Tips For Refinishing Exterior Doors and Give Them A New Look

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Tips For Refinishing Exterior Doors and Give Them A New Look
image credit : northtechwindows

When the weather is continually harsh, it affects wooden exterior doors. Most of them crack, warp, fade, or start rotting. Because wooden doors are expensive, most homeowners replace them with more affordable materials such as fiberglass and steel.

Luckily, other than doors affected by rot, other forms of damage can be managed. A professional from NorthTech Windows and Doors can help you turn your exterior doors back to how you initially installed them or you can opt for a DIY. Here is how:

1. Removing the Door Hardware

Make sure you have removed the door before you start working on it. Lay it on padded sawhorses to prevent it from getting damaged.

Once you have correctly set your exterior doors, start removing the hardware.

2. Sanding the Flats

Remove flakes and varnish using a random-bit sander. Start with an 80-grit paper, then 100 grit, and finally 120-grit. Do not sand beyond this value.

3. Scraping the Moldings

Since a rotary sander cannot reach the corners, use a sharp razor scraper. Use downward movements while working on these parts to avoid damaging the grain.

For safety precaution, use both hands to apply pressure on the scraper. They help in preventing accidental slips.

4. Hand-sanding the Profiles and Clearing Dust

You will need 100-grit sandpaper for the profiles. Fold it in thirds, and using your fingertips, press it on the patterns.

Use long strokes to rub back and forth. A sanding sponge is ideal for use in inside corners. Brush off the dust and vacuum thoroughly to avoid ruining the finish.

5. Sealing Door Edges before Rehanging

You have to work on your door’s edges with a coat of finish before rehanging it. Work on it while on the sawhorses and then put it back on its hinges. Using hinges is the easiest way to rehang your exterior doors.

6. Choosing a Finish for Your First Coat

Prepare your painting brush by soaking it in paint thinner for a few minutes. Knock off the excess and proceed with working on the door. 

Take a clean bucket and put some finish. Use your painting brush to paint the panels and then the moldings. The horizontal rails should follow, and then the vertical stiles.

 Make sure the finish does not get out of the sequence. If it happens, use a dry rug to wipe it before drying up. Wait for the door to dry overnight before operating it.

The Finish to Use

Paint is practically the best finish for exterior doors and gives them approximately 8- 10 years of protection against the weather.

There are many formulations available today for finishing exterior doors. Get one with UV-protection properties and follow instructions to apply it.

If you use a clear finish, you will have to sand it after a few years. This practice helps in removing damaged layers. Once it is finished, a few coats of fresh finish are applied.

Do not feel tempted to avoid sanding clear finishes. They end up forming huge wear and tear, which will be costly in the long run.

1. Applying Final Coat and Reattaching the Hardware

The final step involves returning the hardware to their position. Before then, you have to make sure your door is tidy. The first thing is to sand it with a 200-grit paper. When hand-sanding your door, it will have dried overnight. This grit size prevents you from removing all the furnish you just applied.

Use a dry cloth to dust your entry doors after sanding. Paint the second coat of finish and leave it overnight like the first coat to dry. Hand-sand with a 280-grit paper and dust. After you are done dusting, apply the final coat. Allow it to dry and finally reattach the hardware. 

Refinishing an entry door takes three days. Before you start working on your entry doors, find a way to cover the space as you work on your door. You should also consider the weather to make sure it is favorable for the project.

Once you have completed the refinishing project you will certainly notice the difference. Good luck!

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