Front Door Make Over

Flawless Chaos
by Flawless Chaos
5 Materials
Southwest facing front doors in Texas take a real beating from the sun and elements, mine especially! Every year I would lightly sand and add several coats of stain sealant (1 product). Over time this really began to build up and not look as neat as I would like. Because it was easier to hide this with a darker stain, I eventually wound up with a very dark door that was badly in need of a complete refinishing. I looked into purchasing a new front door and WOW, they are expensive! I am so glad I went to the work to restore mine.
 I first attempted to use my palm sander with very coarse paper, but it really was slow going.
Then I attempted a stripping product, Citristrip.  This is all natural and can be used indoors with no ventilation, it smells like oranges.
 I applied the Citristip three or four times and found that some areas needed more attention than others.  I also did some sanding between each coat of Citristrip.  Citristrip works great, but I do think that it made the wood a little less porous, which required multiple coats of the stain to take any color.  My original goal was to end up with an almost pine-like finish where the wood grain would be very visible.
 Once I was getting pretty close and knew that I could finish the stripping/sanding process that day, I took the door off the hinges and finished sanding.  This was a lengthy project taking around 10 hours with all the steps.  The bottom weather strip needed replacing, too.  This was a much-needed item and it has made a big difference in the tightness of the door when closed. After sanding, it was time to stain and seal.  I chose two separate products and feel that the additional step is well worth the extra time.  I started with a Pecan colored stain but moved to a few shades darker (Cherry) to get the desired shade.  Finally, I covered the door with Spar Urethane, specifically made for front doors.
The finished product, complete with spring flowers and a new door hanging!
Suggested materials:
  • Palm Sander/Sand Paper   (Home Depot)
  • Minwax Stain   (Home Depot)
  • Spar Urethane   (Home Depot)
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Flawless Chaos
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  • Dori Wolfenstein Dori Wolfenstein on Apr 12, 2017

  • Tess Pederson Tess Pederson on Aug 06, 2017
    Wow, what a difference. I love it, its very warm and inviting. You are so right, doors are very expensive!! I am looking for one with a window. My opening is an off size and a door would have to be modified or specifically custom ordered. We visit our Habitat for Humanity Store quite a bit to see if there's one that fits our needs. Anyway I just wanted to comment and tell you how wonderfully it turned out.

    • Flawless Chaos Flawless Chaos on Aug 10, 2017
      Thanks Tess! Is there any way to add a window or an interesting accent piece to your existing door and/or paint a cool color?