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Kvothe
Member since Sep 2016
1861 posts

Refreshing exterior wood doors

I’ve got a few old, solid wood exterior doors that are in bad shape from exposure. Does anyone have experience with sanding them down and refinishing them without removing them? There is no way I can take them off in this heat. Better to wait until it cools down in 5 months? Thoughts?


Spankum
LSU Fan
Miss-sippi
Member since Jan 2007
53495 posts

I have to sand and stain mine every 5 years or so. I don’t sand thoroughly, but just want to smooth any rough spots and roughen any glossy spots. Finish with spar urethane.


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Obtuse1
Wofford Fan
Westside Bodymore Yo
Member since Sep 2016
18441 posts
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The amount of work and frustration saved by taking them down will be near-infinite but it can be done. If it were me I would get a 4x8 sheet of rigid foam board and replace the door with it while working on each door if you are worried about conditioned air loss. If the doors aren't the same size use it on the widest door first. If the door slab is over 8' tall you may need two sheets to cover the opening. You could also use a sheet of plywood or OSB etc if you have one laying around.


meeple
USA Fan
Carcassonne
Member since May 2011
7900 posts
 Online 

Sanded mine down, then applied General Finishes gel stain followed by GF Exterior 450 satin poly.

With gel stain you don’t have to completely strip it. Just sand it down smooth. Goes on like paint, although I used a glove and sock.

Sorry OP. You weren’t looking for the info above. I had an exterior glass door so I was able to keep the door off during the day and put it back on at night. In the fall though.
This post was edited on 7/3 at 12:15 pm


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GeauxldMember
LSU Fan
Black Pearl
Member since Nov 2003
3664 posts

quote:

The amount of work and frustration saved by taking them down will be near-infinite but it can be done. If it were me I would get a 4x8 sheet of rigid foam board and replace the door with it while working on each door if you are worried about conditioned air loss. If the doors aren't the same size use it on the widest door first. If the door slab is over 8' tall you may need two sheets to cover the opening. You could also use a sheet of plywood or OSB etc if you have one laying around.


This is good advice.



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keakar
Member since Jan 2017
22724 posts
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quote:

Refreshing exterior wood doors


you cant do it right without removing them so wait for the fall to do it. the sides edges and bottom will be warned bare and need touching up as well.

give it a good sanding then restain and cover with a few coats of urethane or repaint them. if you are painting them then fill any cracks dents or bad spots with auto repair bondo


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gumbo2176
Member since May 2018
12052 posts

If you don't want to take them down to do them right, just wait for cooler weather. Besides, it will make the finish turn out better since this extreme heat is not good for painting or finishing woodwork.



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Jon A thon
Houston Astros Fan
Member since May 2019
798 posts

My last home had a door that did not seem to have a "film" (i.e. polyurethane voating) type of finish. About once a year, I'd just wipe it down with Boiled Linseed Oil. Brought it back to life without full sanding and taking it down. I have plans to eventually build a solid wood door for my current house and I'm definitely looking for finishes that are simple to maintain in that way.


Harlan County USA
Kentucky Fan
Hoover, AL
Member since Sep 2021
179 posts

quote:

without removing them?


No. I took my from door off to do this work. I have a glass storm door though. It gave me plenty of time to do this right, outside. I'd wait for it to cool off to remove the door if you can wait.

My front door was really weathered with the varnish/clear coat on the outside deteriorating. It was painted white on the inside. Probably a pine door. I took the door off and stripped and sanded both sides. I used a Dremel tool with a sunburst looking attachment wheel to get into the corners and crevices to get the paint out. The attachment roughed up the wood some and gave it a nice rustic look after it was stained and finished. I wasn't trying for that look but it turned out nice. Use a Spar Varnish if in direct sunlight for UV resistance. Mine worked out really well.


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wm72
Brooklyn
Member since Mar 2010
7479 posts

quote:

My last home had a door that did not seem to have a "film" (i.e. polyurethane voating) type of finish. About once a year, I'd just wipe it down with Boiled Linseed Oil. Brought it back to life without full sanding and taking it down. I have plans to eventually build a solid wood door for my current house and I'm definitely looking for finishes that are simple to maintain in that way.


May want to look into Osmo brand wood wax.

I did exterior wood doors with their exterior wood wax years ago. I like the natural look much more than stain + poly. It was easy to apply and you don't need to sand or strip them in future. Refresh by simply re-waxing them.





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