Adding a splash of color to an entryway can be accomplished by staining a fiberglass door.Remove the door from its hinges and remove all knobs, locks, and other hardware.After wiping the door with mineral spirits, apply a generous amount of gel stain and wipe to get the desired depth of color.When the stain is dry, brush on a protective clear coat to seal the new finish and keep it looking fresh for years to come.
Step 1: The door needs to be taken off its hinges.
To get to the hinges, open the door.To remove the hinge pin from the bottom, use a hammer.Carefully lower the door to the floor after it clears the hinges.Someone else may be able to help you remove the door on your own.It may be easier to stain sliding and swinging doors than it is to take them down.
Step 2: The door should be placed on the elevated surface.
The door can be placed on a level workbench or between two saw horses.Doing your staining on a higher surface will spare your knees and back the pain of bending or stooping for long periods of time.If you can, set up your work area outdoors or in a well-ventilated garage to keep the fumes from the stain from overpowering.
Step 3: All hardware must be removed from the door.
Remove the knobs, hinges, locks, and other fixture that might get in the way while you're staining.If you strip the door down to a single piece, you will be able to work quickly and efficiently.A screwdriver can be used to remove most door hardware, but other tools like a wrench, pliers, and a hammer are also useful.Store screws and other small pieces in labelled bags or jars.
Step 4: Rub the door with mineral spirits.
To prepare the door for the new finish, soak up a small amount of mineral spirits with a clean cloth or sponge and scrub the entire surface.Areas showing signs of heavy build up should be paid particular attention to.Allow the door to dry completely before applying the stain.A thorough wipedown will remove any dirt, dust, or grime that might prevent the new coat of stain from adhering.If you don't have any mineral spirits, you can use a basic all-purpose cleaner.
Step 5: Remove the existing finish from the door.
It will be necessary to get rid of the old finish if you're renewing a door that's been stained before.If you apply a thin coat of chemical solvent, it will slowly liquefy the dried stain.Let the solvent sit for a few minutes, then use a disposable rag to wipe away the chemical remnants.If you are working in a well-ventilated area, be sure to wear a facemask and a respirator to minimize your exposure to chemical fumes.Some solvents are not safe to use on fiberglass.To find out which products the manufacturer recommends, visit their website or call their customer service line.
Step 6: The stain should be in the desired color.
Oil-based gel products should be used to stained fiberglass surfaces.Gel stains are thicker and creamier than other types of stains, which makes them better able to adhere to smooth synthetic materials and give them a bold, uniform appearance.Gel stains can be found in the pain aisle of your local hardware store or home improvement center.There are different shades of gel stains.This will allow you to look at different types of wood.
Step 7: The inner panels of the door should be stained with a liberal amount of stain.
Slather on the stain with a foam brush.The raised sections are at the center of the door.It is important to work the stain deep into the imitation grain pattern.Gloves are required when working with staining products.They will keep your hands clean and keep you from transferring oils to the door.Ensure that the stain goes on with a consistent texture by stirring it thoroughly.
Step 8: Use a clean rag to remove excess stain.
Lift away some of the still-wet finish on the door after applying the stain to a small section.The color gradually becomes lighter.The tiny grooves in the molded wood grain will dry to a solid color after what's left behind.Some painters prefer to use a clean brush to pick up excess stain rather than using a separate rag.
Step 9: Continue brushing and wiping.
Each application will have a slightly darker finish.It may take several coats to get your door looking the way you want it.For the most consistent finish, stain the entire door and apply follow-up coats as needed rather than concentrating on a single section at a time.A total of no more than 2 or 3 coats is recommended by most gel stain manufacturers.The stain may not be able to dry completely if it is applied too thick.
Step 10: You should be able to reach the outer portions of the door.
When you're done staining the interior panels, move on to the outlying areas, including the surrounding grooves and the flat sections at the top, bottom and sides.For the last part of the door, save the outer edges.While the stain is still wet, use a separate soft-bristled brush to remove contrasting streaks between the inner and outer sections of the door.
Step 11: Allow the stain to dry for 24 hours.
It takes about half a day for most gel stains to dry.Depending on the amount of stain you use, the size of the door being finished, and the environment, exact drying times will vary.After the first 24 hours, perform a touch test on the door.It needs more time if it feels tacky.Once the first side is dry, stain the opposite side of the door.
Step 12: A final protective coat should be applied.
Once the door is completely dry, brush on a layer of liquid polyurethane or a similar water-based sealant.You should apply the clear coat the same way you did the stain, starting with the inside panels and working your way out.The clear coat protects the fresh stain from dust, dirt, and damage.If you're staining an exterior door, choose an outdoor varnish that will hold up to regular exposure to sunlight, precipitation, and extreme temperatures.When stripping and staining the door, pull on a pair of gloves and make sure you're wearing a facemask or a respiratory protection device to avoid inhaling harmful fumes.
Step 13: Allow the coat to dry for a period of time.
Just to be on the safe side, it's a good idea to leave the door to dry overnight.Don't handle the wet sealant as it can leave behind smudges.If you want to touch-test the clear coat, you can do it on the outer edges of the door.If possible, keep the door in a dust-free setting while it dries to prevent particles from sticking in the clear coat.The finishing process may take up to 4-5 days since you'll have to stain and seal the door one side at a time.
Step 14: The door's hardware needs to be replaced.
All loose knobs, hinges, and locks should be reassembled.They can be put back where they came from.Take a few minutes to confirm that each piece is oriented correctly and that the last screw is tight.The door will be ready to be hung again.If you want to upgrade your fixture, this can be a good opportunity.You can find pieces that match the tint of the stain.
Step 15: The door should be hung back up.
Attach the hinge halves on the door to the wall and then put the pins back in.To make sure the door tracks smoothly, open and close it a few times.Look at the new and improved look of your door.