How To Make A Pine Door Look Like Oak

Pine doors are aesthetically pleasing with their creamy to deep yellow hue. Like any other wood doors, however, they become dingy as time progresses. And they fade quickly. Bringing back its original state can be bothersome, so why not try to make it look like a sturdy, high-class oak door? We looked for the methods you should go through to achieve the oak door look on your pine door. 

You can make a pine door look like an oak with a few simple steps. They are as follows: 

  1. Select a stain that matches the color of oak.
  2. Uninstall the door from the door frame.
  3. Smooth the surface of the pine door.
  4. Coat the pine door evenly.

So when you’re short on budget, do not force yourself to buy an expensive, authentic oak door. Ready to set out on turning your pine door into a fancy oak replica? Continue reading to learn how to stain pine doors to resemble oak and find out the best equipment, color stain, and technique to utilize. 

oak internal door of an american home. How To Make A Pine Door Look Like Oak

Can You Stain Pine Doors To Look Like Oak?

You certainly can stain a pine door to look like oak. But that is the extent of what stains can accomplish due to wide grains of pinewood compared to oak that possesses narrow grains in its wood. 

Interestingly, this exact characteristic of pinewood helps soak up stain quickly, making imitating the look of oak pretty easy.  

What color makes pine look like oak?

All oak stain colors can make your pine door look like oak. The color that will suit your door will only depend on your preference or how you want your door or cabinets to blend in with the other parts of your house. 

Fortunately for you, there are varied options to choose from, ranging from golden, weathered, dark with a gray tone, classic satin, and red stain colors, among many others. 

Closets in the dressing room. oak looking pine cabinet doors

Coating A Pine Door To Look Like Oak

The steps in turning a pine door to seem like oak are self-explanatory. Still, we will lay out every single detail to guarantee that you end up with a fine-looking oak door imitation. But before that, here are the materials you should prepare beforehand for a smooth workflow:

  • Screwdriver
  • Clean rags
  • Paintbrush
  • Sandpaper
  • Power sander
  • Trisodium phosphate cleanser
  • Varnish

You are now ready to start, so let's get into the steps right away:

1. Select a stain that matches the color of the oak

The first thing you need to do is choose the oak stain you want to apply to your door. Do you want to replicate white or red oak? White oak wood usually has light beige through brown hue while red oak displays a pinkish to a reddish tone. 

When you already have decided which color you want to achieve, head out to the closest home improvement store to look for your chosen oak stain. 

You can also try the quick-drying Varathane golden oak wood stain from Rust-Oleum, which is one of the top manufacturers of industrial coating and paint products in the world. When applied in the right direction, it provides a light brown hue. 

Check out this Varathane premium gel stain on Amazon.

2. Uninstall the door from the door frame 

Remove all the screws that attach the hinges from the door to the jamb. Use a drill or driver to loosen up the screws from the bottom to the top. Ask someone to help support the door as you progress to prevent its weight from damaging the hinges and the door jamb. 

Although it would be easier to coat the door on its spot, we suggest against doing that. Applying the coat while the door is still installed will leave numerous unreachable areas.

Examples are the bottom part and sides of the door that hinges. Left uncoated, they become more susceptible to the elements. In addition, there is the possibility of staining your floor and the sides of the door. 

3. Smooth the surface of the pine door 

Thoroughly wipe both sides of the pine door with a dry, clean rag to remove dirt and grit from the surface. 

With a reliable sanding machine, sand off all the surfaces of the door, including the sides and edges, until you feel that the wood is already smooth. Use medium-grade sandpaper for door curvatures. Get another clean rag to wipe away all the grit from sanding. 

Check out this BLACK+DECKER power sander on Amazon.

Vacuum the area to ensure no dust and grit settle on the surfaces of the pine door. Doing so will guarantee that the coat will adhere completely during the application. 

Another way you can prevent grit from settling on the sanded pine door is by using trisodium phosphate cleaner (TPC). A TPC is a heavy-duty cleaner that contains 75–80 percent trisodium phosphate and 20–25 percent sodium carbonate. It's a great cleaner to use for almost all parts of your home except for metal, tile, and glass. 

