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a very naive approach to refinish fiberglass exterior door?

a very naive approach to refinish fiberglass exterior door?

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  #1  
Old 09-18-12, 01:06 PM
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a very naive approach to refinish fiberglass exterior door?

I have a fiberglass entry door with two sidelights that has itís finish peeling all over the place. The door faces West and gets a lot of sun, and it was in not so good shape when we moved in 2 years ago. With warm days waning down, I would like to take a stab at refinishing it, but I donít have luxury of taking of much time I can spend on this project (family matters).

So I was thinking about this approach.

Leave the door hanging and remove as much peeling clear coat from the door/sidelights as possible with a putty knife and then sand the rest. Clean it with acetone an let it dry.

Mask everything that should be masked.

Spray it with polyurethane, something like this:

[ATTACH=CONFIG]3522[/ATTACH]

The Minwax 11.5 oz. Satin Fast-Drying Polyurethane comes in an aerosol can for an easy, spray-on application. It dries to a clear, hard finish that beautifies and protects interior woodwork, cabinets, furniture, doors and floors. It is ideal for application on finished and unfinished hardwood, softwood and parquet.

Be done.

Is it too stupid of an approach? I plan on installing a storm door as well, so in the future there shouldnít be too much concern for UV, but the temp might be bigger problem. The sidelights will be left exposed as they are now.
 
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  #2  
Old 09-18-12, 01:14 PM
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I would use spar urethane outside and not polyurethane. Says 'indoor' right in the description you pasted.
 
  #3  
Old 09-18-12, 01:19 PM
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hmm, i learned something new today, i didn't even know, there were other types of "urethane"! this one actually has a picture of my door right on the can:

[ATTACH=CONFIG]3523[/ATTACH]

Minwax Helmsman 11-1/2 oz. Satin Spar Urethane is a specially formulated, clear finish for exterior or interior wood that is exposed to sunlight, water or temperature changes. The urethane forms a protective barrier against rain and moisture, while the added UV blockers reduce the graying and fading effects of the sun. Special oils allow the finish to expand and contract with the wood as seasons pass and temperatures rise and fall.
 
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Old 09-18-12, 02:09 PM
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Helmsman is the correct Minwax finish to use. I'm not all that fond of the spray cans because the coating is drastically thinned so the propellant can spray it. Also they're a bit difficult to get an even coat with over large surface areas.

If you post a pic or two we might better understand your job at hand.
 
  #5  
Old 09-18-12, 02:11 PM
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Won't you also need to stain the door? Or are you just clearcoating it? I'd suggest you look into this... Google: Thermatru fiberglass door stain kit. Here is a link to the instructions of how use that kit to DIY. No finish you apply will last forever.

I also would not recommend a spray can for this. Those products also come in quarts, and using a 2" china bristle brush would probably be best.
 
  #6  
Old 09-22-12, 10:00 AM
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guys, thank you for your replies. regarding staining - i'm not sure if i need it. and it might be my ignorance speaking, so please help me out.

here are some pictures of the door. it's clear that the top coat is peeling off and it's all whiteish where it's not longer attached to the door. however underneath there seems to be a solid color surface. it doesn't appear to be stained or painted, it simply seems to be of that color. if i scrape all the loose peeling stuff, i think i should be able to cover the door in spar urethane. but i have to remove it all via sanding, then i would think the place where i sand would lose the color. alternatively i could use a chemical stripper, i guess. what would be the best option without going to extreme with labor/time?

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  #7  
Old 09-22-12, 10:22 AM
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Some FG doors are stained as they are made......seems to penetrate and hold better than the "stainable" doors at the home centers.

I'd carefully scrape...then use an abrasive pad (fake sandpaper stuff) to remove the rest...then recoat with the Spar Urethane. Might be able to just use the pad for the whole job.

Have to be very careful not to be too aggressive and expose the substrate.
 
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Old 09-22-12, 10:41 AM
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I'd agree... it looks like your door is made of tinted fiberglass resin. I'm not sure I'd "scrape" but I agree that the synthetic steel wool pads will probably be your best bet, since they won't scratch like aluminum oxide sandpaper would. But you still have to be careful with them as Vic mentioned. You'll probably want a course and fine pad for what you're doing. The fine pads are almost like those green Scotchbrite pads.

