Today marks the start of home stay week 3. It is frustrating to watch the world to get sicker each day, while doing nothing is actually my best way to help. I wonder how I’d feel about this time when it passes, like ten years from now. But for now, the uncertainty gets the upper hand sometimes.
To keep my mind occupied, and more importantly, to make myself feeling useful, I turned to DIY. Tangible, tedious, fulfilling, and therapeutic. I’ve organized the garage and built cedar planters for the patio. This week, I refinished our master bathroom door.
The second-hand bath door
Our master room has two doorways, and this is the door we mounted between the media room and the bath.
I do not think Charlie digs the concept of glass door at all.
From distance the door looked pretty nice. But when you looked it closely, its color read rather yellow and it had screw holes from hanging blinds.
We’d like to re-stain it to espresso to match other doors in the basement.
First step: Sand
The first step of finishing any wood product is to sand off the old finish down to bare wood. We moved it into the garage and I started by covering the glass with plastic drape.
I usually use random orbital sander on large surfaces, but for the rather narrow door frames I chose my small 3M hand sander. I only had 80, 120 and 220 grit sandpapers on hand so I started with 80 grit.
The wood is fairly soft. A few passes with 80 grit sandpaper took the finish right off.
The dimension of the door was written on the side of the door:
Came right off with the 80 grit sandpaper.
After 80 grit:
It took just 5 mins on each side.
To sand the inside trim I took the 80 grits sandpaper off the sander and held it with my hands:
Trim before sanding:
After 80 grits:
After vacuuming the sand dust away, I proceeded with 120 grit sandpaper.
And finished everything off with 220 grits sandpaper:
Step 2: Clean and patch (then sand again)
By this point the door frame was very smooth. I cleaned off the sand dust with a damp microfiber cloth:
Then patched the staple and screw holes with wood putty:
After a light sanding where the putty had been applied, the door was ready for the stain!
Step 3: Stain!
For the stain I picked Varathane in espresso color. I recently read about shellac as a wood finish and decided to give it a try.
Rubbing on the first coat of stain. I immediately liked the color of the stain and how easy it was applied.
You can see how much the espresso color of stain darkened the wood. It looked warm, but did not read red or yellow. I am very happy with this color.
After letting the first coat of stain dry for a couple hours, I applied the second coat. I do not think the second coat darkened the wood much more, but rather filled in the raw spots and enriched the color. It added more weight to the appearance.
This was how the color looked like in bright sun light after the second coat had dried. With cooler and dimmer lighting, it read a lot darker. I think it would match the other two doors really well.
Final step: Seal and protect
After the stain dried I applied the shellac. It is pretty thick – kinda a maple syrup consistency, and dries very fast. I had to work very fast to make sure each layer was thin.
Can you tell that it added a lot more shine to the wood? It was very pretty in person with just the first coat!
I applied three thin layers in total, with one hour of drying time in between.
After the last layer had applied I let the door sit. It takes time for the solvent (ethanol in this case) to evaporate completely and the shellac to harden. We have not mounted it yet. But I like the finish! Do you?