How to Lighten Gel Stain on Fiberglass Doors

What You'll Need
Paint Thinner
Paint Spirits
Paint Brush
Gel Stain
Overcoat (clear)
Painter's Tape

When staining fiberglass doors, it is sometimes difficult to get the color right. A gel staining liquid is ideal for putting color into your fiberglass doors, but it can sometimes adhere too well to the surface, and this can give your doors a very dark look. Lightening the gel stain is one solution to making your fiberglass doors look brighter and fresher, and is easily done by the home improvement fan. By following a few simple steps, you can lighten the stain on your gel doors within a few hours.

Step 1 - Remove the Door Furniture

Take all of the hardware off of your door, including door knobs, hinges and other door furniture. You should also take this opportunity to take off the weather stripping from around the frame, and remove any found at the bottom of the door. This will help to keep the stripping clean while you stain the fiberglass doors.

Step 2 - Prepare the Door

Lay out pieces of painter's tape, and trim them to fit any glass in your door. Lay them carefully around the glass, using them to keep on plastic sheets if you want to protect the glass completely. You should also lay down some painter's cloths around the door frame, and under the door. This will help protect the bottom of the door, and any carpet or tiles nearby, from getting covered in the stain. Clean your fiberglass door using some cloth and a little of the painter's spirits. Make sure that you wipe down the door with clean water before applying any stain, and leave to dry.

Step 3 - Add the Gel

Put your paintbrush into the gel stain, so that the liquid covers the tip of the brush. Don't stick the whole brush into the tin, as this will cause it to become saturated with heavy stain, which will then make your fiberglass doors look heavy. Add the first layer of stain by painting quickly and evenly across the surface of the door, following the same direction (up and down or side to side) in order to make the door have a wood grain effect.

Step 4 - Applying the Stain

Don't try to stain your door all at once, as this can increase the heaviness of the staining. Instead, start in a small area, and extend the stain gradually. Stain the edges of the door first, and then move towards the middle of the door. Work to blend the stained sections together evenly.

Step 5 - Lightening the Stain

While the stain is still wet, remove excessive amounts using a dry cloth. You can apply a second coat of stain, or you can leave for 24 hours, and then apply three or four coats of your clear topcoat. This will help to protect your fiberglass doors, and also ensure that your stain doesn't darken as it weathers. If you're working on an old door, you may need to strip the dark stain and begin again before you get a lightening of the gel stain.