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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Mahogany doors refurbish

Over time your wood doors begin to show some age. In addition, dirt accumulates and maybe some mildew. These doors have a limited exposure to the sun and elements. The porch roof offers a lot of protection. The doors and sidelites are mahogany.

The homeowner began to notice a build up of mildew on parts of the doors. The owner purchased a cleaner from the store and began the cleaning process. Once the doors looked clean, a second cleaning began. The product used had a very high concentration of bleach. The bleach attacked the varnish coating and the finish began to peel off. In some spots the bleach removed the stain also. I would advise seeking advice from a professional before starting your cleaning project. Your local paint store is a good place to start.

notice the uneven/worn finish

·         One reason is that bleach cannot completely kill mold growing in porous materials. The chlorine in bleach cannot penetrate into porous surfaces such as drywall or wood. The chlorine is left on the surface of porous materials and only the water component of the bleach is absorbed into the material, providing more moisture for the mold to feed on.


doors at start of job

Our process to restore the doors began with sanding the doors and sidelites. The door jamb and brick moulding were also sanded. We used 80 and 120 grit sandpaper. All of the old varnish was removed. After sanding the surfaces were cleaned with a tack cloth. Then a wipe down with denatured alcohol to remove any remaining greasy film or dirt.

·         Denatured alcohol is ethanol (ethyl alcohol) that has been made unfit for human consumption by adding another chemical to it. 


sanding complete, seal coat applies, start of gel stain application-darker brown

Due to the uneven finish after the sanding, the wood surfaces had to be sealed. Some areas of the wood were more porous than other areas. We applied a light coating of McCloskey’s Spar Varnish to seal all of the surfaces.

·         McCloskey’s, Man-O-War Spar Varnish is a, tung oil based, marine-grade varnish, suitable for both outdoor and indoor use. Provides excellent protection from weathering and the elements, including UV rays and salt water. Ideal for boats, outdoor furniture, exterior doors, sills and more. Superior to polyurethane because it is flexible enough to expand with the wood, resists cracking and peeling, and adheres well to oily woods like teak and mahogany.


gel stain finished, first coat of high gloss varnish

The seal coat was allowed to dry over night. The next day we began applying the stain. We used Old Masters Gel Stain, an alkyd based product.

·         Old Masters® Gel Stain is a highly pigmented, oil-based stain designed to achieve intense colors on interior and exterior wood, fiberglass, metal and composition surfaces. Its thick formula allows easy application and superior color control, necessary to achieve a rich and uniform color
on most surfaces in a single application. Ideal for difficult-to-stain woods, as well as nonporous surfaces including metal, composition (Masonite), interior and exterior fiberglass doors and plastic moldings. Gel Stain comes in 21 factory mixed colors and can also be intermixed or tinted to achieve custom colors.

Gel Stain provides a finish which can be worked to achieve a blended coating of light and dark with a natural wood appearance. Several surface areas were reworked to achieve the final result. Brushing and wiping with lint free rags were used while applying the finish.  Once again, the stain was permitted to dry overnight.

The next day, we applied the first finish coat of high gloss varnish (McCloskey’s). This application was left overnight to dry.
finished doors

finished doors

The next morning we sanded the surfaces lightly with fine sanding blocks. The surfaces were cleaned with tack cloths. Then the second finish coat was applied and allowed to dry overnight before shutting the doors completely.
finished doors

* special note, during the four days of work, the doors had to be left slightly ajar. These products need time to dry completely.

The finishing products for this project were purchased at; Pete and John’s Paint Market. Address: 400 Ramapo Valley Rd, Oakland, NJ 07436     Phone:(201) 337-0233



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