I have been trying to narrow down the best option for recoat/refinish of a couple of solid oak entry doors for a customer. This is not something we normally do, but this is a very good customer.
The pair of entry doors is in the main entrance to the facility. The finish has started to degrade at the bottom of the doors. We do not have the option to remove the doors to the shop for multi-day finishing. I can only assume 2-3 coats of oil based poly or spar varnish was applied when the building was constructed, and some of it will likely remain in the profiles (raised panel).
I have been looking for a finish that will allow us to complete these doors in a day or at least allow for reinstallation at the end of a day to secure the building overnight. Been looking at MLC EuroX, General Finishes Exterior 450, Target EM9300, etc.
I am leaning towards the Target or General although I am not confident about the life of these products. Bonus is these doors are northwest facing and are under a covered vestibule, so sun exposure is about as minimal as it can be.
From contributor D:
You can strip, sand, and stain the doors in about 6 to 8 hours. Strip doors by hand, let dry two hours, then sand, stain. The stain you need to use is call Sikkens. It comes in different colors. Put the doors back up and the next day you can put on the finish coat, using Sikken clear finish. It works very well. That's what I use if I can't take the door to my shop.
I was just hoping for this to be a two day process. One day to sand and perhaps first coat, then second day is coats two and three (or all three if I don't get to a first coat on day one).
I think I have ruled out MLC EuroX as it has a pretty long window between coats. It goes without saying that the better, longer lasting finishes are all that way, so I guess I will have to make a decision between GF Exterior 450/Target EM9300 or something like the Sikkens.
We never take double doors off the hook since the frame and casings are normally finished also. Masking, stripping and sanding/oxalic/final sand takes two days. Homoclad stain takes a day to cure. Iso takes two days to get 6 coats on, but so will your waterborne.
I just finished my gates, garage doors, eave vents and corbels with Cetol 250 then Door/Window and it looks great for construction grade fir. Would I refinish my oak entry or a customer's 8' double Honduras mahogany unit with Cetol? No. As great durability as the product has, it is not fine furniture grade material. There is no room for error. Even if you get it to look payable, six months out in the sun and it could cost you your reputation.