|Preparation and Finishing:
Wood panel doors should be finished after they have been fitted and hung. Remove door from hinges to a dry area. Avoid finishing immediately after a rain or damp weather, or during periods of higher than average humidity. The door itself must be dry. Sand the entire surface with extra fine (220 Grit) sandpaper and/or steel wool to remove marks, fingerprints, stamps, etc. Grease and oily stains can be removed with mineral spirits. Do not use water or caustic or abrasive cleaners. Clean the door thoroughly with a cloth to remove dust.
To obtain a quality stain or clear finish, the first step is to use an oil base sealer manufactured for exterior use. (Do not use lacquer-base or latex-base sealers.) Sand lightly after sealer has dried. (If door is to be weather-stripped, apply two coats of sealer to edges before weather-stripping is applied.)
If a stain effect is desired, apply one or two coats of semi-transparent stain; letting it stand and wiping as needed to achieve the desired color. (Do not apply stain before sealing as the wood will not accept the stain evenly.)
The final step is to apply at least two topcoats of an exterior oil-base clear finish. Marine-quality varnishes and polyurethane finishes do a superior job as topcoats.
To obtain a quality painted finish, first use a good quality oil-base primer manufactured for exterior use. Sand lightly when dry. The second and third coats are "color" coats and may be either oil-base or latex-base exterior paints.
Whatever finish desired, use sealers, primers, stains and finish coatings from the same manufacturer, if possible, to insure compatibility. Follow the manufacturer's instructions. Consult your paint dealer.
Use sealer, primer, clear finishes and paint liberally to fill in and bridge all voids in the joints between wood sections and between the wood and any glass or insets in the door.
Sand lightly between coats of sealer, stain, and clear finishes. Never use lacquer-base stains or finishes on wood panel doors. Nor should lacquer-thinner be used to clean any acrylic doors.