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Stain-Grade Vs. Paint-Grade Doors

Post by on December 21st, 2023

Stain-Grade vs. Paint-Grade Doors: What Architects Need to Know

When designing the interior of a commercial building, doors are a major part of your design. You are left with an important question — stain-grade or paint-grade? With our experts, you can find the right option at Manhattan Door.

Understanding the Differences Between Stain-Grade and Paint-Grade Doors

Staining and painting are different treatment processes, and the wood you are treating must align with the characteristics of these finishes. Understanding the difference between these two grades is a helpful first step for choosing a door for your project.

What Is a Stain-Grade Door?

Stain-grade doors are made of wood with a notable texture and woodgrain pattern. Since wood stain brings out variations in natural wood texture, stain-grade wood can include a wide variety of species and densities. This grade of wood can be hardwood or softwood as long as the species is nonporous. Porous wood will not take stain evenly because the material absorbs it, leading to a splotchy or uneven appearance.

What Is a Paint-Grade Door?

Paint-grade doors feature wood that is smooth, flat and free of any heavy grain patterns or knots that could affect the coats of paint. Unlike stained doors, where the grain pattern is highlighted, painted doors cover the grain pattern for a solid, all-over color. Paint-grade doors are typically hardwood to resist scratches and dents to the paint layers or primed medium-density fiberboard (MDF) for a smoother finish.

Pros and Cons: Stain-Grade vs. Paint Grade Doors for Architects and Builders

It can be challenging to decide if you want stain- or paint-grade doors for your project. Making the right choice is a matter of looking at the pros and cons to decide which grade suits your needs.

Advantages of Stain-Grade Doors

One of the most notable benefits of stain-grade doors is their aesthetic quality. These doors offer the visual appeal of woodgrain that can bring warmth and visual interest to any space. Combine stain-grade doors with other stained wood surfaces in a space, such as trim and flooring, to create a cohesive look. Stains can be light or dark, depending on the look you want to achieve.

These doors can also hold up to scratches and dents when a softwood is used. Stains often hide overt imperfections, while smaller scratches and scuffs can create a distressed look that may be desirable for some. When hardwood is used, stain-grade doors are very durable.

Disadvantages of Stain-Grade Doors

Stain-grade doors typically come at a higher cost than their paint-grade counterparts. The process of staining requires care and skill, which will add to the overall cost of the product.

There are also maintenance requirements to consider. While the wood itself is durable, it also retains moisture. Generally, stain-grade doors need to be coated with a protective varnish annually to prevent moisture damage over time. As an architect or builder, it is important to consider if your clients are willing to put in this work for the longevity of their interior doors.

Advantages of Paint-Grade Doors

A prime advantage of paint-grade doors is the color versatility. While stains are often neutral browns and grays to highlight wood tones, paint colors have endless options. Bring in eye-catching colors like reds and blues, or stick to softer neutrals like grays, whites or browns.

Beyond color versatility, these doors are highly durable. Paint-grade doors can be made from hardwood, so they withstand the wear and tear of every day. Primed MDF options will not warp because they are more resistant to heat, cold and humidity. A few coats of paint will further help the wood resist moisture better than stain-grade wood. Plus, paint-grade doors are often lower in cost, making them a budget-friendly option.

Disadvantages of Paint-Grade Doors

While hardwood or MDF will not take too much damage from everyday wear, the paint might. A significant disadvantage is that fresh coats of paint will likely be required every couple of years to keep the door looking fresh. It is also important to consider the timelessness of a painted door. While stained wood often remains a staple, paint colors tend to go in and out of style. Make your color choice carefully to keep it as versatile as possible.

Source Stain-Grade and Paint-Grade Doors From Manhattan Door

When trying to decide between paint-grade and stain-grade doors, there is no right answer. You have to decide what works for your client, your budget and your design vision. We at Manhattan Door manufacture stain-grade and paint-grade doors for any commercial project. Contact us today to learn more.

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