Front door woodstain or coloured varnish

4 May 2012
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United Kingdom
Hi All,

I want to repaint my front door which is tatty and currently painted with some kind of wood stain or colored varnish, not sure which but I suspect is colored varnish, see pics below.

Does anyone have an idea whether this is colored varnish or wood stain?

The next issue is establishing what color it is and what product I should use for repainting?

My guess is that the color is dark mahogany but all the products in this color I've seen in Screwfix/Toolstation are wood stains, not varnishes.

Ideally, I want something which is the same color and that I can simply paint on after sanding down the door.

All info is welcome.

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It's a stain.

Varnish is prone to cracking and blistering outdoors and is more trouble to rub down before recoating.

You can see on some of the mouldings the coating is very rough (possibly painted over dirt) and needs rubbing smooth by hand.

You can use an electric orbital sander, if you have one, on the flat panels, but it will cut through edges and corners.
Because they have used a tinted stain, your finish colour will vary with the thickness of coat. Scratches and bare sanded patches will show through and look lighter. To avoid this, buy a can of spirit-based wood dye (not stain) in red mahogany colour to touch up the bare spots before recoating.

Wilko are good value, their own brand is probably made by one of the big makers. Rustins and Blackfriars also fine.

Avoid the water-based "refined" dye which is rubbish.

If you ever want to stain new bare woodwork, use a dye to colour it, then an untinted protective clear stain (or varnish indoors). The natural grain will show better and you will not have the problem of stain thickness deepening the colour.
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Yes but what other word for a flexible, breathing, outdoor wood coating?

Some of the "pine" ones are almost clear and do not show on a dark hardwood.
It may be wood satin. I think that the colour is Bordeaux 738.
Thanks for the info, I ended up using Ronseal Quick Drying Wood Stain in Deep Mahogany color, which seems to match the previous stain exactly.
It looks like a coloured varnish over a terracotta base coat.

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