DIY Gel Stain Garage Door Update

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Since we updated our faded garage door with gel stain back in May of 2014 I’ve gotten a bunch of questions asking how well it’s been holding up.  So that’s what I’m sharing today.  Check it out – DIY Gel Stain Garage Door Update – all the details below!

Gel Stain Garage Door Update

DIY Gel Stain Garage Door Update

You can read all the details about how we used Gel Stain to Updated our Faded Garage Door here.  And here’s a little video about our process…


Here’s the gist though.  Our garage door faces east.  When we moved in, over 10 years ago now, the garage door was in so-so shape.  But each year the garage door faded more and more.  We bake here in the summer with temperatures regularly hovering around 100 degrees from July through September. (affiliate links provided for your convenience)

Faux Wood Garage Door Update with Stain

DIY Gel Stain Garage Door Update

So we decided to try some gel stain on it.  You can see how the brown paint was so faded.

We wanted a faux wood look and this technique really did give us that look for less than $15!!!

So how is it looking after 4 blazing hot summers?

Gel Stain Garage Door Update

Great!  The color has held up beautifully!

Still one of my favorite DIY projects!  Such a great makeover for less than $15 and only a few hours of your time!

Gel Stain Garage Door Update

I love how it created a faux wood finish.  Sorry for the bit of sunlight glare on this photo.  We’re blazing hot out here and the sun was reflecting off the neighbor’s window across the street.

So would I recommend this project still?  Yes!

If you’re interesting in trying gel stain on your garage door

make sure to read through the post for all the details on how we did it.

You can purchase the Gel Stain we used here


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Thanks for stopping by!


  1. We did our garage door about 5 years ago with Old Masters gel stain and an exterior poly and it looked great until this year. The finish is now powdery and flaking off. I am not sure if it was the poly or the stain. We are going to have to get that off and start over. I am considering the Giani kit for garage doors this time. Any suggestions. Thanks

  2. You may want to edit your heading to include “METAL” Garage door. This technique does not work for wooden garage doors and the title is misleading to those of us who have WOOD garage doors.

  3. I gel stained my garage door a “coffee” dark brown… It turned out too dark. Is it possible to gel stain over it with a lighter color?

  4. I gel stained my garage door a “coffee” deep brown and it looks too dark. Is it possible to gel stain over it with a lighter colored stain?

  5. I live in a townhome community. 70 garage doors were gel stained. They all started with the factory white primed metal, wood grained garage doors.
    The doors were given two coats of gel stain with the first to create the light overall base color and the second to simulate wood grain. They were all top coated with a marine grade clear UV resistant sealer.
    It was recommended that they all be resealed at least every three years, but they were not done. At year 5, the doors receiving the most sun started to show cracks in the finish. The cracking accelerated. In year 6 or 7, the worst doors were restrained and sealed. The original stain was not removed as it was mostly still adhered.
    They are darker from the additional coat and a water based sealer was used. We will see how they hold up in another year or so.
    I think the lesson is to have a fresh primer on the doors so the gel stain sticks well, then maintain that UV protectant finish every 2 to 3 years depending on sun exposure. Also, if you restain over the old coat, expect the color to get darker.

    1. This was the easiest and fasted project my husband and I ever did. 2 years later it’s, discolored, bubbling and peeling down to the metal. It took me 11 hours from start to finish to remove everything down to the metal. I first tried to power wash it with poor results. I bought a gallon of Citrus Strip at Home Depot and hung leftover plastic disposal table cloths I had left over from a party so it wouldn’t dry out. 2 hrs later I started to scrape the the door down to the metal with a plastic scraper. A mess . Power washed again. Still not all Was removed so I made a squirt bottle with 50/50 hot water and the gel stripper. I repeated the process a few times over the areas that were baked on. I had to hose down the driveway because the paint and old stain were now back to a gel forum and sweeping made it a gooey mess. I built a little damn in our gutter to collect the paint chunks and not go down the storm drain. I’m down to metal and looking for information on how to proceed. Primer and gel stain, just gel stain or primer and paint.

