Monday, November 15, 2010

FRONT DOOR makover FINALLY finished!

So happy to finally be done with refinishing my front door.  It is solid wood so I had to strip and sand and sand and sand and .... well you get the idea.  Then I had to stain over two days and then add a coat of spar urethane over the course of another two days.  Here is the result..... I love it!

Here are the dreadful BEORE pictures!  Several harsh Chicago winters totally took its toll on the door.  I was going to paint it black because I was not sure I would be able to get it from a honey oak to a dark mahogany.  The project was a little daunting but I figured I would give it a shot and if I ruined the door, I could THEN paint it.  So glad I took a chance.  

The first step was to use a chemical stripper and then re-strip and then sand, sand, sand and sand some more.  The stripper is nasty - had to wear chemical resistant gloves, a mask, eye protection and I still got a few chemical burns.  OUCH!  What a totally tedious job but I finally got it down to bare wood.  Behold the totally naked wood door - a glorious sight!

The next step was Wood Conditioner.  It is the equivalent of using foundation under your make-up.  It helps to even out the wood and allow for a more uniform stain color.  Here is the door after the conditioner was applied. 

After that was allowed to dry, I applied the first coat of stain.  Varathane Gel Stain - CABERNET.  It worked very well.  After the first coat, I was a little nervous that I would never get the dark color I had my heart set on.

After the application of a few more coats, I definitely had arrived at the color I had pictured in my mind.  I then added four coats of Spar arathane so it will hopefully be a long time until I have to do this project again.  I also removed the railing which made a HUGE difference!  I am thrilled!  This project cost me about $50 total for stains and supplies. 

Here are the supplies I used... 

I used a basic stripper from Menards.  Then after it was stripped and sanded, I used this - one of my favorite products!  Citristrip Paint Stripper After Wash!  I used white gauze to apply it.  It just washes off the residue from stripping and sanding and gives you a clean surface to work with.  The door felt so nice after I finished this step.  I used the white gauze so I can see how much residue I am removing - once the gauze stays relatively clean,  I know I'm done with this step.  

Next was the wood conditioner.  Its like using foundation on your face before make-up.  It just prepares the new, raw wood for staining and allows it to go on smoother.  I love it.  

This Varathane stain made all the difference.  Everyone told me I couldn't make an oak door look like a deep mahogany but this totally did the trick.  The final coats went a bit thicker to enhance the color and I LOVE the result!

Living in Chicago - the final step was a definite MUST!  I added a few coats of the spar urethane.  It creates a strong clear coat to prevent chipping and peeling.  With the harsh winters, this was a must.  

 Thank you so much for stopping by and taking a look at my front door make-over!  

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  1. I can't believe you didn't have a flood of comments on this makeover. You did an absolutely magnificent job on that door. I can't believe it is the same door. Loving the colour, it looks so rich. Good for you... that was a big task to tackle and you aced it.

    Hugs, Deb

  2. Thanks Deb! Probably because when I posted it I only had one follower - my sister! LOL Maybe once Spring get here I can repost it. It was a lot of work but so worth it. I was very surprised it turned out so dark. Love it.

  3. How many coats of the gel stain did it take to get it that dark?

    1. Hello! Because its a gel stain, I believe it was about 3 full coats with a fourth coat added to even out the color. On the fourth coat I didn't wipe it off as much and let the color stay longer for that deep rich tone. The wood conditioner is the key so the door takes the stain in a consistent color. Good luck!

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  5. Hi, great job! I want to do this on my cabinets that are a similar color as your door. Any suggestions? do you have a list of supplies used?