How to Refinish Exterior Wood Door – Step-by-Step Guide


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An exterior wood door can enhance the look of your home, and it can also provide you with some insulation and protection from the weather. There are many different exterior wood doors to choose from, so it’s important to select the right one for your home.

The most important factor to consider when choosing an exterior wood door is the style of your home. You want to choose a door that will complement the style of your house. After that, you also want to make sure that the door is made from a type of wood that will match the rest of your home’s exterior.

Another important factor to consider is insulation. An exterior wood door can help keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Refinishing an exterior wood door is a great way to improve the look of your home, and it’s a project that you can do yourself with just a few simple tools. In this article, we’ll show you how to prepare the door for refinishing, strip the old finish, and apply a new coat of paint or stain. We’ll also cover some common problems and solutions that you may encounter while refinishing your door.

Things you will need

To refinish your exterior wood door, you will need:

  • a wire brush
  • a scraper
  • sandpaper (medium and fine grits)
  • a putty knife
  • base coat of paint or primer
  • paint or sealant (optional)

How to refinish exterior wood door – A step-by-step guide

How to refinish exterior wood door? Refinishing your exterior wood door is a great way to improve its appearance and protect it from the elements. It’s a fairly easy process, but it’s important to take your time and be careful with the details. Here’s a quick guide to help you get started.

1. Remove the door from its hinges

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If the door is in good condition and you want to refinish it, you can remove it from its hinges. If any nails or screws are holding the door in place, use a screwdriver or hammer to remove them. Once the nails or screws are removed, the door should lift right off its hinges.

If there is any paint or hardware on the door that you want to keep, make sure to remove them before refinishing the door. Use a screwdriver or hammer to remove any screws or nails holding the hardware in place.

2. Sand down the surface of the door using medium-grit sandpaper

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How to refinish exterior wood door? What is sand down? Sanding the door down using medium-grit sandpaper will help remove the door’s surface, making it smoother. This will make it easier for you to paint the door, as there will be fewer bumps and ridges on the surface. It is important to note that you should always sand in the direction of the wood grain; otherwise, you may end up damaging the door.

Additionally, if you are using dark-colored paint, you may start with light-colored sandpaper. So, you don’t end up with light patches where you have sanded away more of the surface than in other areas.

3. Wipe away any dust or debris with a clean cloth

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To clean your wood door:

  1. Start wiping away any dust or debris with a clean cloth.
  2. Use a mild soap and water to clean the door, avoiding getting the wood too wet.
  3. Dry the door thoroughly with another cloth. If you notice any scratches or dents in the wood, you can try sanding them down and applying a new coat of finish.

If you have any scratches or nicks in the wood, you can use a wood polish to help camouflage them. Be sure to test the polish on an inconspicuous spot first, as some polishes can damage the finish of the wood. You may also want to consider sealing the door with a coat of clear sealant or wax to help protect it from moisture and dirt buildup.

4. Apply a coat of primer to the door using a paintbrush or roller

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How to refinish exterior wood door? How to apply a coat? When painting, always start with the primer. The primer will help the paint stick to the door and last longer. It’s also a good idea to use a primer if you’re changing the color of your door because it can help hide any blemishes or inconsistencies on the door’s surface.

A good coat of primer will make your job much easier in the long run, so be sure to take the time to apply it properly. Use a roller for large surfaces and a brush for smaller areas. If you’re using oil-based paint, make sure to use an oil-based primer as well. And remember, always follow the instructions on the bottle!

5. Let the primer dry completely

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Generally speaking, it is important to allow any paint or primer to dry completely before applying a second coat. This allows the first coat to adhere properly to the surface, resulting in a more even finish. Depending on the type of primer and the weather conditions, drying time can range from a few hours up to several days. In general, it’s best to err on the side of caution and wait until the primer is completely dry before proceeding with additional coats.


How to refinish exterior wood door? What are precautions? There are a few things to keep in mind when caring for a refinished exterior wood door. First, clean it regularly with a damp cloth to remove any built-up dirt or dust. You can also use a mild detergent if needed.

Be sure to avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as they can damage the finish on the door. Also, avoid exposing the door to excessive moisture or heat, which can cause it to warp or crack. Finally, if you notice any scratches or blemishes on the surface of the wood, you can use a touch-up pen or sealer to help conceal them.