It's easy to give your plain steel doors the look of rich wood. An inexpensive wood-graining tool and a heavy-bodied wood stain are the keys to this decorative-finish technique. You can apply the finish while the door is on its hinges, but it's easier if you remove the door and lay it on padded sawhorses.
- Suitable for beginners, though experience with decorative paint finishes is helpful. First, practice your wood-graining technique on a painted metal or wood surface.
- Cost: Less than $30.
- Mineral spirits; wood stain; polyurethane
- Lint-free cloths; masking tape; wood-graining tool (available at hardware stores and home centers); paintbrush
Steel doors usually come primed white, gray, or tan. If your door is colored, apply a neutral base coat and let dry. Mask off glass and remove all hardware. Wipe the door with a cloth dampened with mineral spirits.
Continued on page 2: Step-by-Step