I have an exterior door set (double doors) that I'm going to chemically strip and refinish. The doors are made of douglas fir and the current stain color is dark brown which the customer wants to keep the same.
Based on recommendations, I am tentatively planning on using a Sikkens Cetol system (either 1 and 23, or door and window). I obtained a sample of the door and window in their dark oak tint. After applying the recommended three coats on a sample board, the color is still not dark enough.
I would like to use either a base stain or UV resistant dye (I have some Behlens Solarlux) to darken the wood slightly before applying the finish. I have reviewed the literature and made multiple calls to their technical desk, they recommend to apply their product to bare wood only (I assume mostly for warranty purposes) and did not know decisively if this would work.
Has anyone used a stain or dye under Sikkens Cetol successfully? If so, how long should I let the base dry before applying the topcoats? Also if someone has another stain/topcoat system recommendation, that would be appreciated as well.
From contributor J:
Yes to everything. You can place a dye stain followed by pigmented stain, then proceed with the Sikkens product you want to use. I do not believe there are any UV resistant dyes on the market today, but I could be wrong. I have done it for years; the dye stain will fade within one or two years, but so will almost any pigmented coating on the market today.
My sequence is to spray the Solarlux, not thinned, with very light coats. Wait one hour, apply stain of your choice (I have used MLC's with no problems with exterior coatings) wait 24 hours, and then start to apply your finish coats. I apply three of the Sikkens. I think the first coat should be thinned by half. I do think that you need to spray the finish; brushed on Sikkens is not what it used to be. Most exterior coatings will last two to four years (depending upon sun, snow and water) and then a fresh top coat can be added at that time without refinishing.
Dry all coats a minimum of 6-8 hours - best overnight, then you can apply either the initial coat of Jel' d Stain (straight or thinned with turps or MS). If you do use the Jel'd Stain, top it with another light wash coat after it's thoroughly dry. Then apply the next 3-4 coats thinned to 40-50% Epifane; next 3-4 coats thinned to 60-70% Epifane, top coat(s) thinned to 75% Epifane maximum. I like to use 2-3 75% coats to give me as many as 8-15 total coats. If necessary you can knock down the final coat gloss with 4x steel wool or plastic pad. Note that you can really fine-tune your color with the Jel'd Stain applied over a thoroughly dry wash coat since you can easily remove and re-apply it until your satisfied. Just remember that the multiple coats of varnish will add a decided amber cast to the stain color. I prefer to keep the color at the base not as a tint to the top to take advantage of the UV protection in the Epifane.
I began using this way of refinishing teak and/or mahogany exterior doors and windows around 8-9 years ago on Fisher Island, mostly ocean-front condos, some private homes with primarily eastern and southern exposures. Even the oldest jobs still look like the day I originally finished them - at least after rinsing the salt spray off of them!