Refreshing Our Front Door

By Bruce Johnson

BeforeA few years ago, I took my mahogany front door down and did a complete refinishing: stripping, sanding, staining and finishing it with Minwax® Helmsman® Spar Urethane. It faces west, however, without much shade, so I knew that it would eventually need a fresh coat of protection.

Detail Worn A close inspection revealed what I had expected: the finish had gradually weakened under the harsh rays of the sun and was in need of reinforcement.

SandingAfter cleaning off all the dust and dirt that had accumulated on it, I lightly sanded the old finish with #220-grit sandpaper to give the new finish a scuffed surface to grip.

HelmsmanI then wiped off the sanding dust and brushed on a fresh coat of Minwax® Helmsman® Spar Urethane. Given the heaviness of the door, I opted to leave the door on its hinges, so I had to be careful not to brush it on so thick that it would sag or run.

Door Hero

The entire project took less than two hours from start to finish and will provide our front door with the protection it needs against the relentless sun and rain.

Until next time,

Measure twice, saw once.

Bruce

Be sure to check out Minwax’s new “Made With Love. Finished With Minwax.” campaign currently going on. The theme is ‘Find. Finish. Love.,’ celebrating the thrill of finding real wood pieces – sometimes in the least expected places – and the joy of making them into something we love.

About Bruce Johnson

Author-craftsman Bruce Johnson has introduced millions of do-it-yourselfers, craftspeople and antique collectors to the world of wood finishing and antique restoration. As the official spokesperson for Minwax®, the leading manufacturer of wood finishing and wood care products, Bruce motivates people to take the initiative to beautify their surroundings. Through his many books, magazine articles and columns, as well as frequent appearances on national television talk shows, Johnson is recognized as an authority in the do-it-yourself community. Appearing on PBS, HGTV, The Discovery Channel, and currently hosting “DIY Woodworking” and “Build A Log Cabin”, on the DIY cable network, Johnson has brought the illustrious craft of wood finishing to the forefront of the American home.

An expert in wood refinishing, antique restoration, and home improvement, Bruce has published more than a dozen books on these topics, including Fifty Simple Ways To Save Your House, The Wood Finisher, The Weekend Refinisher, and The Official Identification and Price Guide to the Arts and Crafts Movement. For more than 20-years, he penned an antique refinishing advice column, “Knock on Wood,” which ran in dozens of antique/collectibles publications. Currently, he writes a column on Arts & Crafts for Style 1900 magazine.

A rare combination of craftsman and journalist, Johnson began his career as a high school English teacher, but left teaching to set up his “Knock on Wood Antique Repair & Restoration” shop. He spent the next 10 years as a full-time professional refinisher, but eventually returned to writing. Yet, Johnson says, he won’t ever be without a workbench and a couple of refinishing projects down in the basement.

Johnson is also the founder and director of the Arts and Crafts Conference and Antique Show held every February in Asheville, North Carolina, at the Grove Park Inn. The conference, which includes the largest Arts and Crafts antiques show, attracts more than 1500 Arts and Crafts collectors each year to its many seminars, tours, demonstrations and exhibits. Johnson is proud to have played a role in reviving interest in designers like Gustav Stickley, who founded the Arts and Crafts movement. His latest book, “Grove Park Inn Arts & Crafts Furniture,” was awarded the 2009 Thomas Wolfe Literary Award. These furnishings are treasured by such collectors as Steven Spielberg and Bruce Willis, among many others.

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