refinishing front door (wood)

Old 06-25-06, 01:42 PM
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refinishing front door (wood)

I am refininshing a solid wood door that has been previously stained and laquered. The stain has faded due to sun exposure. What are the steps to restain and laquer the door. The door gets a couple hours of morning sun each day.
Old 06-25-06, 01:58 PM
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In time the varnish begins flaking and peeling, especially if there's no storm door.

Sunlight is the culprit. Ultraviolet (UV) rays attack the cellular structure of the wood under the varnish, giving it a "sunburn." Varnish can't stick to damaged wood. UV rays also damage the clear finish.

The best solution is to paint the door. Paint has coloring pigment that blocks UV rays and protects the wood. But if you really like that stained and varnished look, it requires a little work.

First you must sand, scrape or strip the damaged finish. Where the finish is in good condition, you must sand and roughen the surface.

How far you go with the refinishing depends on the condition of the door. If more than 25% of the finish is damaged, your best bet is to chemically strip the door and start with bare wood.

For a final clear finish, look for a UV-resistant varnish (often called spar varnish or marine finish). The finish is expensive and may only be available in a gloss formula. Follow the specific instructions for your varnish, and don't forget to finish all six areas of the door (front, back, top, bottom and sides).

A final option would be to install a storm door to protect the wood door. There are attractive storm doors available that are mostly glass so your wood door can still show through.


Last edited by Annette; 06-26-06 at 10:59 AM.
Old 06-25-06, 06:57 PM
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Use a chemical stripper remove the finish and stain, following the instructions on the stripper. Following the instructions on the stain and varnish, stain and finish the door.

Sunlight is hard on stained doors. Check for a finish that has some degree of UV inhibitor in it.

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