The problem with not chemically stripping EVERYTHING off the door is that the old finish will probably continue to flake. Unless you remove it all, you will probably also be able to see a sharp edge between the old and new finish. But now that we've seen the door, I'd have to agree that anything you try to do will look better than it does now!
 
  #9  
Old 09-22-12, 11:15 AM
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thanks guys! can you give me an example of a "an abrasive pad (fake sandpaper stuff)" and/or "synthetic steel wool pad" so i don't get the wrong stuff?

something like this:

[ATTACH=CONFIG]3634[/ATTACH]

?

i have an oscillating tool, so i could try to find some "gentle" abrasive pads for it. it also has a nice scrapper that might be handy for this application.
 
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  #10  
Old 09-22-12, 11:48 AM
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No...not steel wool. Bad choice. If you look in the sandpaper section...you'll see abrasive pads. Can't find a good image right now. They are like the green meany pads but thicker like a sponge.

No to the tool as well...you won't get the feel you need. Seriously, doing it by hand will probably take the same time as a tool and give better results.
 
  #11  
Old 09-22-12, 11:52 AM
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this stuff??

[ATTACH=CONFIG]3635[/ATTACH]

here is a link to abrasive pad search on HD:

Search Results for abrasive pad at The Home Depot
 
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  #12  
Old 09-22-12, 12:06 PM
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Since you mentioned the HD results...

Search Results for synthetic steel wool at The Home Depot

As you can see, the synthetic steel wool has a similar numbering system as steel wool.
 
  #13  
Old 09-22-12, 12:26 PM
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I use sanding pads like these - 3M Medium-Grit Sanding Sponges (6-Pack) 24100M at The Home Depot
They come in fine, medium and coarse. There are other brands beside 3M, they are all similar.

I don't think I've ever used synthetic steel wool but regular steel wool can discolor light stains and if a waterbased finish is used - leftover fibers can rust thru the finish

With a door in that shape, I'd scrape and sand - just be mindful of what you are doing to avoid any damage to the stain. The better prep job you do, the better the door will look. In the future, don't let the door go so long before applying a fresh coat of spar poly. Depending on how much sun and rain the door gets it's not unheard of to have to sand lightly and apply a fresh coat of poly every year.
 
  #14  
Old 09-23-12, 04:49 PM
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well, a had a few minutes today and decide to strip some of the loose stuff. the good news is - it pretty much falls off where it's barely hanging. but it's a bit tougher in spots and even gentle scrapping scrapes the solid color under. gentle sanding with a fine sand paper sponge makes it turn whitish as well. so i looks like the color layer is extremely thing. it still looks like it was manufactured with colored FB, since there are two tones - darker color in the grooves and more light overall tone. to give the door the fake wood grain finish, i guess..

the very bad news is that some of the areas of the door (ones in the shade?) have a layer of clear coat that is really solid. so i'm afraid i need to use chemical stripper first, stain it with non-transparent stain to avoid unevenness in color second and then spar urethane over that. maybe sand it with an orbital sander instead of chemical stripping.

it looks like methylene chloride strippers are the ones recommended for removal of the spar urethane. can someone recommend any particular brand? search in HD for "methylene chloride" produces results with products that say "does not contain methylene chloride".

are env friendly strippers good enough for this kind of job? it will be outside, so i'm not too concern with breathing too much of the bad stuff. or should i go nuts with the sanding and sand it all off?

p.s. the door was in pretty bad shape when we moved in, i think it was beyond of simple recoating at that point.
 
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Old 09-23-12, 05:55 PM
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Pretty sure you don't want to use the heavy duty MC strippers on fiberglass. I'll let the Pro's answer anything else...when they come back.
 
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Old 09-24-12, 04:32 AM
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Try this, take a rag wet with paint thinner and wipe those areas of the door down. While the thinner is wet you'll get an idea of how the door will look with fresh poly. Hopefully you'll find that the areas that still have poly will look the same as the areas that have peeled.

While I've painted/stained thousands of doors, I've only worked on a handful of fiberglass ones. I'd be leery of using any stripper on a fiberglass door. Touching up stain isn't near as easy as it might sound.
 
  #17  
Old 09-24-12, 05:39 AM
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marksr, the area where i tried to get loose urethane off now looks a bit off color, so i think i need to strip the entire door first and even out the stain. i will try the mechanical stripping first and non-transparent stain.

i'm taking a day off the work tomorrow to dedicated it to the project. so hopefully i can finish it tomorrow.

thanks everyone for you your help and the info!
 
