Category Archives: Doors

Refreshing Our Front Door

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.


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.

Upcycling A Pair of Stained Glass Doors

When my good friend Jim called from a local antiques shop, he really sounded excited. He had found these two arts and crafts stained glass cabinet doors and knew they would look great in our home. After a quick measurement, Leigh Ann and I realized they would fit perfectly in our two narrow bedroom windows.

The cabinet doors were covered with several layers of old white paint, so rather than risk sanding or stripping off any hidden lead paint, I decided to attach thin oak strips to create a new framework around the stained glass.

After nailing the strips of oak to the old frame, I filled the countersunk holes with Minwax® Stainable Wood Filler.

Once it had dried, I gave the new oak and the Stainable Wood Filler a quick sanding with #180-grit sandpaper, then vacuumed off the dust.

Since this was a small project, I reached for a tube of “Oak” Minwax® Express Color™ to stain and finish my new frame in one easy step.

Once the restoration was complete, all that I needed to hang them were four hooks and two lengths of chain. In just a few hours, I transformed two painted cabinet doors into two oak stained glass windows that provide both privacy and artistic color to our bedroom.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by.


Those Nasty Door Dings

The doors in our home really do take a daily beating:  moving furniture in and out, kicking them open with our foot as we balance four grocery bags, and grinding the edges with dog leashes. Before long we have an assortment of nicks in what had once been a beautiful finished door.

That’s the time when I reach for a Minwax® Wood Finish™ Stain Marker. Available in eight different colors, each one contains actual Minwax® Wood Finish™ Stain dispensed through a felt tip. Just apply a little to the nick, then rub off any excess stain with a paper towel . . .  .

And the nick or scratch will nearly disappear!

Until next time,

Measure twice, saw once!

Thanks –


Exploring Gel Stain Possibilities

I get as many questions about Minwax’s® Gel Stain as I do any other single product. Like Minwax® Wood Finish Stain, it is oil-based, so Gel Stain gives you a longer working time than do water-based stains before it starts to dry. But Gel Stain is formulated as a heavy-bodied stain, so it does not run down the side of a vertical project as quickly.

While Gel Stain was first designed to adhere to fiberglass doors, it can also be used on wooden doors . . .

As my own front door will attest.

It is also ideal for staining unfinished furniture with large vertical surfaces. Simply apply it with a brush or cloth, wait three minutes before wiping off the excess stain (going in the direction of the grain), then let it dry 8-10 hours before applying one of the Minwax® clear protective finishes.

Gel Stain works well on unfinished paneling . . .

and architectural trim, such as wainscoting, picture rail, baseboard, and crown molding.

Since it is heavy-bodied, Gel Stain also is perfect for sponging on a decorative stain that you don’t want seeping under your masking tape.

And if you are adventuresome, you can use Gel Stain and a graining tool for creating a “false grain” on what otherwise would be bland wood.

So, next time you are planning a staining project, give Minwax® Gel Stain a try!

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!