Friday, March 4, 2016

How to Refinish Your Door

We are the first renters in our house since the current owners purchased it, and they purchased it as a foreclosure.  Our house could have been on one of those HGTV shows where they flip the house or convince the couple to buy a fixer-uper and then remodel it top to bottom.  The house was built in the early 90s and really hadn't been updated since.  It had baby blue and pink carpet throughout, mirrors all over the place (like big, cover the hole walls, feel like you got lost at a dance studio mirrors), and the wallpaper!  Oh the wallpaper!  By the time we moved in the wallpaper was gone and the walls are a crisp, clean white (well, off-white).  The carpet has been replaced by tile through most of the house and new carpet in the bedrooms.  The mirrors are gone and the walls have been retextured and painted so you would never know it was there!  It really looks fantastic!  (oh, I almost forgot, the curtains!  yuck!  The living room looked like it was always decorated for Independence day and the rest of them were, well, stuck in the 90s.  You know, those awkward pastel hues that should never go together...)  

One thing that has needed done since we moved in was the front door.  The rest of the renovations were finished like 3 days before we moved in, and once we got there, things kind of stopped.  Well, sort of, we spent 8 months fixing the jungle of a yard, but that's beside the point.  The people we rent from bought a can of stain for the well weathered front door, but that's as far as it got.  Well!  I found that can of stain yesterday and took to the front door!

You've probably noticed that our front door always kind of looks like this in all of my pictures.  You probably just thought, too much light exposure, bring it down a notch.  But no, that's just how it looked...

So I was pretty excited when I found the stain for the door!  I took to the internet to figure out just how to do this, the right way!  I used a ployurethane-stain combo.  I'm not sure (based on my research) if that was the perfect thing to use, but it actually worked out for me.  If you know you have a fiberglass door, I would look into a gel stain.  If you have a wood door, the stuff I used is probably fine.  

First I took the finest sandpaper I had and did a super light sanding of the door.  Make sure you go with the grain!  My goal here wasn't to scratch the door at all, just to rough up the old finish a little bit and make sure the stain would take.

Next I wiped everything down really well with wet paper towels to get all the dust, dirt, cobwebs, etc. off the door.  You want it to be totally clean.

I would suggest wearing gloves for this project, because your hands will get stain on them, and it won't come off easily!  Just take a clean rag (that you don't mind throwing away) and start with any decorative areas then fill in the flat stuff.  Make sure you go with the grain as you will be able to see if you don't.

See!  It's not just a lighting issue!  The difference is amazing!

When you're done, just let it dry :) I actually have a fan on it right now to help blow the smell out the door and to help it dry.  Make sure you do it early in the day so it has time to dry and on a day that you won't freeze to death or bake if the door is open all day long. 

Seriously!  That was super easy and it looks fantastic!  If I have time I'll do another coat.  If not I'll do it another day just to make sure it's good and sealed.  Enjoy!  Show me your before and after pictures, I can't wait to see them!

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