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Door Refinishing

Do I Need My Doors Refinished? How Does it Work?

Step 01 – Identify Your Door & Current Coating

Metal doors can only be painted, never stained. If you worry that cuts down your options, have no fear. We have tons of colors right here!

Wood doors, unlike metal, can be painted or stained. Previously stained doors can easily be refinished and revitalized with stain; painted doors, not so much. A brand new wood door can be painted or stained—it’s a blank canvas!

Step 02 – Choose Either Paint or Stain

Paint tends to last longer than stain, even when combined with a clear coating. On the other hand, if you already have a beautifully crafted door, it would be a shame to cover it with paint. Paint comes in countless colors and stain is available in many shades, all of which generally look like wood.

Step 03 – Choose Your Color & Finish

Front doors look best in bold colors that complement some surrounding colors but largely create contrast with the rest of the home. If you’re having trouble choosing the color of your front door, check out some of these tips for help.

Semi-gloss is the most common sheen when it comes to paint, and some gloss is always needed to help with water repelling. Stain, however, provides many other options that can be more durable than most paints. Brush-on marine varnish is our most common clear coat for stained doors. It comes in satin, semi-gloss, and high-gloss varieties. Lacquer finishing, by far the most durable coating for a stained door, comes in dull, semi-gloss, and high-gloss sheen. It is also the most expensive product due to the complexity of its application.

Step 04 – Paint Process

Before any painting or staining can begin, door handles and any decorations will need to be removed. We will take care of this. If the door is being finished while already in place, we can work around the hinges and peep hole.

The first step in our process involves scraping off loose paint, then sanding the surface to remove any textural inconsistencies. We also smooth out splinters and level gouges in the door’s exterior. Not all of the old paint will need to be removed unless the majority is peeling off. In most cases, though, this can be avoided by using a good primer to help seal old paint. After all preparations are completed, the door will need to be properly cleaned and then primed for best results. Priming prior to repainting can greatly extend the life of the new paint and help the finished product look even better. Once the primer is dry, it’s time to get some color on it! All doors painted by hand are brushed and rolled. A brush can cut in around hinges and peep holes or in other places where a roller will not fit, such as engraved designs. A special roller designed to produce smooth door finishes will then be used to roll out all the flat surfaces on the door. Note: A minimum of two coats of paint are required to properly finish a door.

Step 05 – Stain Process

Stain needs to be applied to a porous surface in order to be absorbed and to set properly. Most stains are made from oil because the naturally rich consistency allows for the stain to be absorbed much deeper into the wood, similar to the saturation of oil paint. The wood stain then acts like a primer, onto which a clear coat is applied. All wood doors are not created equal, though — some species of wood absorb pigments more easily than others, and this dramatically influences the final color of the door.

Explore our options and decide from an array of stain color choices, then choose your clear coat finish. Note: A previously finished door will require that all clear coating be removed, and stain sanded off before applying a different color of stain. Painted doors require far more extensive preparations to remove any paint from the surface, paint and stain do not mix well together.


Every Stain Is Unique

Not all doors are created equal: some are made from hardwood, others from softer or lighter wood. The species of wood from which your door is made from will affect the color and saturation intensity of the stain, or how much pigment is absorbed. 

A previously finished door will require that all clear coating be removed and stain sanded off before applying a different color of stain. Painted doors require far more extensive preparations to remove any paint from the surface, since paint and stain do not mix well together.

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