Gel Stained Front Door DIY Project is a great way to update a sad-looking front door. It was painted a beautiful, glossy black ten years ago when the house was built. We moved in eight years ago and it’s been fading since. Our front door faces east and gets the beating sun for the first 5-6 hours of the day. So I figured why not try using gel stain on our front door? We used gel stain on our garage door and it’s held up beautifully so why not try?
Here’s what I was dealing with…
faded black paint! Nothing pretty about that. The sun had just baked the black paint and it was a very sad-in no way pretty gray!
Can’t you hear it saying… please… help… stain me! You can see the base of the left corner of the door where I did a test patch. I’d highly recommend you do that if you want to try staining. I knew either the stain would work and I’d love it and do the whole door OR it was going to be painted which meant it needed a sanding so that patch of stain would be going bye-bye.
Our front door is a wood door, but this should work on a metal door or fiberglass door. We used this same technique on our garage door which is aluminum.
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Clean The Door
Make sure you clean your surface well before starting… I’d recommend vinegar /water washing. I hosed off the door first but then used a sponge with the vinegar water rinse to get the rest of the dust and dirt off the exterior door. You don’t want any grime left when you stain your door.
Prep the Door
I used painter’s tape to cover the hardware, hinges, etc. I left the door on but just opened it as needed for the staining process.
Gel stain is thicker than regular stain, but it’s still a good idea to lay down a drop cloth or tack cloth to protect from any drips.
Stain The Door
We used cheap foam paint brushes to put the gel stain on. Gel stain is different than regular stain. It’s much thicker. I don’t wipe it off either. It’s a whole different ball game than traditional stain.
We brushed the stain up and down in the direction of the grain. You don’t want to put excess stain on your brush or on the door. Make your strokes even and try to barely overlap the strokes as you apply the stain. With gel stain, if you keep going over an area you can start to pull the stain up because it is a sticker consistency.
You can see a little bit of the black peeking through… which I love!
Gel Stain also dries very quickly. So we worked section by section, just like we did when we tackled gel staining our garage door.
But the results are gorgeous! In a couple of hours, your door is transformed. This is a great diy project that will add great curb appeal to your home!
If you want you can add a clear coat on top once it has completely dried.