How to Stain a Metal Door

A metal door.
  • 3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 70
What You'll Need
Respirator mask
Cleaning rags
Spray cleaner
Metal primer
Gel stain
Spray sealant

A unique way to give metal doors and other metal furniture a worn-out and antique-like look is to stain metal. Gel stains are best for staining metal since they stay in place longer. Below are the materials that you need along with the instructions on how to stain a metal door.

Step 1 - Wash the Metal Door

Use a spray cleaner on a cleaning rag to wash the door. Be sure to clean the metal door well and rid it as much as possible of all dirt, dust, and other particles. It is important that your door is smooth and clean because the primer and stain you will be using will stick better on the door’s surface. Make sure the metal door has enough time to dry before proceeding to the next step.

Step 2 - Prime the Metal Door

Apply two, thin coats of your primer on the metal door, making sure that you let each coat of primer dry for 90 minutes before applying the next coat. Use a paintbrush to apply the coats of primer. Use even strokes when applying. Be sure that none of the primer drips or runs down the surface of the door, as these will be seen even when you start staining. Check the primer before use to see if it has any toxic chemicals in it, and if so wear a respirator mask.

Step 3 - Stain the Metal Door

Use a gel coat to stain the door. When you do this, be sure you protect your hands with gloves so that you do not get any solution on them. Take a dry rag. Dip the rag in gel coat and apply the gel coat onto your metal door. Make sure that you smooth out the gel coat evenly on the metal door, making sure that it is spread out. There must not be any extra stain parts on your door as this will make your work look uneven. When you are finished, allow the stain to set for around 30 minutes.

Step 4 - Buff the Metal Door

When the stain has set, Use another clean and dry rag to buff the excess stain that appears on your metal door. The buffing process will inhibit the stain from getting on your clothes or your hands when you touch the metal door. After buffing the door, examine it and determine whether or not you like the look of your new stained door. If you are still unsatisfied, you can opt to add more of the gel coat to stain the door some more. Do not forget to buff the door again.

Step 5 - Seal the Metal Door

Use spray sealer to seal the finished door. This process will protect your new door by adding another layer to the stained surface. It will then be safe from scratches and other external factors that may cause damage to your new door. Use two, thin coats of the sealer. Give it another 25 minutes to allow the sealer to set and dry before adding the next coat.