Sourced from STAINING INSTRUCTIONS FOR MASONITE® FIBERGLASS ENTRY SYSTEMS Brochure
Please read and understand the entire staining procedure
before attempting to finish the door. Be sure to follow the
(stain and top-coat) manufacturers detailed application
instructions on the product label.
A. How to start
Doors can be stained either hanging in the opening or
removed from the frame (recommended). Should you
remove the door, take care to protect it from damage.
Sidelites will need to be finished vertically. To remove the
door from the frame, use a center punch and hammer.
Strike the hinge pin from the bottom until it pops up
(for outswing units - hinge leaf must be removed from the
door). Drive the hinge pin as far as possible with the
punch. Using a pair of pliers, grasp the hinge pin and,
while twisting, pull the pin out. Remove all door hardware.
B. Preparing the door surface
IMPORTANT: Dust, debris and other surface contaminants
can accumulate on the surface of the door. Therefore, to
achieve best results and maximum coating adhesion,
wipe/clean all surfaces of the door panel(s) and sidelite(s)
thoroughly with acetone or mineral spirits.
Mask (tape) off all surfaces that will not be stained.
C. Staining the Door
Use a high quality, heavily pigmented, oil-based stain
(recommended). Gel stains can also be used. Before starting,
and occasionally throughout the project, stir the stain until
the texture is creamy. We recommend that before starting,
you try staining a small inconspicuous area of the door to
achieve the desired color.
One coat of stain is required with the recommended
(per manufacturer’s instructions) dry time needed between
sides. The stain should be applied in the
following order working on one small
section of the door at a time.
Finishing Order (See Figure 1):
1. Panels and sticking (moulding profiles)
2. Vertical center areas (mullions)
3. Horizontal areas (rails)
4. Outside vertical areas (stiles)
5. Edge of door or stiles
Staining (Figure 2):
1. Put on gloves and prepare your materials.
2. Stir stain thoroughly using smooth strokes, avoid
creating bubbles and do not shake the stain container.
3. Working in the specified
order and individual section,
dip the foam brush into the
stain then use the rim of the
container to release any excess.
Use the foam brush to apply the
stain onto the section. Using a
cloth, rub the stain into the
embossed wood-grain ensuring complete and even
coverage. Stop between sections to tidy up the perimeter
with a rag and mineral spirits. Clean edges will help
define the individual components of the door.
If preferred, the subtle color
variation found in wood can be
replicated by selective removal
of the stain. Using a rag or
cheese cloth, gently rub the
surface removing very small
amounts of stain. Apply varying
levels of pressure and work in
the direction of the grain. Excessive pressure will remove
too much stain.
4. Once the door has been completely stained,
check for any drips.
While the stain is still wet,
lightly brush the entire surface
of the door with a china bristle
brush. Use long strokes and
work in the direction of the
grain to even out color and
5. Let the first stained surface dry, per the stain
manufacturer’s recommended drying time, before
proceeding to the second side.
6. If you prefer a darker appearance, repeat staining
steps one through five only after first coat is completely
dry. Do not sand between staining coats.
D. Sealing or applying the top-coat (Figure 3)
The top-coat or sealant for your door is very important
and required for weatherability. It protects the stained
door from the elements and makes the door surface
washable. Be sure that the stain coating is completely
dry and then apply a high-quality, UV stabilized, clear
exterior polyurethane coating (satin or low gloss) – used
for any normal exterior wood application.
1. Stir top coat thoroughly using
smooth strokes, avoid creating
bubbles and do not shake the top
2. Do not overload the brush.
Dip the end of the brush into the
coating and gently slide the flat
side of the brush against the edge of the container to
remove the excess.
Note: We recommend that all 6 sides (front and back faces
plus all four edges) be sealed to eliminate moisture
absorption. The bottom of your door panel(s) may contain
a factory installed weatherstripping (sweep) which is
sealed prior to installation. Failure to observe this
recommendation may void the warranty.
3. Apply with even gentle strokes. Press hard enough to
flex the bristles just a little and then pull the brush gently
along the door’s surface.
4. As you apply the sealant, pull the brush quickly along the
area two or three times lightly to even out the brush strokes.
5. Allow the first coat to dry completely (follow
manufacturer’s recommendations) and apply at least one
more coat using the same steps as above. A minimum of
two coats is required for complete protection and the door
should be resealed annually to ensure lasting protection of
6. After both sides of the door have been top-coated
(twice) and are completely dry, remove the paper and tape
from the glass and protected surfaces.
7. Clean the glass with window cleaner and remove any
finishing materials from the glass with a safety razor.
8. Replace door back into frame.
Find a well-lit staining location that is dust-free, well ventilated and within the climate conditions recommended by the stain/top-coat manufacturer.
You will need the following:
Coatings and accessories:
- Mineral spirits or acetone
- One pair of rubber gloves
- Lint-free rags or cheese cloth (recommended)
- Stir sticks
- 2" wide foam brush
- Masking tape
- Safety razor blades
- High-quality, exterior grade, UV stabilized polyurethane sealant (satin or low gloss)
- 2-1/2"- wide china bristle brush
- High-quality, opaque (non-transparent), heavily pigmented, oil-based stain (recommended)
- Gel stains can also be used
- Semi-transparent stains are not recommended
- Center punch
- Phillips screwdriver
- Safety glasses
1. In the event that the door is scratched after
finishing, the damaged area can be lightly sanded
using 400-grit sandpaper (do not over-sand the
surface). Follow the staining and top-coat
2. Dirt and watermarks can build up on the surface
of your finished door over time. Extend the life of
the stain and top-coat by cleaning the door several
times a year. Clean with warm soapy water, rinse
and towel dry.
3. A minimum of two coats of top-coat are initially
required for complete protection. The door system
should be resealed annually to ensure lasting
protection of the finish.