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One Year Later… Our Gel Stained Garage Door

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Our Gel Stained Garage Door makeover happened one year ago, so I’m giving you guys an update!  {affiliate links included for your convenience} We used a less than $20 can of gel stain to transform our paint faded, aluminum garage door.  We’ve lived in our home almost 7 years now.  Since we moved into our home our brown painted aluminum garage door had faded more and more.  Our garage door faces the eastern rising sun and the sun had definitely baked it.  We live in Southern California in the inland area where our temps hover around 100 degrees for a couple months of the summer and we can get into the 20’s during the winter.  So over this last year our stained garage door has seen those temperature variations.

Create a Faux Wood Garage Door with Gel Stain - less than $20

Gel Stained Garage Door

In case you missed the original Gel Stained Garage Door Tutorial you can read all about it here.  But here’s a look at what the garage door looked like right before we stained it.  We were in the middle of washing it here.  You can see how light brown the garage door had become.


Well one year later and it’s still looking great!

One Year Later Our Gel Stained Garage Door

We still have not placed any sealer on top.  We meant to, but it just never has happened.    I can’t tell any fading yet.  The color has adhered perfectly.  There’s no chipping, peeling, etc.

Here’s a couple closer looks…

Close Up of Gel Stained Garage Door One Year Later

It’s still a gorgeous, rich brown.

Close Up of Gel Stained Garage Door One Year Later

So one of the questions I get all the time… “are we still happy with it?”

YES!  Couldn’t be happier!

For less than $20 total in supplies our garage door looks 1000 times better!

Would I recommend it?  Absolutely!

What I’ve recommended is that you test it on a small area of your door.  Obviously we started with a light, brown door… so how it will look if your door is light green right now???  I have no idea.  So test it… in a small, inconspicuous area.

All I can say as it worked great on ours and we couldn’t be happier with it still one year later.

If you want to read all the details on the gel stain type and color we used and the supplies you can find them here:

Gel Stained Garage Door Tutorial

We also used gel stain on our front door!  You can ready all about it here:

Gel Stained Front Door

One Year Later Our Gel Stained Garage Door

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  1. I love the way your garage doors turned out! I clicked on the link and just wanted to verify that you used the Walnut stain that popped up first!

  2. Names of a lot of celebrities are doing rounds on the internet who might get locked inside the house this year. Amongst those are the names of Beyhadh 2 star cast– Jennifer Winget and Shivin Narang. It is being said that the two of them have been approached by the makers of Salman Khan’s show however the former has denied the offer.

  3. Maryann,

    Ours came out stunning originally as well. Yet at the 1 year mark we began seeing “micro cracks” (It appears they’re in your closeup pic also). Then year 2 it began flaking off in spots. I followed your steps exactly, except I spent more time prepping. I’ve worked with numerous gel coat brands over the years & had some great results to well not so great (brands truly are different).

    (Speaking from my experience) DONT add a sealer, most gel coat brands don’t require or recommend them! What they do recommend & I wish I had done it is put on a very thick coat as well as a 2nd coat! Anyway, I came across your site (before & @ 1 year post) while looking for DIY interests. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time reading through projects. I have to say I’m very impressed! You’re very creative & talented!

    Thank you for the great reads & ideas!


  4. I’m curious.. we recently had our home painted dark grey. Gauntlet grey to be exact. They painted the garage doors that grey as well. Are they too dark to put gel stain over? If so, what would you suggest we do? Thanks

    1. Hi Cyndi,
      I’m not familiar with that paint color. You could always use the gel in a corner and see how it looks?

  5. We did this last spring and loved it. We had a pretty mild summer and winter and the gel is bubbling and flaking up along some of the grooves. Our door is metal so we have been told to strip it before starting again. Not sure that we are up for this every year though.

    1. Michelle I’ve never tried gel stain on vinyl. I’d recommend trying on a small, not noticeable area and see how it works.

    2. It works much better on the shutters than the garage door. I did mine two years ago. I did two coats of the sealer. The shutters still look great but the door looks horrible. It gets direct sunlight part of the day and the lower half of the door is peeling and has faded very bad. It’s beautiful when it’s done, but I’m not sure if it’s worth doing it every other year.

  6. looks great do u need to wash door with anything before putting gel stain on, any kind of brush and if u do seal it what would u use thanks cant wait to get started we live in jax fl so hopefully start soon

    1. Hi Jerry – I’ve got all those details in the tutorial. Just click the link above for all those details.

  7. Our gel stained garage door looked great until it was exposed to Texas sun and heat. It is now flaking and fading. It looks horrible. Has anyone ever painted over gel stain?

    1. I’m curious what material your garage door is made of? We have 100+ days for months where I live and haven’t had that issue.

    2. Hi Jane! I live in Texas too and gel stained our garage door. It was metal and had been painted a light beige when the house was built. 4 years later and it still looks great…no peeling. But it has faded a little bit which has changed its color from walnut to an orangy red. So I’m going to do it again (gel stain over gel stain). I’m so sorry yours peeled!! I have no regrets and am happily going to go over it again as it’s a wonderfully cheap but beautiful DIY. Maybe sand yours and start again?

    3. I’m in Michigan and the gel stain worked great through one winter and summer. We are ending this second winter and my door that goes up and down much more than the third stall is peeing bad in the cracks/seam (? – where the door folds). I need to repaint ASAP to sell the house. How should I prep this? It’s a metal door.


      1. Same problem in Michigan also. Looked good for anit 1 year. Peeled right down to the raw metal. Scraped them, treated them, painted them last spring. They’ve peeled even worse over this mild winter. We’ll try to get the loose paint if of them, sand them, prime them and repaint then this spring, but, if it happens again, may have to replace them. Never had peeling before gel stain at all, just fading…

  8. My front door was gel stained 10 years ago when it was built. And it needs to be done again. What do I need to do to prep it to gel stain it again?

    1. Is the door wood Jan? If so I’d suggest sanding it down. You want to give the gel something to stick too.

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