Protecting Door Backs when Glazing the Fronts

Advice on keeping smudges off the backs of doors when glazing. October 20, 2013

(WOODWEB Member) :
We are glazing only the front of our doors and are looking for a solution to protect the backs from glaze, i.e. fingerprints, smudges, drips. We use ML Campbell vintage alkyd glaze and lock in after an hour with seal coat. Any suggestions?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor L:
Best low tech way to do it would be tape them off with masking paper.

If you do lots and lots of doors, make a cut out from some Masonite or something else cheap and place a door on its own individual piece until it is done. Have lots of sizes around so you can have one for each of your doors, then save them for the next round.

Put a good coat of sanding sealer on the backs of the doors over your stain. If you get any glaze on it, just sand it off. Not going to matter much as long as you don't sand into the stain.

Don't worry about the backs and do a full wipe on wipe off on the backs, that way the door backs will be a bit darker than the fronts but you don't have to worry about being careful.

Choose one.

From contributor R:

You will either have to wipe off using a clean rag and mineral spirits before it starts drying much, or tape and paper/plastic the backs before you start to glaze. Vintage glaze will come off pretty clean with mineral spirits before it dries, if you don't scuff sand the backs.

From contributor M:
I spray only post-cat finishes, partly because I prefer the way they glaze. You can easily clean off the backs using lacquer thinner. Over time you just get good at not smudging up the back, but it always happens to a couple doors. If you're spraying something that isn't pre-cat/post-cat, try just mineral spirits. I'd never bother taping/papering the backs. Way too much trouble.