When it comes to deciding whether to paint or stain your doors, cabinets, ceiling beams or anything else there will always be some questions. We hope this article will help you decide!

Wood Refinishing  Your Front Door

Is your front door looking tired, faded, and dried out? Tired of coming home to a beat-up front door? Or, are you having a party and want to welcome your guests with a fresh new clean look? Well, give your home a facelift by refinishing that front door.

At Local San Diego Painting, we specialize in all types of wood refinishing and resurrecting beat-up old painted front doors! Below are the tips, options, and advice that you need to make a decision like a pro!

First, look to see if the front door is in good enough shape to invest the time and money needed to properly get the door refinished. Doors with Bondo repairs, large cracks, or failing veneer will not likely be a good candidate for staining. If the door is in bad shape then painting is definitely the way to go.

Second, if your front door is in good shape then consider this: When staining a front door, sanding or chemically stripping it down to bare wood is almost always recommended.

Gel stains and toning are an option to avoid a full strip but usually leave a cheaper brittle-looking finish with little depth. Stripping it down to bare wood allows the stain to penetrate into the wood for a rich and full finish. Then once the clear coats are applied, you get a rich high-quality finish with beautiful depth and color. In addition, this also allows the clear coat to bond to the wood and not the existing coating that could be compromised or cloudy.

The above option is not a quick and easy one. Stripping, cleaning, detail sanding, staining, and then the clear coat process can take up to a week for a standard-size front door. The condition determines the process needed. I also recommend taking the weather stripping off the door so the work can be done without having to remove the doors and leave the home open during the process.

Painting the Front Door

Paint refinishing your front door with a contrasting color can also be a great way to give your home a fresh, modern look. Strong accent colors, subtle off-whites, and even going bold with black are all options. Determining the condition of the door and the process needed is the first step. Ask yourself “Does the door need to be taken back to bare wood or is the current paint surface in solid condition, and just a little tired and beat up?”

A door that needs to be taken down to bare wood might have a single layer or multiple layers of failing paint coats. Bubbling or heavily cracking paint would also be another scenario that would warrant a full refinish. The same process would be used for stripping a door to paint as it would be to strip a door to stain. The only difference is the wood will not need to be cleaned of stains or discolorations once the door is down to bare wood.

Once the door is down to bare wood, priming is a must. Once primed, a quick sanding is recommended before applying the first finish coat. Then, sand again before the final coat and you’ll have a professionally refinished front door!

This kind of work is not easy, and the chemicals needed can be dangerous to use. If taking on front door refinishing, please be careful, use proper PPP, don’t skip steps, and never let solvent rags sit in a bucket (they can combust into flames with no spark), and as always, do it right the first time!

We hope you’ve been able to sort out whether to paint or stain giving these details. If you would like a professional San Diego painter to come by and give you a free estimate call us! (619) 586-5683

Work smarter, not harder!