Refinish front door

How to Refinish an Exterior Door the Easy Way

How to refinish an exterior door using gel stain. Average But InspiredBecause of that, I decided to simply paint the door. But then I started feeling guilty about that. I was thinking that Nicole Curtis (The Rehab Addict), might come to my home and beat me down for painting over the original woodwork.

Scared of that tiny but fierce lady, I did some research on how to refinish woodwork the easiest way possible. That’s how I found out about gel stain. This was the KEY to reviving my door.How to refinish an exterior door using gel stain. Average But Inspired Unlike regular stain, gel stain did not require me to remove the door from the hinges, strip the door or do any extensive prep work at all. The easy way is my way. Sold.

So I was determined to revive my door, got my supplies ready and got to work. I used the following items:

– Foam brushes in varying sizes

– Cheesecloth


I washed the door to remove the dirt and grime that had accumulated over the years.


I lightly sanded some parts of the door, focusing on the areas that still appeared to have some protective finish on them. Then I used a cloth to remove the dust that appeared during sanding.


I followed the directions on the can of gel stain, and I applied stain to a small section of the door. I had a temporary freak out when it appeared to be a really dark, solid color – almost like pudding. I thought I’d ruined my door.


I used my cheesecloth to wipe off the excess stain on the area to which I’d recently applied the stain. I repeated this process until I’d finished the entire door. Here you can see that stain had been applied to the right side of the door, but not the left. Look at the difference already!

How to refinish an exterior door using gel stain. Average But InspiredI breathed easy because I hadn’t ruined the door. (Oh, and in case you’re wondering why I didn’t remove the door knocker and the lock and handle . . . I tried. I just couldn’t get them off. Ridiculous.)

I then let it dry overnight, and repeated the staining process again.

This is the door with two coats of stain, but no protective topcoat yet. Already beautiful, right?


After the second coat of stain had dried 24 hours, I began applying my protective topcoat, per the manufacturer’s directions. I applied four coats throughout the course of the day, which allowed me to finish the topcoat portion without sanding in between any of the coats. This was key to ensuring ease of application.

Can I just say that my door is now GLEAMING? It looks totally amazing – almost like a new door.

I couldn’t be happier, and I think Nicole Curtis would be proud.

P.S. If you’re a total slob like me and get stain all over your hands during application, rub some vegetable oil on them afterwards – the stain will come off easily and almost instantaneously!

How to refinish an exterior door using gel stain. Average But Inspired How to refinish an exterior door using gel stain. Average But Inspired How to refinish an exterior door using gel stain. Average But Inspired How to refinish an exterior door using gel stain. Average But Inspired
Interline Brands Legend 809039 Tulip Style Front Door Knob Entry Lockset for Mobile Homes, US15 Satin Nickel Finish
Home Improvement (Interline Brands)
  • Includes 2-3/8-Inch-2-3/4-Inch adjustable backset latch
  • Random keyed
  • 1-Inch round face, drive-in latch
  • Radius corner striker
  • Fits 1-3/8-Inch-1-3/4-Inch doors
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Kwikset Kwikset 12003 CP PL 7/8RF 3/26 CNV KIT Mobile Home Interior Lock Conversion Kit
Home Improvement (Kwikset)
  • Conversion kit adapts conventional Kwikset interior latches for use in mobile homes
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  • Includes polished brass and chrome round strike plates for easy matching
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  • Lifetime mechanical and finish warranty
DonDon Wi-Fi Video Doorbell with HD IP Camera, Door Chime, 2-Way Audio, Night Vision, Motion Detection, Smart Notification Push Function for Home Security Support iOS and Android (Silver)
Home Improvement (DonDon)
  • Quick and easy setup - mount and sync to your personal Wi-Fi network in minutes.
  • 2-Way Audio - see and speak with visitors using your smartphone or tablet, whether you re upstairs or across town.
  • 24/7 Remote Live Video Streaming - see things before your door on your phone or tablet anytime you want.
  • Alerts pushed by cloud service - through our cloud service, you will receive message saved as video record, photo snap by email to notice you the situation around...
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Kuna Outdoor Home Security Camera & Light - Craftsman Black, w/ Live HD Streaming, 2-Way Intercom, 100+ Decibel Alarm, Motion Alerts (iOS & Android) | Wi-Fi + Bluetooth
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  • Hd live video feed - see what s happening outside your home, day or night
  • Two-way intercom - safely hear and talk to people outside your home anytime
  • Activity alerts - receive actionable notifications on your mobile device
  • Outdoor siren - manually deter unwanted visitors with a 100+ decibel siren
  • DIY easy install - 15 min setup, no wires, and no need to replace batteries
Smartphone IP Camera by Geektopia - Android and Apple iOS Security Camera - Wifi Smartphone IP Camera - Baby Monitor - Easy Magnetic Mount - 720p Resolution Cam
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