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For many homeowners, there’s nothing quite like the appeal of a striking timber door presenting the entrance to their home.

While timber doors are a beautiful choice, it’s important to remember that they do take a bit of extra care and attention to keep them in good condition once they’re exposed to the elements. 

A great way to clean up old doors or finish new ones is by applying a stain. While this may seem daunting, it’s actually quite a simple process if you have the right products and know what you’re doing. 

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Here’s what you need to do to stain a timber door.

Prepare, prepare, prepare

Before you go near your door with any type of stain, you need to get organised. You’ll need to remove the door from its hinges along with any hardware such as doorknobs, locks etc, so that it can be laid flat, and the stain applied evenly.

It’s also important to adequately prepare your timber before you begin, and this is as simple as sanding it until it’s smooth and free from any existing marks or stains.

You’ll also need to choose the stain, making sure you choose the right type for your door.

Get staining

While staining your timber door is a fairly simple process, there are still a few key steps that need to be followed.

Before you get going, make sure the wood has been dusted off to remove any remnants from the sanding process before you begin. Then, once you’re ready, apply the stain, Parkwood recommends Sikkens Cetol HLSe as the sealer coat. Using a lint-free cloth, simple dip a small portion of it into the stain start applying it quickly in a circular motion, remembering to start at one end and work your way along, making sure to quickly wipe away any drips with a clean rag.

Let the stain set and then wipe your door down with a clean, dry cloth. Repeat if desired, sanding lightly in between each coat. The door needs to dry for several hours, so make sure not to touch it.

Finish it off

Now apply the final two finishing coats. There are a variety of finishes available so make sure to ask an expert for a recommendation on the right type for you, Parkwood recommends Cetol Filter 7 plus.

When the door is completely dry, apply the finish using the same process as you followed with the stain, applying more coats if needed.


Maintenance should be carried out while the coating is undamaged, conducting your maintenance at this time will ensure a high-quality finish with the minimum of work at an affordable cost. We recommend a yearly review to ensure that maintenance is carried out on time, prior to any major problems occurring.