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Staining Exterior Door

I have a exterior front fiberglass door that was stained in a medium oak stain. The exterior side of the door is fading due to the sun. The exterior side of the door is in excellent shape, no cracks, splits, etc. Just needs to be restained. I haven't done this before, Any suggestions as which products to use and procedure. Interior side of the door is okay.

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Posted 2011-03-12T21:13:27+0000  by rocky123 rocky123

Hi, and welcome to the community.


   In most cases these doors should have a coat of stain followed by one or two clear coats. It’s the clear coats that you will have to deal with before attempting any revitalization. The good news is that this is a fairly easy project that will only take a little bit of time to complete. You will have to remove the clear coat so that the new stain can adhere correctly.




Here is a list of materials you will need:

  • Sand paper or sanding block (#150 grit).
  • Rags, rubber gloves and protective eye wear.
  • Stain (a gel stain works well).
  • Spar Urethane.
  • Paint brushes.
Gel Stain.jpg

cdd25881-a23f-4b37-acdd-758587a9b281_300.jpg                     dooroptionsthumbs_stain.jpg


Here are the steps to follow:

  1. You can either remove the door and set it on saw horses or work on it directly. I recommend removing it – for ease of working.
  2. Remove all hardware like locks and handles. Also remove any kick plates that might be attached.
  3. Lightly sand the whole surface of the door – paying close attention to raised decorative trim sections. It’s OK if you sand down to the original material, the new stain will cover it. Try and keep the surface uniform and not “splotchy”.
  4.  Wipe the surface with a clean damp rag – removing any dust.
  5. Brush the gel stain onto the surface of the door in sections (see the illustration below)..
  6. Gently wipe the stain off the surface of the door – leaving the desired amount for depth of color. Follow the illustration below for sequence.
  7. After letting the stain dry, apply a coat of clear polyurethane (referring to the illustration below).
  8. Reinstall the hardware and the door.
staining and  painting a door.JPG

I hope this helped please let us know if there are any more questions you have.

Posted 2011-03-13T13:24:27+0000  by Kevin_HD_ATL

Hello Rocky123, and welcome to the community.


I work for the Home Depot in the Door & Window department, and I wanted to give you the links for manufactures that Home Depot carries. These links direct you to their refinishing instructions, and recommendations if you want to comply to their warranty.



Feather River

Feather River general care & maintenance


Feather River indicates: 


"To remove topcoat, use Mar-Hyde® Talstrip® II remover. Apply the remover generously to a door one side at a time. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Let the remover sit for 15–30 minutes and scrape off the remover and finish with a plastic scraper while being careful not to gouge or mark up the door. Use a plastic stiff bristle brush in the corners and hard to reach areas. Repeat as necessary until all of the topcoat is removed. When finished, wipe with mineral spirits. Wipe again with water and a lint-free cloth and let it dry. Make sure all remover residue is removed from the door.


As to the lite frame and door edges, remove the masking tape and lightly sand while being careful not to remove the wood-grain. Use 200 or 240-grit sandpaper. Before painting or applying stain to the lite frame and door edges, wipe with water and a lint-free cloth and let dry. Do not use mineral spirits, use only water to clean the above components."



Jeld-Wen finishing instructions


Jeld-Wen indicates:


"Clean the door with a clean, lint-free cloth, removing all dust and foreign debris. For light cleaning, a one part vinegar to ten parts water mixture can be used. For tough dirt removal, use denatured alcohol making sure all residue is removed by turning the cloth often while cleaning. Allow the door to dry thoroughly. DO NOT USE SANDPAPER OR LACQUER THINNER ON FIBERGLASS, FIBERLAST OR FINISHIELD® DOORS."


If either of these are not the manufacture of your door, then you should check the hinge area or glass for manufacture designation, and contact them directly for instructions. The instruction may vary for different makers of Fiberglass doors, and failure to adhere to their guidelines may damage your door and/or void the warranty.


Please let us if we can be of any further help.



Posted 2011-03-14T17:10:10+0000  by Angelo_HD_CHI

I recd two reply that said to use sandpaper and one reply that said NOT to use sandpaper on a fiberglass door. I purchased Miniwax per your instruction and it does not say anything about sanding on a fiberglass door. Which is correct? QUestion on the sealer, for an exterior fiberglass door is it best to use 2 or 3 coats?


Posted 2011-03-15T14:52:21+0000  by rocky123



Hello Rocky123 and welcome back!


Just a quick question before we start on a door question; what about Rocky 4?


Rocky 1234:smileyhappy:,

There are many different brands when it comes to fiberglass doors and before we go any further with an exact recommendation I would need to ask; who’s the manufacturer of yours?


Each manufacturer has specific recommendations when it comes to their products and in order to determine which of the above mentioned recommendations applies to your door we would need to know the brand of that door.


There should be a manufactures stamp on the hinge side of the door slab.

So let's get that info, if possible, and try at the first place to comply with manufactures instructions and warranty.


If you are unable to determine brand of the door and we can’t find instructions to follow I would follow above recommended instructions based on the situation that you are dealing with.


In other words if you door is faded and there is a coating that needs to be removed  in order to achieve uniform prep surface than you would need to sand that door.


Please follow up so we can further assist you.


Posted 2011-03-15T17:08:12+0000  by George_HD_CHI

Stains suitable for application over fiberglass are very limited.


GelStain is one of just a few products suitable for staining these surfaces.


Since stains are surface coatings on fiberglass and do not penetrate into the surface (like wood), the prep for staining does not include a stripping agent.


Rather, you'll simply use 220-grit (or finer) to sand in the direction of the faux wood grain.


This will remove any flaking and chalking from the surface.


Wipe the surface clean using a dry terry towel and apply your GelStain using long, flowing strokes with a natural bristle brush.


On fiberglass, GelStain is not wiped off.


Smooth-on an even coat and allow six-hour dry-time; apply a second coat if you want the color to be darker.


After you're satisfied with the stain color, apply exterior polyurethane to protect the color.


Spar Urethane is an exterior grade clear coat that contains an ultraviolet light inhibitor ... it is one of only a few exterior clear coats suitable for your application.


Like GelStain, Spar Urethane is applied with long, flowing strokes using a natural bristle brush.


Lightly sand with 220-grit sandpaper between coats of urethane, wipe off the sanding dust with a dry terry towel, and apply your next coat.



Two or three coats of exterior-grade polyurethane are most common. 

Sheens include satin and gloss.
Posted 2015-02-12T19:41:58+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
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