Front Door Make Over

Southwest facing front doors in Texas take a real beating from the sun and elements, mine especially!  Every year I would lightly sand and add several coats of stain sealant (1 product).  Over timeBeat up and worn front door this began to build up and not look as neat and clean as I would like.  Because it was easier to hide this with a darker stain, I eventually wound up with a very dark door that was badly in need of a complete refinishing.  I did look into purchasing a new front door, but they are quite expensive and there was still a lot of “life” left in my old door.   In the end, I am so glad I went to the work to restore mine.

Here’s what I did:

1.)  I first attempted to use my palm sander with very coarse paper, but it  was slow going.

2.)  Then I attempted a stripping product, Citristrip.  This is all natural and can be used indoors with no ventilation, it smells like oranges.

Citristrip - my favorite stripper

3.)  I applied the Citristip three or four times and found that some areas needed more attention than others.  I also did some sanding between each coat of Citristrip.  Citristrip works great, but I do think that it made the wood a little less porous, which required multiple coats of the stain to take any color.  My original goal was to end up with an almost pine-like finish where the wood grain would be very visible.

Citristrip at workAfter Citristripping, you must clean with mineral spirits

4.)  Once I was getting pretty close and knew that I could finish the stripping/sanding process that day, I took the door off the hinges and finished sanding.  This was a lengthy project taking around 10 hours with all the steps.  The bottom weather strip needed replacing, too.  This was a much-needed item and it has made a big difference in the tightness of the door when closed.

5.)  After sanding, it was time to stain and seal.  I chose two separate products and feel that the additional step is well worth the extra time.  I started with a Pecan colored stain but moved to a few shades darker (Cherry) to get the desired shade.  Finally, I covered the door with Spar Urethane, specifically made for front doors.

Sand the door one additional time

The finished product, complete with spring flowers and a new door hanging!


Refinished door



Front Door Make Over
Article Name
Front Door Make Over
Complete Strip/Sand MakeOver for the Front Door.
Publisher Name
Flawless Chaos
Publisher Logo


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