When we moved into this home, on the back of our house, was a large 9′ arched solid wood door that captured my heart. If you’ve been keeping up, you know that this part of our home was an addition that wasn’t done exactly right so it’s now completely gone and it will be a large dining/entertaining space. For a long time, we worked around keeping the door here because we loved it so much but nothing seemed to fit right because it was so tall! Once we decided–why not make it our front door!!–everything fell into place. The dining room still gets to keep the smaller arched doors and a line of 5 new doors and we get to have this beauty on the front of our home. We can’t wait!
I’m not sure how long it has been in place, but it was definitely weathered. So we plan to sand it down and refinish it with Minwax stain and a Minwax® Helmsman® Spar Urethane topcoat. The Helmsman Urethane is specially formulated as a protective clear finish for exterior or interior wood exposed to sunlight, water, or temperature changes. It contains UV blockers to reduce the sun’s graying and fading effects and actually forms a protective barrier against rain and moisture. If you have any outdoor wood finishes that you want to protect for years to come, a Helmsman topcoat is what you’ll want to add. It has special oils that allow the finish to expand and contract with the wood as seasons and temperatures change. Also think of things inside that could use it–like doors, windows, trim, bathroom cabinets–any wood that is exposed to moisture and temperature changes could benefit really.
We’ll eventually sand down the whole door, but to test samples, we started with the center strip. It sanded down in seconds to a beautiful light oak. (That we might just put a coat of Helmsman on and call it good, to be honest. HEART. EYES.!)
With a piece of painters tape along the top to track what stain we were testing, we got to work trying out a few of our Minwax favorites.
Once they were dry, we put a coat of Minwax® Helmsman® Spar Urethane in satin over just the bottom half so you could see the difference. This also comes in a gloss and a spray if that’s more suitable for your project. I like a lower sheen to really appreciate the wood.
You can see the topcoat made the stain a little more rich, but not much. From left to right, you’re seeing all stains by Minwax:
It was surprising to see how much lighter True Black was than the Dark Walnut or Jacobean (which came out the darkest), but we also just did one coat of each. The coffee table we recently stained True Black we did two coats and it was much darker. It could also be affected by the type of wood. This is solid oak, which will accept stain differently than, say, a pine! It’s always important to test the stain on the type of wood you’re using and when you find one you like–you can sand off the others. :)
I do wish that we kept one area clear of stain and just tried a topcoat, so we’ll probably attempt that before making a final decision because I think it could be really pretty if the rest of our home is dark. I also love the Classic Gray and Jacobean.
And since I don’t have any finished door photos for you yet, I’ll leave you with a few inspirations that get me excited for a wood door.
Like this one, in a Walnut tone, from Becki Owens
Here’s another from Becki Owens in a Classic Gray stain (so much depth!):
I love these lighter wood doors from @plankandpillow
And this mid-tone one from Magnolia is perfection.
This light wood front entry from Millhaven Homes is pushing me to keep ours blonde, too!
But then I see this dark set from @crateandcottage and fall for Jacobean again.
Okay, okay, THOMSON & COOKE ARCHITECTS, you win!!!!!!!