To apply, dampen a cloth with the cleaner and rub it on all parts of the door. Once done, use another clean rag to wipe off the residue, then let it dry for a few minutes. 

4. Coat the pine door evenly

Applying the coat to the wood door needs precise brush strokes. You also need impeccable timing when wiping the stain, especially when using darker oak stains. For our case, we have the golden oak stain as a reference. 

Just dip a brush on the oak door stain and paint over the pinewood using short strokes. Ensure that you paint in only one direction, preferably in the direction of the grain on the pinewood to facilitate better absorption.

Golden oak stain is light at first, so you may need to apply it twice to achieve the golden oak appearance. But remember to wait 3 minutes before you coat for the second time. 

When you paint the pine door with a darker shade of oak stain, make sure to immediately wipe the stain after every brush stroke since this might result in a dark gray hue. 

Let the door dry for a day to let the stain settle on the wood. Apply two layers of varnish on the stained door to protect the stain from quickly wearing off due to the elements. Leave the door to dry before reinstalling it. 

pine and oak doors for sale on a hardware store

How Do You Make Pine Doors Look Like White Oak?

If you want to make your pine door look like white oak, you only need to add a whitewash pickling stain to the materials mentioned above. 

Apply the whitewash stain once the oak door stain of your choice dries. Paint over the whitewash stain on the door using a brush. We recommend painting in portions then wiping them off with a clean rag after a minute to avoid blotching. 

Complete the project by sealing in the whitewash stain using a clear varnish, which will lengthen the white oak appearance of your door for years. 

How To Make Orange Pine Look Like Oak

Pines turn orange when exposed to sunlight continuously, which is, unfortunately, the case for exterior pine doors. But by running a power sander and sandpaper on its surface, you can get rid of the orange tone without much hassle.

After sanding, you can directly paint the door with the oak stain of your choice or apply a whitewash stain first to achieve the door the shade of oak you want. 

How Do You Make Pine Doors Look Like Old Oak?

Some homeowners, however, do not settle with just achieving the appearance of oak for their pine door but also copy its time-worn, rustic touch. Don't worry. There is one popular method below out of many techniques to replicate the look of old and weathered oak.

Combination of tea, steel wool, and vinegar solution

Prepare the following materials beforehand:

  • Steel wool
  • White vinegar
  • Black tea bag
  • Paintbrush
  • 2 Mason jars
  • Hydrogen peroxide (3%)

Here are the step-by-step instructions you should follow:

  1. Shred the steel wool into small long chunks of wire and put them inside a mason jar. 
  2. Heat the vinegar, then pour it in the steel wool inside the mason jar. Let the mixture cool down.
  3. Add hydrogen peroxide to the steel wool and vinegar mixture and let it sit overnight. 
  4. Brew the black tea bag in the second mason jar for 2 hours, or until the water turns dark, then strain afterward. 
  5. Paint the door with the black tea brew to endow the pine door signs of weathering.  
  6. Brush the steel wool and vinegar mixture to the tea-treated pine wood door. Apply the solution several times until you achieve the weathered appearance you have in mind. 
  7. Once the door dries, apply a single coat of weathered oak stain on the pine door as your last touch. And you now have an aged pine door that looks like an old oak door. 

If you are looking for a weathered oak stain, look no further than Minwax Wood Finish Penetrating Stain.

Check out Minwax stain on Amazon.

Interior of an empty hall in a luxury villa. How To Make A Pine Door Look Like Oak

In A Nutshell

Copying the look of your oak into your pine door is inexpensive and straightforward. A thorough sanding of the surfaces of the door thoroughly, application of oak stain that matches your taste, and finishing up with a clear polyurethane will help turn everything about your door anew.

Whether your pine door has weathered or you simply want to upgrade its appearance, follow the process in this blog, and you are well on your way to bringing the rich hues of oak to your pine door. 

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