Enough time has passed now I think I can talk about the front door situation without muttering any cuss words under my breath. I’m half kidding.
When the Mr. and I looked to replace the front door, we knew we wanted an entry system. That basically means that there are sidelights and a transom (the “window” above the door). We should have some experience purchasing said item as we put in a new entry system in our former home. That too was a long and painful experience that I have since pushed out of my memory like last year’s labor and delivery.
I don’t know how general contractors order these things. I suppose they just get everything standard and are in and out of Menards in a matter of minutes.
We, however, were not that lucky. We had some rotten luck straight out of the gate.
As the designer on this project, I had an idea in my head of what I wanted to choose for the new entry system. I wanted a craftsman look and surprisingly, I can make those choices at the design counter rather quickly that might have stumped your average joe. Because you know you can’t buy an entry system off the shelf at your local home store. It’s all custom order. Which leads to madness. MADNESS.
What color do you want your hinges? Do you want a hole b-o-r-e-d (ironically, that is how it’s spelled) for a dead bolt? These are all questions I can get through. And with the Mr. there helping with measurements, etc. We kinda knew what we wanted.
The very first time we were looking in the home store for IDEAS for an entry system, there was a returned entry system there on clearance. To save you the sad details of this experience, suffice it to say, we did not come home with said clearance entry system and we basically bought the same exact one for full price. Full price. That was bad luck number one.
Then we went countless rounds with our home store on trying to get the look we wanted- grills in the sidelights and in the transom and all matching white. I lost track of how many times we entered the door into that system.
We ended up finally ordering the door locally to get all of the specifics we were wanting and their price was better. But somewhere in the process we did not have the door prefinished.
Here is a picture of the door as it came.
However, I was confident that I could stain the front door. People do this every day, right? I did a bit of researched and decided to try the gel stain option. I watched some YouTube videos on how to apply it. And I got to work.
Again, in summary. I’m not a big fan of gel stain. At least not in this application.
I really took my time and applied the stain with a brush, very carefully. I mean, I have paint skillz! Here it was after application number one-
I was happy with it but the Mr. thought it looked too streaky. I thought that was the look we were going for but I told him that I would apply a second coat.
Here it is after coat number two-
Now it looked just streaky in spots and I didn’t like it. So after much sweating, researching and swearing/crying/freaking out, I applied coat number three. Here is the results of that-
Now, it looks great, don’t get me wrong. But basically I feel like I could have just purchased brown paint. That was not the look I was going for. But what is done is done. I finished with a top coat and I never want to do that again. NOT EVER.
What’s your experience with gel stain? Have you ever stained a front door?