We added an oak interior door to a storage room and I decided to seal it myself. The carpenter who installed it said that the other doors in the house had a "Natural Stain with a Clear Poly Finish."
So I practiced on a leftover trim piece, using Minwax Wood Finish stain in "Natural" on half of it. Then, when the Stain had dried, I covered the entire board with Minwax Polyurethane.
I can't tell the difference. The half with stain AND poly looks exactly like the half with poly alone.
So now I'm wondering if I can forego the stain altogether, and just cover the door and trim with a couple of coats of polyurethane. Or does the stain have protective qualities that the poly lacks?
What do you think?
I have used the Polycrylic over raw sanded wood and had no issues. Check the label?...I am thinking it should be fine, if your sample turned out satisfactory.
Oh you can just apply a poly varnish ok, but it will look a bit raw. I usually used a light stain to overcome the raw look. I forget the name of the stain - and it will vary with the manufacturer - but it is commonly available and you should be able to find it at a paint store or home center.
Thanks very much for the advice. I'm still mulling it over.
The can of Minwax oil-based Poly says that staining is optional, but it doesn't say if stain-under-poly creates a more durable finish than poly alone. Maybe I should attempt to beat-up my samples and then, compare them.
Wish me luck!
You might also check the minwax website for the 800 number or email your question. I have found most of the companies respond fairly quickly to questions about the durability and qualities of their products.
In answer to your question, I don't know of any reason that a stain under poly would be more durable. It's the top coat of poly (or other varnish) that provides the durability.
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