Skip to content
How to refinish your front door

How to refinish your front door

Your front door makes all the difference to the look of your house.  With all it has to stand up to from the UK weather and constant use, it will need to be given a new lease of life every now and then.  Here’s our simple guide on how to refinish your wood front door.

Does it need refinishing?

If you’re lucky, your front door will only need a new coat of paint to make it fresh and welcoming again.  See our easy guide to painting doors here…  It’s important to make sure you get the right exterior paint as it needs to be able to withstand the elements.

If you have a door with panels on, it’s probably worth renting a paint sprayer to make the job easier, but you will need to remove the door before you spray it.

The door may need more work than a new coat of paint, if it is looking shabby or not fitting well.  In this case, it will need to be stripped and sanded before it is painted.  It’s easy to tell by looking closely, if the door is looking rough and shabby then it will need refinishing.

See original image here…

Prepare the door first

The door needs to be removed from its hinges before you get started, so wait for a day when there is no rain if you need to work on it outside.  It’s best to get started first thing in the morning, to give yourself time to work on the door and then reattach it before nighttime.  Make sure you use protective clothing and safety goggles.

Set the door on padded sawhorses so you can work on it safely.  Remove any hardwear like the doorknob or handle.  It might be tempting to just cover up the hardware and work around it but the finished result will not be as good, so always so take the time to remove it.  If there are any stubborn hinges that will not budge, cover them carefully with painter’s tape.

Remove any wood splinters and check if there are any holes in the door from nails or drills.  Fill them in with some wood filler and then level off with a putty knife.

If the door has been painted, remove the paint with paint stripper.  Apply it liberally then scrape off any stubborn paint.

See original image here…

Sand the door

Now the door needs to be sanded.  An electric sander will make this much easier and quicker for the flat areas if you have one, or they can be rented from a hardware store.

Sand first with a medium-grade sandpaper, then again with a fine, 120-grit sandpaper.

Any edges and grooves will need to be done manually with sandpaper.  Sanding sponges are really handy for getting into those details and nooks that are hard to reach.  Once you have finished sanding, wipe or vacuum away the dust.

Seal the bottom and edges with a coat of finish while it is still on the sawhorses.  Make sure it is thoroughly dried before rehanging and/or painting.

See original image here…

Time to paint

It’s usually easiest to rehang the door before you paint it, so you don’t ruin the finish while rehanging it.

Cover any glass windows with masking liquid, use a paint brush and allow enough time for it to dry.  You can simply peel it off once the door is painted and dry.

Use a good quality exterior primer first and then paint (see our guide to choosing the right paint).  You will need two coats to get a great finish that lasts.  For latex paints, leave for around four hours before applying the second coat. With oil-based paints, you need at least 24 hours before a second coat can be applied.

After the first coat is dry, it’s a good idea to take the time to sand again, using 320-grit sandpaper. Remove any dust with a clean cloth and apply a second coat.

Once the door has dried thoroughly, reattach the hardware. Refinishing doors can be a lengthy process, so it’s wise to plan ahead carefully and finish the job over a few days.

See original image here…

If you want to make sure you get a professional finish, call in the experts.  Herts Decorators provide high quality and professional decorating services to our clients across Hertfordshire, book a free estimate with our team today!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


George Ryland

Book a free estimate with our team today!