Varnished Wood Garage Door Refinishing


Old 10-02-02, 08:33 AM
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Varnished Wood Garage Door Refinishing

Hi there,

I have two 10 foot wood garage door that are varnished with I-don't-know-what-cause-I-didn't-do-it.

Anyway, as with most varnished surfaces outside, it's peeling. It is starting to look ugly, and my wife is taking notice. This will cut into my couch-time sooner or later, so I'm opting for sooner.

I like the look of a varnished wood garage door and the wood isn't water stained, any tips/tricks/hints/pitfalls would be greatly appreciated.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to strip the door first, but if I can get some hints on products to use for stripping, prepping and finishing, I would greatly appreciate it!


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Old 10-02-02, 04:46 PM
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Well, us guys do need to stick together when the sanctity of our couch time is threatened by a women. Unfortunately, I don't have much experience with stained garage doors other than I bet it gets blasted by the sun? If so, whatever product you go with make sure its heavy duty to withstand that heat. Otherwise, you'll feel your wife's heat that much sooner as you redo whatever you're about to do in a few years. You could also plant a shade tree which, eventually, will cut down on the damaging effects of the sun. Stained garage doors are certainly pleasing to the eye, but I've noticed that those that aren't exposed to the sun all day hold up much better than those that are. Just some thoughts.
Old 10-02-02, 08:17 PM
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I certainly don't envy the work ahead of you.
You will need to either sand or strip all the old varnish off. A stripper with sodium hydroxide might work, you're going to have to test it. Or a heavy duty paint stipper that mentions varnishes/polys. Wolmans A&L (acrylic & latex) might work, ask a paint store if it will work on varnish.
After it's all stripped off or sanded you can stain it the color of your choice. If you are set on a varnish final finish, make sure you use a marine spar varnish/urethane. They are formulated for exterior use, but unfortunately they will also start to peel in a few years due to the sun's UV radiation. Now you know why I sold my old wooden Lyman and bought a fg boat. Wood boat owners are ALWAYS working on their wooden finishes.
good luck,
Old 10-26-02, 09:14 AM
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I was afraid of that...**groan** to the paint store to talk about varnish stripping....
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