The front door of one’s home gives guests their first impression of what may be found inside when they visit. Doors serve as a critical element of your home’s functionality and aesthetic.
Wear & Tear on Your Doors
A front door is a great feature when it comes to your home’s curb appeal. They will receive a lot of wear and tear throughout their life from exposure to sunlight, rain, snow, and frost that can significantly damage and leave it looking worn out. Homeowners that have older homes with older doors that are important to the style of the house. Replace an ailing door can cost up thousands of dollars, so repairing is always a great option. Refurbishing a wood door that is stained or painted wood, it can be sanded and re-painted/stained and sealed for probably a little more than one hundred dollars. With regular maintenance, your wood door can last for decades.
How to Refurbish Your Doors
Step 1: Remove the Door From the Hinges
Wood doors can be extremely heavy, so you’ll need some help with this step of removing the door from its hinges. Place some wood blocks under the bottom edge to help support the door as you begin to remove the door hinges. With the door now able to slide out from the hinges lay the door flat on a pair of sawhorses.
Step 2: Remove All Door Hardware
If the door is still in reasonably good condition, you may be able to get away with just re-coating of spar varnish. Otherwise, you strip down the door entirely before refinishing. The first thing you need to do is remove all the door hardware and hinge-posts. Then inspect the damaged areas. For smaller areas of damage, remove any loose or dry-rotted pieces and use a wood-stabilizer to return some of the wood’s structural integrity. For large areas of damage, you may consider replacing the damaged wood with a new section of wood.
Step 3: Strip the Old Paint
An added benefit from stripping the paint is revealing the design details of the door hidden by many layers of paint. If you work inside, be sure that there is adequate ventilation. Apply the paint stripper and let sit as directed by the instructions on the container. Scrape off the paint with a wide putty knife to remove most of the softened paint then use a shaped scraper for corners and details. Repeat the process until nearly all of the paint is gone and the wood exposed. Neutralize the paint stripper with an appropriate liquid product as directed on the stripper instructions.
Step 4: Sand the Door
It’s time to sand everything down. You can use a power sander for the flat surfaces, but you’ll need to sand the woodwork details by hand. Start with 60-grit paper and work your way up to 180-grit paper. Be careful when sanding wood adjacent to glass as sanding will scratch the window. Use painter’s tape to protect the glass. This will also come in handy when it’s time to stain & varnish.
Step 5: Remove All Traces of Sawdust & Apply Stain or Paint
Make sure to vacuum away all the sawdust and then wipe down the door. Now, you can apply a stain or paint of your choice, if desired.
Stain: Use a paintbrush or rag to saturate the wood with the stain, then wipe it off with a painter’s rag. Apply a second coat if desired.
Paint: Apply a primer coat to the door surface and allow it to dry. Lightly sand it and apply a second coat if necessary. After the primer drys, sand the surface lightly with 220-grit sandpaper. Remove all sanding dust. Apply an enamel topcoat. Be sure to use a quality paintbrush, made for enamel paint, that’s at least 2-1/2” wide to help lay down a smooth surface of the paint with a minimum of brush strokes.
Step 6: Apply Exterior varnish (Staining ONLY)
After letting the stain dry, the most crucial step is to coat the door with an exterior varnish. An exterior varnish will need to be used due to the fact it is different from interior varnish because it has special additives that help protect the wood from UV rays and from the elements. You’ll want to apply at least 2-3 coats of varnish.
Step 7: Reinstall Hardware and Hang Your Door
It’s also a good time to polish or replace any hardware before reinstalling. After letting the varnish dry according to the instructions, reinstall the door hardware and re-hang your door.
Other doors you may need to refurbish or repair:
- Interior Doors
- Exterior Doors
- Sliding Glass Doors
- Screen Doors
- Storm Doors
- French Doors
- Pocket Doors
- Sliding Barn Doors
- Closet Doors
- And More!
Replacing An Entry Door
Replacing an entry door system altogether can run into the hundreds and even thousands of dollars depending upon the presence, type, and quantity of glass and hardware. A replacement project will probably require the services of a professional contractor and at least two individuals to perform the labor. Precise field measurements are necessary to ensure that the desired door will fit within the existing framing.
Need Help or have questions about Installing a Backsplash in Your Bathroom? Contact Us online at or give Us a call at 1 (503) 3357-8810. From concept to completion, we provide full remodeling services. Let’s Build It!
Kurt Kopp is a dedicated professional with a commitment to excellence. He is a master builder of over 35 years of experience that strives to deliver the highest quality product to his valued customer.