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Which Wood Material is Best for You?

We have a wide variety of wood materials, but which material is best for your saloon doors?

Whether you plan on painting or staining your doors the material matters. Not all wood options are available for all designs, this general guidance can answer most questions.  

Here is a video tutorial for ordering custom doors:

Best Paint Grade Material

All the wood materials we offer can be painted.  The best wood materials for painting are Poplar and Soft Maple.  

Poplar is renowned for its ability to take paint well.  Poplar wood is a strong hardwood that is creamy white in color and may include streaks that vary from a pale yellowish brown to olive green.  This wood holds up well for normal interior wear and tear.

Swinging Cafe Doors uses Soft Maple when crafting our professionally painted doors.  We prefer Soft Maple for a refined, smooth finish, making it is easier to cover and giving a slightly better finish than Poplar. Soft Maple is a mostly straight grained sapwood, light blond with a gray cast sometimes, with the heartwood varying from a light to a dark reddish brown with occasional dark brown flecks.

Painting yourself- Here are our recommendations for paint:

If spraying- Sherman Williams pre-catalyzed primer with a pre-catalyzed lacquer.

If brushing/rolling- Sherman Williams or Benjamin Moore Latex with Primer in the Indoor Grade. 

Best Stain Wood Material

If you are looking to stain the doors you have several options. Most people like to match the wood that is currently in their home; so we offer a large variety of stain wood options.  All these woods are beautiful when stained but the grain is going to be slightly different on the stain wood options.  We are currently working on showing all the wood samples with all stain options. (Coming Soon)

Eastern White Pine is a very soft wood and since it is a soft wood it is the most easy to mark. Eastern White Pine commonly has knots and is a pale brown, with occasional reddish brown streaks. 

Soft Maple can also be stained and has a mostly straight grained sapwood, light blond with a gray cast sometimes, with the heartwood color varying from a light to a dark reddish brown with occasional dark brown flecks.

Ash has a beautiful grain, a light color to nearly white with the heartwood varying from grayish to light brown. The wood is generally straight grained and uniform in texture. Currently we are able to offer Ash, but Ash wood will not always be available due to the Emerald Ash Bore.

Red Oak is a very popular wood for staining. Red Oak has a medium range of color variability from lighter tan tones with pinkish highlights to darker browns.

Sapele is a beautiful reddish colored wood. We recommend this wood for any outdoor application (these doors are interior doors and do need extra steps if you are planning on using them in an outdoor application). Sapele is an African hardwood, highly sought after, and similar to Mahogany. Sapele’s colors are slightly redder than that of Mahogany.

Rustic Alder is a hardwood of medium density that features a color range of light browns with reddish hues and can feature large split knots and open knots.  Rustic Alder is a great wood to show a variety of characteristics that are great for that barn wood look.

Cherry has a fine uniform straight grain varying in color from rich red to reddish brown.  Cherry is a beautiful wood to stain. 

Professional Painted Doors

We use Soft Maple wood material and spray the doors with commercial grade paint; ML Campbell Turino, satin sheen. It has an excellent scratch and mar resistance.  First we will prime the door(s) and then apply two coats of paint. 

Once the doors are painted we give them time to dry and then we start our door packing process. 

Professional Stain Doors 

We use Minwax stain colors. Then finish the doors with a lacquer, the lacquer finish is a strong durable top coat.  We can stain Eastern White Pine, Ash, Oak, Sapele and Cherry woods.  The stain finish does vary based on the base wood. Click Here to see our wood offering finished with minwax stain!