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Val Cooper
Re-staining old wood doors

I have a question about refinishing old doors. I am currently in the painstaking process of striping off about 7 layers of paint from my 100+ year old interior doors. While the process is long and tedious, the results are beautiful once I have all the old paint off, sand, and re-stain the wood. However, I am finding that some of the old doors have large and small holes in them where hardware was added and then removed over the years. So, I am trying to find a REALLY GOOD WOOD PUTTY or filler that I can use to fill the holes; one that will also absorb the stain so that the holes are less noticeable. Can anyone suggest a brand of wood putty to use?

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Re-staining old wood doors

With large holes, I drill it out with a forstner bit and install plugs, orienting the grain to match, flush cut and sand.What I find best is to handle small holes is after the door has been stained and a sealer coat of finish applied. Fill the small holes with a filler that matches the color. Rub smooth and apply the rest of the finish.
Jack

BungalowMo
Re: Re-staining old wood doors
JLMCDANIEL wrote:

With large holes, I drill it out with a forstner bit and install plugs, orienting the grain to match, flush cut and sand.What I find best is to handle small holes is after the door has been stained and a sealer coat of finish applied. Fill the small holes with a filler that matches the color. Rub smooth and apply the rest of the finish.
Jack

Adding only one thing to this...you can play with the tints, but try adding your stain to the putty in small increments until you have a nice match. I have the same issue with the sidelights by my front door. TOO many nail holes for the upper & lower curtain rods. Still playing with it :(

One thing I'd like to mention...when you stain raw wood, there's no going back. If the tint isn't right, it's not reversible. You might want to consider shellac. Comes in several shades too. Plus, every coat you add sort of melts the coat below a bit so it blends in perfectly.

The best thing, if you don't like the shade, it wipes completely off with denatured alcohol & you are back to raw wood.

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