Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Project: Freshen up Your Front Door

Years of sunlight, wear and tear, and just the passing of time in general, can cause your front door to fall short of welcoming. The entry to your home makes a first impression to guests (both invited and not). To make this impression the best possible you may want to give your door a facelift.

If you cannot afford to replace your door, and it is still in good shape structurally, a facelift can make it look as good as, if not better, than new. You can stain or paint your door. A lot of people are going with the paint option, painting their door a color that contrasts with the exterior of their home in order to make it "pop" or stand out.

So what will you need to give your door a facelift?

Screwdriver (for removing the door and the door's hardware)
Wood Filler (if there are cracks in the door)
Sand Paper
Primer (if painting)
Paint color of choice (if painting)
Stain of choice (if staining)
Small Paint Roller
Paint Brush
Rags (if staining)
Gloves, Protective Eye-wear

Steps for your Door's Facelift (Instructions for staining will be in red font, some of the paint instructions will apply to staining as well):
  1. Take your door down. You will want to get help for this as your door is probably fairly heavy. Set it up on some saw horses and begin to take off the hardware to your door. (Sand down your door, pay attention to any raised or decorative trim. Keep the surface uniform when sanding.) Once the hardware is removed, clean your door and let dry.
  2. Using your wood filler, patch any cracks in your door. Once the wood filler is dry, sand smooth so that it is uniform with the rest of the door.
  3. For Painting: If your door's current paint is not in good condition, you will want to prime it, or if you are using a dark color paint, it is advisable to prime also. Prime all 6 sides of your door: front, back, top bottom, left, and right side. Allow primer to dry completely. Use sandpaper to sand away any paint drips then use a brush or cloth to wipe away dust.
    For Staining: If you are using a gel stain, take your brush and apply to the surface of the door in sections. Wipe the stain off of the door, leaving the desired amount for the depth of color that you desire. Allow to dry. 
  4. For Painting: using an angled sash brush, begin painting the trim and the recessed corners of the door panels. Be sure that all excess paint is off of your brush so that the paint doesn't puddle in the door. Use your paint roller to apply the paint to the raised panels on your door. Be sure to roll with the grain of the wood. Be sure to paint all 6 sides of your door. Allow to dry in between coats. (The darker the color you have chosen, more coats of paint will be required. Allow to completely dry.
    For Staining: Apply a clear coat of polyurethane to all sides of the door. 
  5. Once your door is dry, reapply the hardware, or apply new hardware if you so choose, and reinstall your door. 
Enjoy your "new" door!

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