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Old 09-24-12, 05:50 AM
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Try getting it wet first.... it might save you some work, if it doesn't, the thinner will evaporate in short order so it won't slow you down any.
 
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Old 09-24-12, 06:04 AM
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ok, will try that. thanks!
 
  #20  
Old 09-25-12, 05:08 PM
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it's done

well, it was a long day, but it's all done now. the premium chemical stripper did nothing, so i sanded it to a reasonable shape then clean it up with isopropyl alcohol.

two layers of stain later and it got pretty good color. it turned out to be a bit orange-ish to my taste in full sun and very shiny. a layer of spar urethane didn't tame the color nor shine. but in a shade it looks very good. here is a pic:

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here is a picture of shiny stuff in full sun:

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and a close up:

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overall wife is happy so i'm happy too. i need to put another layer of urethane, but that's for next day ...
 
  #21  
Old 09-25-12, 07:36 PM
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It looks amazingly better. Glad you got it done, and thanks for letting us know.

it turned out to be a bit orange-ish to my taste in full sun and very shiny. a layer of spar urethane didn't tame the color nor shine. but in a shade it looks very good. here is a pic:
Well, yeah, mine too, but that's in the nature of spar finishes.

overall wife is happy so i'm happy too.
Bottom line.
 
  #22  
Old 09-25-12, 08:16 PM
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You were probably going to do it anyway but just a reminder to do a light scuff sand between coats of urethane with ur fine sanding sponge to remove any impurities (dust, lint, insects... lol) in the finish.
 
  #23  
Old 09-26-12, 04:09 AM
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The sheen level can be addressed if you are so inclined. Minwax Helmsman [like most brands] comes in 3 sheens; gloss, semi-gloss and satin.

Looks like you earned your bragging rites
 
  #24  
Old 09-26-12, 06:37 AM
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i haven't put a second layer of urethane. it does call for light sanding, but i'm somewhat reluctant to do it. how bad would it be to simply coat it again?

the was only one spar urethane in my HD, so i didn't have a choice between shiny and not so
 
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Old 09-26-12, 09:27 AM
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A light sanding with 220 grit helps the next coat to adhere better. The same properties that allow the poly to withstand the weather also make it harder for the next coat to adhere unless it's sanded.

Most hardware stores and paint stores carry Helmsman..... if you feel it's worth the effort to look for satin or semi-gloss.
 
  #26  
Old 09-26-12, 09:32 AM
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is it ok to apply satin urethane over gloss one?
 
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Old 09-26-12, 09:46 AM
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Yes, it gets done all the time. I know a few floor finishers that claim you must start with gloss before switching to satin.... not sure I buy that though. As long as you scuff sand the gloss poly and stay with the same type of poly, it will work fine. You don't want to apply a waterbased poly over an oil base poly.
 
  #28  
Old 09-26-12, 09:53 AM
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ok, thanks. coming weekend looks cold and rainy, so maybe one after that. otherwise it will have to wait till spring with one layer.

thanks for you all you help.
 
  #29  
Old 09-26-12, 10:21 AM
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Just to reinforce, you must sand between coats of urethane and polyurethane to promote adhesion between the coats - this is just a light scuff sand (220 grit), you're just creating little nooks and crannies for the liquid of the next coat to flow into to create a physical bond between the coats.

And yes, you can put satin over gloss - some people think multiple coats of satin will not have enough shine so they use gloss for the undercoats and satin only for the top; it's just personal preference.
 
  #30  
Old 09-26-12, 10:33 AM
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mitch17, i got the sanding part, thanks!
 
  #31  
Old 09-26-12, 12:11 PM
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Yeah...that is kinda orange...I dunno whether you would want to use tinted poly as a top coat? Hey...if SWMBO likes it...I wouldn't even try. Tone down the gloss a bit and call it good.
 
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Old 09-26-12, 01:57 PM
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Vic, it's never a good idea to use a tinted poly like Minwax's PolyShades on the outside. It's bad enough when clear poly deteriorates, tinted makes it worse. I might be tempted to tint the urethane if the door was well protected by a large covered porch.... but not when it's fully exposed.
 
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Old 09-26-12, 03:10 PM
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Thanks Mark....wasn't sure about that. What if you put another coat of clear on top? Any difference?
 
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