Sunday, September 29, 2013

whoa, black cherry {bam-ba-lam}

Are y'all jammin' down now?  Awesome.

If not, let me help.

{Seriously...what is that bass player wearing?!}
Okay, put your weed and munchies away and let's get on with things.

Actually, I'm going to play that video one more time because it's so zippy.

I'm not going to dwell on the past, but if you recall, I got stuck with a bunch of crap doors because Menards refused to take them back.  I complained about that here and here.

But I've chosen to take my lemons and turn them into Whiskey Sours.

I wanted to do a really nice tutorial on how to stain new wood doors.  I have to revise the steps a bit because I have MasterCrap doors.

 Before I realized what I was getting into, I purchased some fabulous stain from the local woodworker's shop.

The stain is made in the USA by General Finishes.
It's called Whoa, Black Cherry.

It's a water-based gel-ish stain.  I know oil-based is better (I don't really know that), but this was the color that looked best with the floors I picked out.

And the fact that it's water clean-up makes me do the happy dance.

To Black Betty.

They told me I could wipe the stain on with a rag or with a foam brush.  A natural brush is for oil-base only.  For water base you use synthetic.


I chose the foam brush because I'm really sloppy and I thought it would give me more precision.

To start, put on some gloves.

Use something like rubber, latex, latex-free, or whatever.

This, however, might be overkill.
You're not castrating a pig or giving a cow a colonoscopy.

If you don't want to wear gloves, perhaps you shouldn't try to DIY stain your new doors at all.


My doors have an oak veneer.  And a dog's butt.

First, I lightly wiped the wood down with a damp cloth.  Then I lightly sanded with 180 grit sandpaper.

That's when all the veneer started molting like over-bleached hair.

 Get our your wood glue.  You're gonna need it.

After gluing down all your cheap veneer, CAREFULLY wipe it with tack cloth to remove all the dust.  (I'm quite sure you'll lose more veneer at this point, so be ready.)

Once the surface is prepped (you don't want the surface perfectly smooth or the stain won't take as well), start staining.

I began inside the panels.  I did the "walls" then the first panel inset.  I applied the stain in both directions (up and down, not side-to-side...always with the grain).

Don't be chintzy with the stain. 
You want it to soak in to all the grain.

I'm a poet and don't know it.

 When that panel is all covered, grab one of your husband's white t-shirts that you never want to see him wear again and tear it into strips and wipe the stain off.  The hardest part is getting in the corners.  Try to stay with the grain as much as humanly possible.

Then I did the same for panel #2.

Then the horizontal pieces.

Then the vertical pieces.

All the while applying the stain on a section, then wiping it off.  The longer you leave the stain on, the darker the color will be.

Doesn't my storage room provide the perfect beautiful backdrop for these photos?

Once the whole door was stained (and dried), I lightly sanded with 180 or 320 grit (I forget), used my tack cloth, then brushed on satin poly in the same sequence.  I used the same brand as the stain.  It's also water-based.

I used a clean foam brush and applied in the same direction as the grain.  Don't overbrush your poly good golly.

Miss Molly. 

After it dried for a few hours, I lightly sanded with 320-grit paper to get it smooth, then applied another coat.

I tried to get this last photo as representative as possible of the color and finish.  It's a rich brown with warm red tones.

I never planned on having red tones in our house.
But that's just how it all seemed to end up.

Just like I never planned on having a gray house.

They look pretty nice when they're finished, and they're nice and heavy because they are solid wood.  But make no mistake, I would never recommend purchasing these doors.  They were not fun to work with because of the cheap, thin veneer.

Do you have any experience staining and finishing doors?
Do you love how they turned out?

Have you ever given a cow a colonoscopy?

Inquiring bloggers want to know.

I'm sharing this ridiculousness with:

Elizabeth & Co.
Trash 2 Treasure
DIY by Design 


  1. You are a complete lunatic and I love you.

  2. Well hubby loves Black Betty....................but then it is a rockin song right................the door looks better when you had finished with it.....................and I wouldn't like to give a cow a colonoscopy no way in

    1. Well, then just stick with the pig castration. :P


  3. I think they look mahvelous! In my feedly the photo with your blog post was the can of "Black Cherry" and I thought you were going to be writing about alcohol!

  4. I could be in that band. I know how to clap my hands. I like your doors. I've never stained doors, but Favorite Young Man painted my kitchen Friday evening. Does that count? I will never shop at Menard's again. (Don't tell anyone, but I never shop there. I don't know where it is or if Jacksonville even has one.) Menard's, you are a total bitch.


