Best way to finish new threshold piece?

la_koalaSeptember 15, 2008


We had a carpenter create a new interior doorway and install the new door, trim, threshold, etc. He left the task of finishing the new threshold to us. :-)

The threshold is unfinished oak, and the threshold for the other door into the room is finished oak with a reddish tone.

I'm seeking advice on the best way to stain and finish the threshold. The carpenter suggested to just put two coats of polyurethane, but my husband would like to have the color more match the existing threshold.

Now, dear husband had picked up a can of MinWax Polyshades at the store, before I searched this forum and saw all of the warnings. Luckily, when I did a test of the MixWax on an oak scrap, the color is not what I want, so I have an opportunity to use something else. :-)

- Any recommendations for how to finish this oak threshold? Would I use a stain and then a clear polyurethane coat?

- Any recommendations on brands to use?

- Why does the MinWax can say "Not for use on floors", as does the Varathane? Would a threshold fall into the "floor" category or "trim" category?

Thanks in advance!

la koala

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Both Polyshades and Varathane are light-duty finishes that won't wear well; that's how I read the 'not for floors' warning. Because a threshold sits above floor level it's prone to more scuffing of shoes than any other part of the floor (except, perhaps, the nosing of stair treads), and should have the toughest possible finish. I would stain yours to the appropriate color - Minwax stains are widely available and can work fine, but others are good too. I don't use a lot of stain in my work, but I've had good luck with Sherwin Williams'. Anyhow, once the stain has dried I would apply three coats of polyurethane, allowing each to dry and sanding lightly between coats.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 6:46PM
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Thanks jon1270! Thanks for the point about thresholds being more prone to scuffing--that hadn't occurred to me.

Yeah, I spoke to the guy at our local Benjamin-Moore (we don't have a Sherwin Williams close by). He confirmed what you said about the Polyshades being a light-duty finish that doesn't wear well. He said that if I wanted the risk of scuffs, I could put more coats of polyurethane over a Polyshades layer, but it would be better to start with a stain.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 10:19AM
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