I am debating staining the fronts of our stalls and stall doors. I love the look but have never stained anything before. Would love to hear the pros and cons and "how to's". What products did you like best? Is it safe to stain with horses in the stalls? Thanks!
Send a PM to Izzman. Her DH and she stained the fronts of the stalls and the stall doors in their barn. However, I believe that they did them before the horses were in them. You need a lot of ventilation for humans and horses, so pick a warmer day to do them.
If they are not new, then you may need to sand them first, which will be dusty, too.
I used a water-based clear varnish on mine (satin finish, not high gloss), before I installed the wood in the stalls. I did 3 coats on each side so hopefully it will hold up well. I did this for the stall fronts, partitions and Dutch door bottoms (they are windows on top). It was November when I did it so I had to set it all up in the garage, which has a heater so I could keep the air in the recommended temperature range. Because it was water based there was not a noxious smell and ventilation was not a problem...otherwise I would not have been able to do it indoors. I think stain would require a lot of ventilation so I would wait until it's warm out and you can leave the doors open and horses outside.
@JB - Where does one find marine grade varnish? Brand name suggestions? I used just a plain polyurethane on my doors & walls @ 3 yrs. ago, and it still looks good - though the weather definately has affected it.
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We power washed our stall fronts before doing it. They were pretty dirty. If you power wash just make sure you don't focus on one area for too long because the wood will start to splinter. I don't remember what type of stain we used. But we just brushed it on and let it dry. The horses were put in their runs while doing this. We also made sure that all the barn doors and windows were open for the fumes.
Yep, no matter what any directions say, brushing it on always provides the best coverage. You CAN spray/roll, but for this, in the end, you still would want to brush after. It might go faster if you spray first and have someone back brush behind you, but that requires 2 people.
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I used Minwax. Two coats. I am going back to do the spar varnish this weekend.
My Friend did her 12 stall barn with a solid color deck stain. It really went on more like a paint, and the grain of the wood doesn't show through. It's been 2 years and there are many places where it looks awful (under buckets, by the hose, where horses have kicked/ chewed). She didn't put anything on top of the deck paint and I would say that by the end of year 1, the stalll fronts were no more waterproof than before they were stained. Also, where the stain has worn off, the wood underneath looks very dry and brittle. I don't know if that's the case or not... just saying that's what it looks like.
Having used the minwax, and the deck paint, I think the minwax looks a lot nicer. It shows the grain of the wood and the texture. The paint is opaque and you loose some of the richness of wood boards. I also think keeping a quart or so handy so you can touchup those places is a good idea. You can buy foam applicators at the dollar store and just tap stain in places where it wears off.
The reason you want the marine varnish, or "spar urethane" is because it's not special oils inside that help it deal with temperature variations that a regular polyurethane can't handle. I would say the BEST one is made by rust-oleum. Doesn't bubble, easy to go on, dries faster, and doesn't smell as bad.