Refinishing previously stained fiberglass entry door.

Questions & AnswersCategory: Fiberglass Door Finishing QuestionsRefinishing previously stained fiberglass entry door.
Anonymous asked 9 years ago

Our fiberglass door was finished with a wood stain and spar varnish and now needs to be refinished. What process would be best used to refinish the door?

2 Answers
M.A.C. Painting answered.

Well Pam,

We would need to know what condition the door is in. Is it peeling or just fading? If just fading then you use triple zero steel wool <Super Fine> and scuff the surface of entire door. Then prime the door with either an oil based kilz product or zinser 123 interiorexterior, this door is not able to stain again sorry. Then paint the door with exterior latex, if peeling you must sand the door down <do not sand the fiber glass>, prime and paint. Sorry about the fact that it cant be stained again. But the stain will not hold to that door, the stain that is on there is just coating it not soaked in.

Thank You

Crowder Painting answered.

Actually it can be restained. Adam is right about the "need to know what condition it is in". I will describe the procedures you will need to do.

Finish in good shape but varnish is faded (no sheen).

In this situation the stain might be faded but the varnish isn't peeling. You need start with a good washing of the doors surface. This will remove the accumulated dust and some other contaminates. Now wipe the door down with Paso. Paso is a powerful solvent based deglosser/cleaner.

Restaining will involve using a gel stain, I recommend Old Masters gel stains. You will also need a good white bristle oil brush, about 2 inches wide. Have some paint thinner and rags handy.

Matching the stain exactly isn't possible but you can go darker. Apply the gel stain with the brush to small area and wipe the excess stain out of the brush with a rag. Now dry brush, one one direction only, pulling the excess stain into a new area. Repeat thin process working in sections. Also always follow the embossed grain in the door.

Working with gel stain takes practice to get it right. Don't be surprised if you need to remove the gel stain and start over, that is what the rags and thinner is for. The stain can be removed as long as it isn't dry.

Old Masters gel stain will stick very well to the varnish and it can accept a protective varnish coat once dry, 24 hours.

Finish needs to be removed (cracked or flaking).

In this situation a paint/varnish stripper must be used. I have used Back to Nature paint strippers on fiberglass without any problems. Make sure the stripper is rated for fiberglass.

Once the varnish is removed some of the stain might be remaining. You should try to remove the bulk of the old stain for a more even look with the new stain. Once again use the Old Masters gel stain. Follow the above instructions for application and finishing.

Refinishing your fiberglass door is just like refinishing kitchen cabinets. I have written a couple of articles about this, check out cabinet refinishing for more details.