Recently I had a client call regarding the appearance of the field applied finish on birch wood doors we delivered to their project. The finish appeared uneven, light in some areas with darker spots in other areas. Can you explain why this kind of uneven wood door finish happens?



This a relatively common occurrence in “closed grain” hardwood veneers such as birch and maple.

Even with the recommended thorough block sanding before stain application, closed grain hardwoods will absorb stain at varying rates, creating an uneven “splotchy” finish. Commercial door manufacturers recommend applying a “wash coat” to even door faces prior to staining.

Once dry this will allow the stain to be absorbed at a more even rate, resulting in a more consistent finish.

It is important to note, wood door manufacturer’s warranty does not cover the appearance of a field-applied finish. We recommend sending the attached manufacturers “Policy on Field Finishing” with every unfinished wood door order you deliver.

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