
the jamb in its place. Put the door on sawhorses so I could paint it laying
flat, doing all the work at eye level. Gave it a full week for the paint to
cure, since the time estimates on paint cans are always silly. The finish
came out looking like a piano and lasted almost 10 years without any visible
wear & tear. I'm sure it helped that it was great paint: Devoe high gloss
On Thu, 15 May 2008 12:22:10 -0700 (PDT), Mikepier
Mine faces south-west with no overhang. Sometimes in the summer the
door gets too hot to the touch. It is a steel door and painted white.
It oxidizes badly. I use a light abrasive auto-body grit on it once a
year, wax, and buff with an electric auto-buffer. It is best to
remove the door and lay it on two saw horses to refinish it.
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