I recently worked on finishing 12 doors for a new client. They were made of Douglas Fir and the plan was to match them to some walnut countertops she had created.

I stained a sample door with the stain given to me but the client decided she wanted the doors to match her floors instead, which ended up being a good idea.

I used a piece of scrap Douglas Fir to create a sample piece with a couple of iterations of stain. It wasn’t quite right so I did some other samples on the same board. We were getting closer and the client wanted something that was in between two samples that we had mixed up.

Instead of using the original gel stain, we created a custom color using a stain we had on hand and added dye to make it darker, which was necessary to get the depth of color she wanted. It was perfect, plus it gave us a more consistent color.

I sanded down all 12 doors very methodically to have a good consistency. The doors were tough to work with because they splintered easily but we got them sanded smoothly and were ready for stain.

We stained them to have the consistent look and depth of color we were looking for. After the stain dried, we applied three coats of sander sealer, scuffed them to take to make them smoother, and then applied two coats of lacquer.

The finish turned out great and the doors looked like pieces of furniture with a rubbed finish.

This is what my client said after seeing them:

“They are amazing! A work of Art! Thank you”

“Dave! The doors are stunning”