Add Amazing Curb Appeal With Gel Stain

5 Materials
2 Hours

When I first started exploring the different ways I could add curb appeal to my home, I was a skeptic of the whole gel stain route. After I added up the cost of replacing my front door and wrapping my front porch posts in wood, I decided to give the inexpensive gel stain option a try.

You can find the video tutorial on my blog post here

add amazing curb appeal with gel stain

Here you can see the sad state of our porch posts and the bland front door. The posts were wrapped in a fiberboard siding and painted white, so they couldn't just be sanded down and stained.

The only prep that the door got before staining was a light sanding with a sponge sander, and a good scrub.

add amazing curb appeal with gel stain

So I grabbed some Old Masters Gel Stain in the color Provincial, and an inexpensive synthetic bristle paintbrush. Using long sweeping strokes, and working with little stain on my brush, I finished the first coat on my front door.

Something I learned really quickly is that a little gel stain goes a long way. Another tip is blend, blend, blend. Use those sweeping strokes to avoid getting any blotchyness between the sections you work in.

add amazing curb appeal with gel stain

I opted to do a second coat on the door to make it a bit darker, and this is how it turned out.

add amazing curb appeal with gel stain

For the porch posts, I used the same method as the front door.

add amazing curb appeal with gel stain

I also added some 1x6 boards to each post base. This not only covered up the damaged parts of the posts, but gave them a bit of a chunky, farmhouse look.

add amazing curb appeal with gel stain

Because this gel stain just seemed to be absolutely bottomless, I made some quick and easy planter boxes and stained them to match the door and posts.

Even though the boxes are solid wood, I painted them white before staining since that was the base for the door and posts. This way the stain just came through the same on everything.

add amazing curb appeal with gel stain

Everything but this one fingerprint turned out great .

add amazing curb appeal with gel stain

Most importantly, after seven months the gel stain (with no added sealer) is still holding up as new. Our front door faces into the hot afternoon sun, and this has not affected the finish at all. Also, the stain hasn't budged through rain and snow storm.

Good luck with your DIY projects!

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Heather Cammack

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 14 questions
  • Jo
    on Mar 1, 2019

    The previous owners of my house tried to sand the door with a peice of sand paper on a chizle drill bit ( unbelievable) and gouged it up, i have to try and fix it aill gel stain stay on raw wood?

    • Heather Cammack
      on Mar 6, 2019

      Gel stain has such a nice finish on wood too. If you don't want to wipe the stain, you can do a couple coats without wiping and it will give you a richer color. Wiping the stain off will show off the wood grain of the door more, so it's just based on your personal preference. Good Luck!

  • Seasha Holman
    on Mar 5, 2019

    Does this process only work on wood doors?

    • Donna S.
      on Apr 27, 2019

      No, I did interior cheap plastic coated doors... they turned out great!

  • Brenda
    on Apr 22, 2019

    I have a metal door and have been planning to paint it, just trying to decide on the perfect color of blue. But after seeing your project, I'm having second thoughts. Do you think the gel stain would work on a metal door?

Join the conversation

4 of 34 comments
  • Barb
    on Mar 1, 2019

    Need a better final picture, please

    • Heather Cammack
      on Mar 6, 2019

      Sorry! I took all these photos in the summer when I actually did the project. Right now we are having a snowpocalyps and our porch is nearly fully covered. I'll have to update the photos when the snow melts and get a better full door shot.

  • Amanda B Parsons
    on Mar 2, 2019

    I'm going to absolutely try this on our porch. I live in the oldest house in our town and it has had the interior all redone right down to the dirt basement. This will look amazing on the side porch/entryway to the house. Will definitely post before and after photos once I start.

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