  6. I did this to my garage in the summer of 2017. I loved how yours turned out! I loved mine at first but now it’s just a mess. I live in Indiana and not sure if it’s the weather but it’s all peeling off. I’m so disappointed because I really liked that we weren’t like all the other homes in our neighborhood. It’s not only peeling the stain but the primer coat underneath:(

    1. Ours is doing the same thing…peeling down to the bare metal. Just curious on the best way to repair…just fix the areas that are peeling or re-do entire door?

      1. I am in the process of removing the gel stain and I’m going on about 4 hours. The bottom 2 rows came just a bit easier but it was also peeling a lot worse than the top 2 rows. I am currently using the citristrip and it seems to be working a bit easier. I’ve also been using a pressure washer through the whole process. Good luck to you!

    2. Mine has done the same thing. We did ours the summer of 2016. I’m so bummed and frustrated that I’m going to have to try and scrap it all off. Ugh.

      1. Hi Mary ann, I stained the front door today and it is not drying. Did you wipe any of the stain off?

  7. Wow. That stain really makes your garage door look amazing. How long do you think it will last before you have to repaint it?

  8. Do you think you could use gel stain on engineered wood siding to give it the look of real stained wood?

  9. Thanks for sharing! I did this last spring and it is by far one of the best, inexpensive and very impressive projects I have accomplished…. like you said… For like $12 and a couple of hours time!

  10. I noticed that your garage door is very faded. I painted my garage door several years ago and it has no noticeable fading yet. Could I still do the gel stain on this “non-faded” paint or would I have to strip off the paint first and start on bare surface?

    1. Hi Brenda! I think the only difference might be the darkness of how it turns out. What color your door is currently and the shade of stain you use would determine that. Whether or not it’s faded shouldn’t matter. If your door has a high shine still from the paint you might want to test a small part just to make sure it sticks good.

  11. I am so thrilled that you did an update. I was just looking into doing this to our garage, and since we live in the desert, I was concerned about fading and the heat. Thank you for this post!

  12. Your doors look wonderful in the photos! I have read both pieces and many comments. I still have a question though! Would you say this does actually in person look more like wood than a beautiful paint job? My budget is super tight. Paint would cost less but I’d be willing to pay the extra buck for a true wood look. Your thoughts?

    1. I actually used her method and it looks like wood on my garage door. My aluminum garage door has a wood grain texture on it, so that definitely helped. Not sure what it would look like if the door didn’t have any wood grain texture.

  13. We live in South Georgia and I’m concerned about the humidity. Will the gel stain hold up in our conditions? I would love to do this to our front door!

    1. Hi Karen ~

      We only get high humidity a couple weeks in the late summer, so I can’t say for certain.

    1. Karen I”m not sure. We don’t have much humidity here except for a couple weeks during the summer. I would think if you sealed it you’d be safe.

  14. Hi, Came over from Centsational girl. Thought you should know that whatever that ad is that pop up over the bottom of your photos is too annoying to deal with. Makes it difficult to see your pictures and it`s just a hassle. Perhaps you want to reconsider using it if you want to attract new readers . Glad your doors worked out for you.

  15. Your garage door looks great, so smooth and no brush marks. Looks like you found the right product to use. Did really great job on garage door.
    Our son in law did their garage door and some furniture with gel stain, it’s gorgeous and has held up so well. The furniture is so pretty with gel stain. Their garage door faces north so don’t have the beating yours took. But it’s hot here in summer also thru Sept. Just now cooling off to Fall temps.
    It’s very dry here. Depending on where you are maybe have some humidity?
    Happy Fall Thanks for Trick or Treat

          1. It’s a gel stain, you can click the link to read all the details on the can. Most stains aren’t considered “exterior” – you just need to finish with a protective coat.

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