Finishing a Wooden Front Door
LOML broke our current front door the other day from slamming it so hard.  She never really liked the door anyway.  I thought we were headed down a road that would end up redoing the entire front facade of the house, but luckily, she thinks just getting a new door slab is all she wants.  

So here's the candidate. Generic Slab Door at the BORG  Just a basic six panel slab door.  I feel pretty good about cutting the door to size and mounting the hinges & knob off the old door.  

What I could use some help on is the finish.  She would like a "dark stain".  It's not really a color she's trying to hit, it's maintaing the color.  

Our front door faces west, so it catches all the afternoon sun.  There's a 4' front porch that helps a little, but the sun definitely cooks the door.  

So, what can I do to help ensure that the stain doesn't fade?  I'm not planning on moving anytime soon, so I'd like it to last.  I typically hate finishing, so I believe in doing it right the first time so I won't have do it over.  

Have plenty of space & time.  Can brush/wipe/spray with an HVLP gun.  I'm thinking of taking the old door down one day, and using it to mark out the new slab.  Then do all the milling.  Then apply finish.  Then once the finish is complete, move the hardware over and install the new door.
I recommend you consider PPG Cetol Door and Window Finish.  It comes in several colors so you don't need to stain.  It has amazing durability in direct sun and it won't crack or peel like many film finishes do.  It chalks off over time, and then it's easily refreshed with a new coat of two of finish.  I built a house door that faces due West, with no porch.  It gets rain, snow, and direct sun on it all afternoon.  It's 5 years old now and I just refreshed it last Summer with another coat of color and then a coat of clear satin.  It looks like new again.  

Applying Cetol Door and Window finish is at least a 3 or 4 day process.  It's worth the time it takes.  Get the door trimmed and hung, then rehang the old door while you finish it.  

Do not put a storm door over it unless it's a vented one and has 3M window film on it.  

Use a true oil finish on the door. It will be easily maintained.

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