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Staining a composite front door can instantly create character and wow your guests. If you want to stain a composite door you need to ensure that is has a woodgrain finish to help hold the stain in place.

Prepping Your Door

First, begin by using a hand broom to remove any dirt from your door unit. Then thoroughly wash all surfaces with liquid sugar soap. Rinse with clean water and allow to dry. Alternatively, use Resene Paint Prep and Housewash or Dulux House Wash in accordance with the instructions on the packaging. Ensure all surfaces are dust free.

Staining Your Door

Using a brush or rag, apply two coats of Cabot’s Stain & Varnish or Colourwood Pigmented stain or Johnstone’s Professional Exterior Timber Oil to all surfaces of the door.

The sequence to stain the door is very important to the finished product. Begin with the raised panels then complete the rails followed by the stiles.
Leave for recommended time and wipe off excess. Allow to dry then repeat.

Tips for Applying and Removing Stain

  • Stir stain well.
  • Always apply following with the grain.
  • Apply ample amount of stain to cover, when removing excess leave a little opaqueness for natural effects.
  • If using a brush and it becomes overly saturated, tap your brush tip on a clean, dry cloth until stain marks have subsided.

Applying Finish to Your Door

To give your door a lasting and beautiful finish once your stain has dried completely you will apply three coats of Cabot’s Exterior Clear or Wattyl Estapol Exterior Clear (or suitable alternative) sanding lightly between coats. Pay special attention to the corners of the doors and remove drips as they form. Apply in the same order as the stain; raised panels then rails finishing with the stiles.

The end result is a beautifully stained door that if you didn’t know better you would be sure that is made out of wood.

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