Creating a Faux Wood Garage Door

9 Materials
10 Hours

I am so excited to share this garage door makeover that seriously anyone can do! You can take your boring, old, unattractive, builder grade door to a work of art just by following a few steps. A word of warning before we get started.....the process and the products are what will make this project a success for you. Don't skip steps and don't skimp on the products. You will thank me later!
My door waiting for a new look!
Here we have the sad door awaiting the new makeover. Doesn't she look soooooo ready?
I started by washing my door with a mix of Simple Green and water. I use roughly 4 ounces of Simple Green to 1 gallon of warm water and just clean the door very well. If your door is very dirty you should wash it several times to insure it is clean and then allow it to dry.
Looking better already!
Next step....PAINT! Tape off anything areas you want to keep free of paint. Mix your paint well and pour into your lined tray. I use aluminum foil to line my tray and a 4 inch foam roller to roll the paint onto the door. I keep a paint brush handy for the edges and any nooks and crannies that the roller cannot hit.
One coat of paint and looking worse!
Don't panic....I repeat....DO NOT PANIC! After one coat of paint your door may look worse than when you started! It's ok! I am using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint because, well because I am an Annie Sloan girl, and it's the best paint for outside projects here in the Houston area. No primer required and dries fast. I applied 2 coats of paint in Coco with about an hour of drying time in between coats. So much faster than latex!
Here we are after the second coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Looking so much better, don't you think? See, I told can do this too. One step at a time.
Seal your Chalk Paint!
After 2 coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint you will need to apply a thin coat of a water based topcoat. That will allow your gel stain to go over the top without soaking into the Chalk Paint. You can use the same product you will use to seal your project at the end, Modern Master Clear Supreme in satin. Just a light coat....I roll most of the areas with a foam roller and brush the edges and creases. Allow it to dry well before you move on to your staining.
Now the fun part! Time to stain! I started with Old Masters Gel Stain in Spanish Oak. I am using a chip brush and outlining most of the recessed areas to give the door some dimension. You do not have to be meticulous! Brush the stain into the areas and then come back with a piece of cheesecloth or sponge and soften your edges and blend it to your liking.
This is the process that I enjoy the most! Use your artistic eye to create a dimensional panel......stand back a few times and inspect from a distance to be sure that you are achieving the look you want. Once you perfect your technique on your first panel you just repeat it on each panel until your door is complete.
Tah-Da! First coat of gel stain is applied. Now be sure and wait until this is dry! And I mean dry. If you can allow it to dry overnight that would be best. Old Master's Gel Stain is oil based and will take at least 8 hours to dry depending on temperature and humidity.
Once the first application of gel stain is dry you are ready to move onto the second layer. Here you can see me starting to apply the Dark Walnut Gel Stain. In this picture I am loading my brush with a small amount of gel stain and applying in a dry brush technique. I am lightly dragging the brush at an angle across the grain to highlight it.
Continue across your panel until your perfect your own process!
Here you can see that I am now using a piece of sponge to work the product around on the panel and soften the edges. There is no wrong or right process here.....apply the gel stain sparingly and add more as you need to. Play with it until you achieve the look that is pleasing to your eye!
Half way done!
Here's a better shot! See how the products work together? I have three different tones coming through and blending together. Continue working until the entire door is complete. Again, allow to dry at least 8 hours.....if you can leave it overnight that is best.
This is the home stretch! Line your tray and get a fresh foam roller. Now you seal your work to protect it for years to come! Apply to thin coats to your entire door allowing the first coat to dry at least 2 hours before applying the second coat.
And that's a wrap! Your door is now "swoon worthy"! Stand back, admire your work and get ready for the neighbors to become very nosey!
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 16 questions
  • Toni Megilligan
    on Sep 5, 2019

    Any idea how many years this would last? Did you put poly on it?

    • Janet
      on Sep 9, 2019

      Rhonda, I think you have to consider where you live and YOUR weather conditions.

  • Sandra
    on Sep 5, 2019

    How to get rid of hill rats. They come to my yard at night to eat our fruit

    • Alicelatouche
      on Sep 12, 2019

      Keep your fallen fruit picked up. Here in SoCal we have tons of fruit trees and will ask kids and teens to help in the cleanup fir a small wage.

  • Mcgypsy9
    on Sep 5, 2019

    Rhonda this is awesome! I love the way these come out and they give the neighborhood such a rich look. I am wondering why did you use the chalk paint to start this project? I’ve done a metal entry door with just stain, so I don’t understand the purpose of the chalk paint? Also, what did you use to seal this at the end? Thank you!

Join the conversation

2 of 122 comments
  • Nora
    on Sep 23, 2019

    Wow!! Beautiful and rich-looking! Excellent job! Thanks for sharing!

  • Anne
    on Jun 11, 2020

    Looks amazing!!

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