Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Door Finishing Fun

When we left the new water heater closet door last, it was freshly stained and ready for finish and hardware.

Step One: Cut a hole for the vent
Every gas water heater needs air and venting, so we need to add a vent to this door. The small panel on this door (originally the top panel) is perfect for this job! I carefully measured the inside of the vent, traced it onto the door, and drilled a 3/8 inch hole in each corner:
This allows me to use a jigsaw to remove the panel.

Step OnePointFive: Paint the Vent
Our vent is a salvaged vent from the Habitat ReStore. $1, but in need of some paint. I scuffed it up with sandpaper, and then spraypainted it glossy black, making sure to coat both sides of the vent louvers:

Step Two: Apply Finish
We chose shellac for our door finish; Zinsser Bullseye Shellac to be specific. I'm rather enamoured with the idea of shellac right now... and am especially loving the ease with which it is coming off of an older door that needs refinished. I figured that this door (like our entire bathroom) is a great place for an experiment.
I brushed a thin coat of shellac onto the door, let dry an hour, and sanded lightly with 220 grit sandpaper; I repeated this 3 times. The 220 was a bit coarse for my prefered final finish, so I am planning on a final sanding with 400 grit sandpaper; we'll see today how that goes.

Here's a picture of the door with a third unsanded coat of shellac and with the grate set in place:

Coming up: More Door Jamb Fun!


Kate H. said...

Thanks for mentioning the 440 grit sandpaper for the final go over the shellac. I'm about to start my own great shellac adventure, and that tip will come in handy.

Amalie said...

Is that straight shellac or is there a base coat of stain? It's very pretty, but darker than we experienced with our own shellac-scapade. I love shellac for a whole host of reasons, but I've also discovered some of its weaknesses the hard way-- especially that moisture causes it to turn white :-(

You shouldn't have that experience with a door, but you can poly over shellac, as long as you lay down a coat of dewaxed shellac before the poly. Zinsser's dewaxed clear shellac is called SealCoat.

Anonymous said...


Amalie said...

Hah. Well. Somehow, I missed the previous post entirely, making my previous comment on this post a bit ridiculous.