Every wooden door, whether exterior or interior, will need a refinish sooner or later, and yours is no exception at all. Exposure to the sun, weather, dust, and all the other natural and unnatural elements had left the varnish strip off. Maybe previous owners not have chosen a quality exterior finish for the doors, or they may not have prepared the wood properly.
But when you combine good preparation with a finish designed to withstand the elements and hot rays of the sun, it should last for years, not just months. Now if your exterior doors are starting to show some wear and tear, appearing a bit faded, or hanging a bit looser, then it’s time to get down to business finishing your front door. While it may be tempting to throw your old door in the trash and buy a replacement, let’s take a moment to determine if this beautiful old wooden door can return to its original brilliance.
While there are inexpensive options, you will miss the appearance and authenticity of the royal accord. It is also worth noting that a new custom wood door can cost you thousands of dollars. Whether you’re relaxed with the highest levels of DIY or new to the old game of calling a pro, this guide to wooden door refinishing will get you on the accurate track.
Stain and varnish always penetrate better on a horizontal surface, so for best results remove the door from its hinges. You will need a partner because solid wood is heavy. To cover the door opening, make a temporary barrier from a sheet of half inch exterior plywood, cut it to the same dimensions as the door and screw it into the jamb. Place the door on a workbench or pair of trestles, with a drop cloth underneath. Stain and varnish can consent permanent marks on floors.
Things, Tools, And Materials You Will Need:
- Horse saw
- Phillips screwdriver
- Paint scraper
- Electric sander
- 80 grit sandpaper
- 100 grit sandpaper
- 120 grit sandpaper
- Sticky cloth
- Sponge sander and clean brush
- Dry vacuum cleaner
- Urethane varnish for exterior mast
- Roller sleeve
- Heavy-duty rubber gloves
- Safety glasses
Remove The Wooden Door From The Hinges And Put It Down
The first step in renovating your front door is to remove the door from its hinges. Start by opening the door and hold it with a block of wood on the floor under the lock. Next, remove the hinge pins by hammering them from below with a 16-cent nail or tapping the head of the pin with a chisel or dull screwdriver. Remove the top pin last, to keep the door stable as you work.
Use a hammer and nail to remove the hinge pins, then carefully remove the door. It should be noted that when done well, finishing a wooden door can take a few days. However, if you start the process early in the day, you will have plenty of time to get to the point where you can safely hang the door again in the afternoon.
Remove the door from the hinges with a drill/screwdriver. Unscrew the hinges, the doorknob, the lock, and any other door hardware. Place the door on two trestles. While the storm door of this house kept it secure while the door was repaired, a piece of plywood could also be cut to temporarily fill the opening.
Sand The Wooden Door
Hand sand the door with one hundred grit sandpaper attached to a hand block. Sand parallel to the grain in small strokes. It is not necessary to remove all the old stains. Sand the inside of the cracks tight with the edge of a folded piece of sandpaper, like a utility knife. Sand the inside of the rounded profiles with a piece of sandpaper rolled into a cylinder. Use a fine-grit palm sander to sand the door smoothly. Keep the palm sander moving. If you leave it in one place for too long, you will damage the wood.
Remember to follow the manufacturer’s safety precautions, including rubber gloves, eye protection, and adequate ventilation. You can also use an electric sander for flat surfaces, but you will need to sand the details of the wood by hand. The more complex the sculptures, the more tedious this process will be. Start with 60 grit paper and work up to a hundred and eighty grit paper. Be sure to remove all previous finishes.
Staining The Door
If your door is stained, you’ll need to remove the top layer, which usually peels off or gets sun damaged anyway, and why you’re doing it. Flat surfaces can be sanded with an electric sander, but all trim should be scraped and sanded by hand. These rounded profiles around the glass or inserts are ninety-nine percent difficult to clean and removing the color of the stain requires sanding down a sufficient coat of wood to remove that stain. Let the door dry overnight to make sure the stain is trapped in the pores of the wood. Hopping this step will give you dull result.
Then apply your Urethane Exterior Mast Polish with a natural bristle brush for a smooth, even coat. Start with the center panels and work your way to the outer edges. For best results, use a quality brush or apply the finish with a spray bottle. To minimize brush strokes, apply the finish in the direction of the grain. When the finish is dry, lightly sand the door with 220 grit sandpaper before applying a second coat.
The Finishing Touch
After allowing the stain to dry, the most important step is to cover the door with an exterior varnish. Exterior varnish sometimes referred to as spar varnish, although different from the spar varnish used on ships is different from interior varnish in that it contains special additives that help protect the wood from UV rays and the elements.
You will need to apply at least three coats or coats of varnish. Once the topcoat has had sufficient time to dry, reinstall the original hardware on the door once the surface coverings are dry. Hang it from the jambs. It’s time to put the materials and weather-stripping back in and admire your hard work. You have successfully restored your wooden door. Pat yourself on the back. You have done a great job.