Two-Tone Drawer and Door Finishing Problem

Advice on how to apply two colors to a door or drawer front without bleed-through or other similar problems. October 1, 2010

We have 5 piece doors and drawer fronts that need to be stained in the center panel, and primed black on the stile and rails. If we mask off the center panel and spray the black Clawlock primer on the outside, we are concerned either the spray or sanding the black will bleed through and ruin the panel. Any suggestions?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor J:
I'm assuming the doors are already built. Could you stain, then seal the panels, then tape off and spray the black? I think by sealing, any dust from sanding the black should blow off fairly easily before putting your final topcoats on. Here is how I would try it (before doing the lot)...

stain panel
spray seal coat of Krystal over entire door
scuff sand
tape off panel
spray black Clawlock
scuff sand
spray black Clawlock

remove masking from panel
scuff sand entire door
thoroughly blow/wipe off door
topcoat with Krystal

From the original questioner:
If we topcoat the entire door after staining center panel, doesn't the Clawlock have to be sprayed on bare wood so it will bond to the surface?

From contributor J:
I sometimes do a distressed finish where I rub through to show exposed stain. I stain the door edges, then seal with Krystal, then Clawlock, then rub through, then top with Krystal. Works great and no problems. You just need to be sure to scuff sand the Krystal so the Clawlock has something to bite into. I do it all the time.

From contributor R:
I am not reading the wood species here... but there is no rule that you have to use Clawlock primer to make something black. You could tint vinyl sealer or the CV black and then topcoat with clear. I would stain and seal the center panel before assembly if I could, but if not just stain the center panel. Masking is not required since you will be painting over with black. Seal everything with a clear sealer wash coat, scuff sand everything 320 and mask off your center panel using 3M fine line tape and masking paper, burnishing it down to prevent bleed through. Spray your black, peel off the masking, and topcoat everything with clear.