How to Refinish a Home Entry Door

How to Refinish a Home Entry Door

Troubled by a weather-beaten exterior door? Doors in and around Texas suffer from flakes of varnish and effects from water and sun. If ignored for long, most of these doors end up in the trash and homeowners are forced to replace doors with cheap and low-maintenance fiberglass and metal surrogates.

If you’re a determined homeowner who wants to save their front door because you know the value of your antique door, you may want to put in some effort or hire a painting contractor like Encore Painting to restore it to its full glory.

We have worked on many old home door projects in Texas and have made sure every door we touch becomes fresh and as fragrant as the day you bought it and had it installed. For those of you who love DIY-ing such jobs, we have even created an expert guide to help you refinish your weather damaged door. 

Here is the step by step guide.

Start by Removing the Door Hardware

Before you start with the refinishing project, we recommend setting it on a padded sawhorse and take off all the hardware. 

Start with Sanding the Flat Surfaces of Your Wood Door

  • While the door rests comfortably on a padded sawhorse, take an orbit sander and quickly remove any old varnish and flakes of wood on the door. 

Sand the door once again with a 100-120 grit paper. Any further than that will lead to blocked pores in the wood which will eventually prevent the finishing material from attaching to the surface properly.

Scrape Away Any Moldings on the Door

  • Scrapers that are sharp and small can usually make their way to narrow profiles on the door which is hard to reach with the sander. So pull out your scraper with grain and use both of your hands and apply downward pressure to reduce the risk of slip gouging your door. 

We recommend using sharp blades to get the job done.

Clear the Dust with Hand Sand Profiles

  • For this, you’ll need half a sheet of 100-grit sandpaper. Just press it onto the section of the profile with your fingers and then rub it back and forth over the length of the molding. 

If possible,m use a sanding sponge inside and above the corners where your fingers can’t easily reach. Follow up with light brushing and vacuuming to make sure all the dust has been taken off.

Seal off the Door Edges

  • While the door is still on the sawhorse, seal its top and bottom edges with a fresh coat of finish. Now you can put the door back to its hinges before applying the main coat. If you don’t hinge the door, it will be really hard to put it back without damaging the finish.

Apply the First Coat of Finishing

  • We recommend using a China-bristle brush for a minute to paint thinner and then spin-off any excess. Now pour some finish in a bucket and dip this brush about the third way in. Start applying the finish on the panels and then move to any surrounding moldings.

Now coat the rails and then move to vertical stiles. If the finish makes it way to a dry surface, make sure to immediately clean it with a rag. After you are done applying the finish, let the door rest for the night.

  • It is very important to use the right finish for the job. For example, two coats of enamel paint over the primer will give you the best results with long-lasting protection against weather damage. But if you choose to go with a wood door with a clear finish, it will appear a lot more attractive.

Apply the Final Coat

  • After the door has completely dried up, use hand-sand with a 220-grit paper. Dust the door and make sure to wipe it down to remove the dust with a tack cloth. Now brush the second coat and sand it again using a 280-grit paper. 

You are now ready to put the final coat on the door. When the finish has dried overnight, you can start reattaching the door hardware and you are done.

Seek Help from Professional Painters

Door refinishing is one of the toughest paint jobs according to many DIY enthusiasts. If you are having trouble with refinishing your exterior door, don’t fret. Get in touch with Encore Painting today and we’ll give you a free online estimate for the job.

As part of our extensive selection of exterior home services, we offer custom door restoration. Is your home entry door in need of refinishing or stripping? Do you have antique or specialty doors that could use some beautification? The team at Encore can restore those doors!