Refinishing an Oak Threshold


Several weeks ago I wrote about restoring my oak landing. It looked so nice when it was finished, it made me realize how badly weathered the oak threshold beneath my front door had become – so today I tackled that job. I should have done it sooner, as the combination of sun and rain had permanently changed the color. But it wasn’t too late to save it, and if you’d like to see how it turned out, please read on.

The sun had baked off most of the old finish, then the rain turned the oak darker than what it originally had been.

To remove the old finish and — hopefully — some of the darkened wood, I reached for my most popular power tool:  the palm sander and some #100-grit sandpaper.

Since the palm sander cannot reach into tight corners, the sharp blade on a wide chisel, used carefully, helped scrape off any remaining old finish.

Quick Tip:  When staining a project inside your house, line an old pie pan or cookie sheet with a paper towel, then place your open can on it. Together they will catch and absorb any accidental spills, drips or runs down the can.

I selected Golden Pecan from the line of Minwax® Wood Finish stains to replace some of the missing color. After brushing it on, I let the wood soak in as much as it could for 5-15 minutes, then wiped off any unabsorbed stain.

Another Tip:  An inexpensive artist brush works great for applying the stain to the edge of the threshold without getting any on the flagstone next to it.

I let the stain dry for eight hours, then brushed on the first of three coats of Minwax® Helmsman Spar Urethane, which is designed to protect wood exposed to sunlight, moisture, and swings in the temperature.

I had refinished my mahogany front door last year, also using Helmsman Spar Urethane, so this was the ideal time to give it another layer of protection using the aerosol version of Helmsman. Both the brush-on and aerosol versions will provide my oak threshold and mahogany door with the protection they need.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!



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3 comments on “Refinishing an Oak Threshold

  1. A. Norton

    If exposed to the elements, Helmsman Spar Urethane will peal, and the oak threshold will turn black. One wood not exposed to elements, it’s satisfactory.

    1. Bruce Johnson Post author

      Thanks a lot! I have learned that as great as the Helmsman Spar Urethane is, that the sun is beating down on it every day so I’m prepared to re-coat every year or so to keep the wood protected.

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