How To Stain Wood Doors: A Step-By-Step Guide

How to Stain Wood Doors 13 Steps (with Pictures) wikiHow
How to Stain Wood Doors 13 Steps (with Pictures) wikiHow from


Staining wood doors can be a great way to enhance their natural beauty and protect them from daily wear and tear. Whether you want to give your old doors a fresh look or add a touch of elegance to new ones, staining is a simple yet effective technique. In this article, we will guide you through the process of staining wood doors, providing you with useful tips and tricks along the way.

Gather Your Materials

Before you begin staining, make sure you have all the necessary materials. You will need:

  • Wood stain of your choice
  • Sandpaper (various grits)
  • Painter’s tape
  • Drop cloths or plastic sheets
  • Stir sticks and a paint tray
  • Quality brushes or foam applicators
  • Clean rags or lint-free cloths
  • Protective gloves and safety goggles

Prepare the Door

Start by removing the door from its hinges and placing it on a flat surface covered with drop cloths or plastic sheets. Use painter’s tape to cover any areas you don’t want to stain, such as hardware or glass panels. Next, sand the door’s surface with varying grits of sandpaper to remove any existing finish or imperfections. Wipe away the dust with a clean cloth.

Choose the Right Stain

When selecting a wood stain, consider factors such as the type of wood, desired color, and level of protection. Oil-based stains provide rich colors and deep penetration, while water-based stains offer quick drying times and easy clean-up. It’s also important to choose a stain that is compatible with the door’s intended use and exposure to sunlight or moisture.

Apply the Stain

Before applying the stain, thoroughly stir it to ensure an even distribution of color pigments. Pour a small amount into a paint tray. Using a brush or foam applicator, apply the stain in the direction of the wood grain, starting from the top and working your way down. Be sure to cover the entire surface evenly, avoiding drips or heavy buildup. Allow the stain to penetrate the wood for the recommended time specified by the manufacturer.

Remove Excess Stain

After the recommended time, use a clean cloth or rag to remove any excess stain from the surface. Wipe in the direction of the wood grain to prevent streaks or smudges. Take care not to remove too much stain, as it may result in an uneven finish. Allow the stained door to dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

Protect the Stained Door

Once the stain is dry, it’s crucial to protect the wood and enhance its longevity. Apply a clear protective finish, such as polyurethane, using a brush or foam applicator. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the number of coats and drying times. This protective layer will shield the stain from scratches, moisture, and UV rays, ensuring your wood door looks beautiful for years to come.

Reattach the Door

After the protective finish has dried, carefully reattach the door to its hinges. Double-check that everything is properly aligned and functioning before using the door. Enjoy the renewed beauty and durability of your stained wood door!

Maintenance Tips

To maintain the beauty of your stained wood door, avoid using abrasive cleaners or harsh chemicals that can damage the finish. Instead, regularly dust the surface and clean it with a mild soap and water solution. Additionally, periodically apply a fresh coat of protective finish to ensure continued protection against wear and tear.


Staining wood doors can be a rewarding DIY project that adds charm and elegance to your home. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can achieve professional-looking results. Remember to gather all the necessary materials, properly prepare the door, choose the right stain, apply it evenly, and protect the finished surface. With proper maintenance, your stained wood doors will remain a beautiful and durable feature of your home for years to come.