Many people do not realize just how powerful the sun’s rays are and how much damage they do to a home’s exterior. They get rained on, have dust and dirt blown on them, and are exposed to pollen and other harmful substances that can cause issues when they accumulate on a door. Notwithstanding, nothing harms exterior doors as much as the sun beating down on them. It will cause even doors made out of the hardest woods to fade eventually, crack, and look dull. Here is how you can restore the luster to any exterior door that has become faded because of direct sunlight exposure.
Remove The Door
The very first thing you will want to do is remove the door from its hinges. Don’t think you will save any time by attempting to work on a door that is hung still. This is a mistake amateur DIYs make only once. It’s much easier to refinish a door when it’s placed horizontally across two sawhorses. Use a hammer and thin flat screwdriver for popping out the hinge pins then the door will come off its hinges very easily.
Sand The Door
With nearly any DIY job, preparation is the key; especially so with a painting or refinishing project. It’s a critical stage not to be skipped. Get it right, and you stand a good chance of having your exterior wood door turn out looking great.
First, cover up any glass pains in the door with light adhesive masking tape,
Then evenly sand the surface of the door. Use a palm sander or a very low powered orbital sander. Do not use an extremely powerful sander for this work. You want to work in the direction of the grain for best results.
Begin with a little courser sandpaper such as 80 or 100 grit. Then as the sanding progresses switch over to 120 grit sandpaper, no higher is necessary.
It’s also never a bad idea to brush a little varnish stripper into the cracks and crevices because you won’t be able to get inside and sand them.
For moldings and panels, you will need to hand scrape the finish. Apply even pressure. And hand sand with 80 grit any uneven shapes.
For big holes, you can fill them in with a dowel. For large cracks and crevices, use some quality wood filler.
You must thoroughly wipe down the entire door to make sure no dust remains on it. Get a damp cloth inside of cracks and crevices as much as you can. Using a wet/dry vacuum on the exhaust will blow away any dust that you missed and help dry the door’s surface too.
Apply one or two coats of stain evenly if you are staining. Let dry in between.
Choose And Apply One Coat Of Finish
Consider choosing using a marine-grade Spar Varnish when clear coating any sun-damaged exterior wood door. Not only do these make for a great looking finished coat but they also contain UV inhibitors, and the varnish remains flexible to help keep the wood sealed longer.
Begin with the edges of the door, applying a coat of finish.
Apply one coat of varnish with a paintbrush, and allow it to dry for 24 hours altogether.
Sand And Apply Second Coat
For the best looking results in this step, use the old fashioned way. That’s using a sanding block or sanding sponge by hand. Also, use fantastic sandpaper such as 220 grit. Once again sanding in the direction of the wood grain will get you your best results. Each time you repeat this step, your door will darken up a little bit more. So do this as many times as necessary to get the wooden door the exact shade that you desire.
Then apply another coat of varnish.
What to Do If Your Wood Doors Have Deteriorated Beyond Repair
Even doors made out of the toughest woods will have to be replaced eventually. There are times when it’s not worth the effort to restore the looks of a heavily sun-damaged door. If you’re considering replacing a door, ETO Doors carries a range of beautiful solid wood doors in all styles. Talk to their wood and door experts for help measuring and choosing the right exterior door for your placement.