Any benefit to using a second layer of stain?

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Old 08-28-16, 12:45 PM
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Any benefit to using a second layer of stain?

I just applied one coat of stain to a door that faces the outside. What I will eventually do is put a layer or two of Miniwax Helmsman spar urethane clear finish.

I was actually planning on applying a second coat of stain, but it came out a bit darker than I thought it would be. Now I'm wondering if I need to apply that second coat of stain at all.

Is there any benefit for the wood, to get a second coat of stain? I don't need to make the color any darker at all, and the wood will be protected by the coat of finish. So is the only reason for applying stain, to change the color of the wood--or does the stain also help protect the wood?
 
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Old 08-28-16, 12:48 PM
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Re applying stain will tend to darken the wood, while your final finish will provide the protection. Marksr will be along shortly to address the best coating as a final finish. In the meantime, is there a storm door over this one?
 
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Old 08-28-16, 12:59 PM
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No storm door. Our next goal is to have a security door put over this, but that is it.

I have already purchased the minwax helmsman spar urethane, although I have not opened it yet, so I suppose I could return it if I had to... is there something bad about that stuff? It was what the recommended for this, at the local Sherwin Williams.
 
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Old 08-28-16, 01:20 PM
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I'm gathering information for Mark, since he is the paint pro. Will your security door have glass? I am asking because heat build up between the doors will shorten the life of the finish and the door itself if not protected properly.
 
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Old 08-28-16, 01:27 PM
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Oh no, the security door we have will be lots of metal, with spaces in between for air to flow through. But no glass. We will use it to maintain air flow throughout the house.
 
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Old 08-29-16, 03:18 AM
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It's rarely a good idea to apply a 2nd coat of stain. These types of stains dry by absorption more than chemically and the 1st coat of stain hinders the 2nd coat from being absorbed well. Any stain that hasn't been absorbed by the wood can be rewetted by the oil base poly and smeared around the wood.

Stain gives very little protection to the wood, that is the job of the poly. Helmsman is a decent spar poly. You'll want to apply 2-3 coats, sanding lightly between coats. If the door is protected from the sun and rain the spar poly will last a long time. The more sun/rain it sees the shorter the life will be. It's best to sand and recoat the door before the poly shows more than a little sign of deteriorating.
 
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Old 08-29-16, 05:20 AM
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OK, I'll follow your advice. I won't apply a second coat of stain, but at least 2 of the finish.

Now when you say sand lightly, what grade of sandpaper would you recommend for this? Something in the 200 and up range?
 
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Old 08-29-16, 05:27 AM
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220 grit. Its basically a light once over to knock off the fuzz from the last coat of finish. You do not need to sand aggressively or repeatedly.
 
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Old 08-29-16, 05:31 AM
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The darker that door is stained the short time the sealer is going to last.
Want a sealer that has far more UV protection then Helmsman, self leveling, fast drying, high build up?
Then go with Bristol Finish.
It's what pro wooden boat refinishers use.
Easy to do three coats in a day, and most often does not even need sanding if you use a natural hair brush.
Bristol Finish | High Performance Wood Coatings
 
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Old 08-29-16, 05:47 AM
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what grade of sandpaper would you recommend
I normally sand the initial coat of poly with 180 and sequential coats with 220. As X stated you want to knock down the raised grain [fuzz] before applying the next coat. Besides creating a slicker/smoother finish the sanding also promotes better adhesion between coats.
 
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Old 08-29-16, 06:12 AM
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I'll follow the 180/220 if I have two grades that are that close together. Anyways, I know I have either 200 or 220.

At any rate, thanks to everyone for helping me out here.
 
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Old 08-29-16, 09:12 AM
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The main thing when sanding poly is you don't want to sand thru the poly and remove any stain. Easier to do with the coarser grits, harder to do with finer grits of sandpaper.
 
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Old 08-29-16, 10:15 AM
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It's a light scuff sanding to rough up the surface so that the next layer of poly has nooks and crannies into which it can flow, creating a mechanical bond between the layers - you're not trying to remove any measurable amount of material.
 
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Old 08-29-16, 12:32 PM
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I can only assume that applying a second coat of the FINISH (not the stain) would protect the stain and the door longer.

So what would the benefit to applying a 3rd coat---more protection? If I do 3 coats, could I expect the door to last longer (in other words, not need another reapplication of the finish) than with only 1 or 2 coats of finish?
 
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Old 08-29-16, 12:51 PM
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Yes. I typically apply three coats on any wood I'm finishing.
 
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Old 08-29-16, 01:01 PM
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The 1st coat of poly will raise the grain slightly and soak in more in some areas than others. The 2nd coat takes care of most of that and is bare minimum for the finish. The 3rd coat provides a nicer looking finish. Depending on the weather the door sees, the spar poly might need recoating in a year or so or may last decades - it all depends on how much exposure it gets. 3 coats will wear better than 2, not much is gained by applying a 4th coat.
 
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Old 08-29-16, 01:05 PM
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Great. I'll use three coats. I have an entire quart, so I am pretty sure I'll have enough.

Thanks so much for your assistance here.
 
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Old 08-29-16, 01:12 PM
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When you are finished, pour a little thinner over the leftover poly and seal the can tightly. As long as it isn't exposed to extreme heat it will last for years in the can.
 
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Old 08-29-16, 01:23 PM
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When I first started reading your post, I thought you were gonna tell me, when I was finished, to pour myself a beer.

OK I think I can do that last bit of work with the can of spar urethane.
 
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Old 08-29-16, 01:35 PM
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I quit drinking long ago but back when I drank beer daily, I seldom poured my self a beer - just guzzled it out of the can
 
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Old 09-07-16, 03:48 PM
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Just applied the third coat of finish last night.

Thanks to you all for helping me through this project. The door looks a LOT better after years and years of sun and rain and dogs clawing at it, and it is protected by the clear coat finish now, too.
 
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Old 09-08-16, 03:20 AM
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Thanks for the update. The door should tell you when but as long as you lightly sand and apply a fresh coat of spar poly before the sun does too much damage you should be able to keep the door looking nice for a long long time. Don't know what to tell you about the dogs
 
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