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Gel Stained Front Door

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Our front door was looking sad.  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 trying 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?

Update Your Front Door with Gel Stain  Goodbye faded paint  Hello gorgeous

Here’s what I was dealing with…

Front Door Before Gel Stain 1

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!

Front Door Before Gel Stain 2

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.

Make sure you clean your surface well before starting… I’d recommend a vinegar /water washing.

Front Door After Gel Stain 2

You can see a little bit of the black peaking through… which I love!

We used a cheap foam brush 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.

(affiliate link included for your convenience)  Here’s what we used:

Gel Stain Walnut

Minwax Gel Stain in Walnut

Foam Brush

Front Door After Gel Stain 1

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 hours your door is transformed.

You can check out how we gel stained our faded garage door and see how it’s holding up after a year.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

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38 Comments

  1. This looks so much better than the factory stained wood look garage doors. This has a quality look and is more realistic, great job! Enjoyed your follow up on it as well.

  2. My wife and I just applied gel stain to our aluminum garage door and it turned out beautiful! Thanks so much for the idea and for the DIY instructions. It gave us the courage to make the change and we are SO glad we did! We used the Minwax Gel Stain in Coffee shade, which turned out really dark brown, but we love it!

    1. Hi! Gel stain will definitely work on plywood. How it will stain the wood when it’s different tones, that I don’t know. If you hate it then I’d personally give it a try. You could also try a little section and see how it turns out. You can always re-sand.

    1. We did not put a top coat on. You definitely could, and I would guess it would last longer.

    1. Not sure! I’d recommend trying it on a small corner. We used gel stain on our garage door, which is aluminum, and it worked great!

  3. I have an older fiberglass pole barn door that is faded and very sad looking. I had wanted to paint it brown to match the trim on our home but my shade of brown paint is no longer available so I was stymied. I saw your garage door on Pinterest, read your post(s) from top to bottom and when I saw the word fiberglass on the Miniwax label I was sold! Thank you!!!

    Donna at:
    White Oak Studio Designs (Facebook Page)
    smallhousebigskyhomestead.wordpress.com (Blog)

  4. I have an older fiberglass pole barn door that is faded and very sad looking. I had wanted to paint it brown to match the trim on our home but my shade of brown paint is no longer available so I was stymied. I saw your garage door on Pinterest, read your post(s) from top to bottom and when I saw the word fiberglass on the Miniwax label I was sold! Thank you!!!

    Donna at:
    White Oak Studio Designs (Facebook Page)
    smallhousebigskyhomestead.wordpress.com (Blog)

  5. I’ve been wanting to add some life back to my old doors. This gel stain seems like a really easy solution. I’ll have to look into this!

  6. a friend of mine stained her garage door just like you did but put a coat polyuerthine over her gel stain, my question will the polyuerthine hold up in sunlight or will it peel?

  7. Do you have a wood door? My garage door is metal and my front door is not wood, not sure what it is exactly but magnets stick to it so it’s some kind of metal. I’d love to update the color of both of them (they are white) and love the look of the stain.
    Also, do you think two coats would work for the gel stain being that my doors are white?

  8. Hi, very interested in your gel stain garage door. However would a ronde colour work over garage door grey and is an exterior protective clear coat over the gel stain required?

  9. Bravo! Clean and classic and it makes a beautiful punctuation mark to your house. It took me many years dithering about trying to decide which paint color would suit my door, which had been painted white but now it has a beautiful bright cherry stained color that makes the house looks so beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

  10. We have a factory white garage and front door, would you recommend painting them a darker colour (as a base coat) before putting on the gel stain? I’m worried that the white may show through… When faux finishing other crafts I have painted a dark base coat first and then use a dry brush effect with a lighter colour to make the detail lines (or in this case it would be the wood grain) ‘pop’. Our garage door has wood grain design in it (which means a dry brushing may bring out the grain) but the front door is flat, so I would need to create some ‘grain’ effect. Any advice from those who’ve done it would be amazing… Please help! Thanks 😉

    1. Yes Shaina – I’d definitely recommend painting it a darker base color – my garage door was a little brown and my front door was a faded black when I gel stained them.

    1. If it’s peeling I’d sand it, otherwise your surface won’t be smooth.

  11. Wow, that looks really good! I think I would like to do something like that to my garage door. The white paint shows all the dirt and debris that blows around during storms. I want a dark color, maybe a dark grey. I think your front door turned out beautiful!

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