Best poly for a wood bathroom door?

barregMay 15, 2008

We're remodeling our master bathroom and we're putting in a 2-panel Shaker style oak door. What would you recommend for a good poly? How many coats? We're not planning to stain the door.

In our previous house, we put in 6-panel pine doors and finished them with stain and then 3 coats of a water based poly. 3 of the 6 wood panels later cracked, so I'd like to avoid the same problem this time.

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You cannot effectively seal all the wood in a panel door, since the pamels set in dado's and the edges cannot be finished.

Oak should handle the moisture better than pine. Oil based poly is tougher than water based as a rule, but has an offensive odor for about 4-8 days.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 12:09PM
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The three coats of poly on your old door may have actually caused the split panels. Solid wood panels are intended to "float" in their grooves, expanding and contracting without causing damage. If the finish you apply effectively glues the panel into its groove then the panel can't help but split when shrinks in dry seasons.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 12:15PM
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Thanks for the replies!

So, should I try to avoid putting poly where the panel meets the door around it so it can expand/contract freely? Any good technique suggestions for doing so? It would seem to be difficult to not get any poly around the panel edges and still have a decent appearance on the door.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 12:52PM
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