  5. And where, may I ask, have I been all my life???? I've never heard that song before and it's something I would have really gotten into, in my day. You did a great job on the doors. I prolly could too, with that music in the background. Have never given a cow a colonoscopy but have seen a calf being born with THAT (ahem) kind of help. But not to that music. Dona

    1. I'm so glad to have introduced you to a musical piece of history. Or something like that. Obviously you need to add a cowlenoscopy to your bucket list.


  6. Shoot! My phone won't play the video... between me and you, you sniffed a lot of that stain huh? The doors do look good though. It is a pain when you can't return something ..ugh!

  7. Ok Andi, just shared the video on my personal FB page because I L.O.V.E. this song! I was dancing all alone in my kitchen just now! I think you and I are soul sisters for sure!
    OK, so you have seen my house and you know how killer my woodwork is---having said that....the staining you are doing is freaking fantastic! Seriously those look gorgeous. Thin veneer or not, you are elevating these babies to a different level. Wonderful tut too!
    Love ya!

  8. Oh my gosh--you are hilarious! Sorry about the craptastic doors, but they look fantastic now. My husband has stuck his hand (well, arm, really) in a cow's rear end and he said after doing so many the glove was full of sh...stuff anyway so he just took them off. ;)

  9. :) Thanks for the grins. You crack me up. Glad you have made some lemonade with your lemony doors, although I am thinking Cherry would go better with lime...

  10. Isn't that a children's book? If You Give a Cow a Colonoscopy.

  11. Never thought a tutorial on how to stain doors could be so funny!

  12. I just gave a two doors a makeover but never stained a door, I love how yours turned out, great stain! Makes the crap you put up with a little better to deal with. As for cows, I've never given one a colonoscopy it's totally on my to do list!

  13. Dont' know much about history....Never given a cow a colonoscopy. (You're not the only poet girl!!) Your doors do look pretty. I hate staining...I seem to make a mess every time I try it.

  14. although you say they are crap doors, they do look really nice. guess you are a magic worker andi!

  15. I have never given anyone of the bovine persuasion a colonoscopy, but those gloves would have come in handy when I helped my high school boyfriend pull a calf. As it was, I ended up throwing that shirt away.
    The doors look great, but not as good as a hair band flashback. And Cassie says General Finishes is the best, and she knows a lot.

  16. These doors look great! I've never tried gel stain before...must give it a try.

  17. Well you, my dear, are a masterstainer !!!
    Great job - and I'm peeing my pants here - you're too hilarious with your reference to cows LMHO

  18. Well you, my dear, are a masterstainer !!!
    Great job - and I'm peeing my pants here - you're too hilarious with your reference to cows LMHO

  19. First of all, I do NOT want to put down the weed and munchies. Video or no video, it aint' gonna happen. Secondly, OF COURSE I've given a cow a colonoscopy!! Hasn't everybody?? Better than sex I tell ya'.

    (gel stain rocks)

  20. First of all, I do NOT want to put down the weed and munchies. Video or no video, it aint' gonna happen. Secondly, OF COURSE I've given a cow a colonoscopy!! Hasn't everybody?? Better than sex I tell ya'.

    (gel stain rocks)

  21. You have made the crap door look pretty awesome! I love that rich brownish red color a lot. Sounds like it is a pain in the you-know-what to get the doors looking decent, but it's working. :)

  22. turned out great! we stained and refinished all of our original wood's a big job for sure. Love the color stain you choose, and well done for making it work. (I saw someone giving cows a colonoscopy...does that counts?)

  23. That song is now forever stuck in my head. Those doors look amazing! So rustic and fun. Love them


  24. bam-a-lam. I'm jammin! sorry about your crap doors. You did make them look real pretty though.

  25. Like your tunes!!! I have to say you made a crap door very beautiful! Cheers to beautiful crap!!!!

  26. Whoa... now I'm having a 70's flashback, or maybe it's just hot flashes, but I remember that band! I'll be hearing that song in my head for the whole weekend now I'm sure. Good thing I'm a classic rock girl. Your door looks awesome!

  27. I've never seen a cow up close, painted anything, or removed a nail. I'm such a bad Midwesterner. Great tutorial, though! You've convinced me to skip right over Joe and call the pros to handle the disaster that is our front entrance. But you keep goin', lady. You've got a knack. And a whole lot of energy.

  28. Yeah, the bass player is wearing something...strange (off-the-shoulder tank?), but equally important is figuring out what the guy who claps and jumps around does in the band, apart from, well, clapping.

    p.s. I'm just poking around your blog: your projects look great!


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