Door Makeover: Gel Stain Faux Wood Finish
Filed in PROJECTS & DIY March 25, 2022
Ive wanted to switch out our garage door in our kitchen for years! Last summer when we completed our kitchen refresh I kept hoping to find an old vintage wood paned door we could use. If you know anything about wood doors, theyre both PRICEY and hard to come by in specific sizes. Spoiler: we never found one. Instead I found a product to create my own wood finish for my existing door. I also got nervous and never did it. Until now.
Then, a couple weeks ago we started working on my office refresh, and those ugly bifold closet doors kept staring at me. Sure, theres ways to refinish doors: trendy sliding barn doors, and even resurfacing old doors with wood planks. Neither of those options were possible as I had to keep the bifold function with my built-ins. I finally decided to use the product I had in my stash since our kitchen refresh intended for that door and knocked them both out!
I used a gel stain to create a faux wood finish on both of my doors. This stain is meant for veneer, fiberglass and other non-wood surfaces especially useful if applying vertically. This project is super simple and only required 2-3 materials. I barely even used any out of the quart I had. This product is perfect on exterior garage doors and staircase banisters or treads as well!
I only cleaned my surface with a mild cleanser first. This requires zero prep work- no sanding! Hallelujah, am I right?
Behind the brand
How To Choose Gel Stains For Cabinets
When you choose a gel stain for cabinets, you want to make sure it is a durable option. Some of the wood used for cabinets is more sensitive than others, so you want to make sure it will not be affected by your method of choice.
There are some additional things to consider when choosing a gel stain that includes:
Fall In Love With The Wood Garage Door And Exterior Of Your House All Over Again
Now when I pull into our driveway or float past the house on the boat, I love the view!
The newly stained doorscompliment the deck and pergola stain so much better now!
I hope this is helpful as you consider simple and cost effective DIY projects for your home! If you have any questions on how to transform your garage door to a faux wood finish look, you can find me on Instagram @the.westnest!
For more awesome tutorials from Our Faux Farmhouse contributors, check out these recent posts:
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How To Prepare A The Garage Door For Gel Stain
A metal garage door must be cleaned and have no moisture, debris, dirt, or oily residue on it. To make sure the door is clean and dry, you can wash it with soap and water using a sponge, rinse it off with a garden hose, and let it dry. One other method is to use a pressure washer to thoroughly clean the door, and once the door is dry, go over it with a clean cloth, removing any loose debris still on the door.
Things To Do Before Starting
Be sure to use painters tape to tape off the weather stripping and trim around the doors. Use a drop cloth, plastic sheeting, or cardboard under the door to prevent any stain that may drip from getting on your concrete floor. If you accidentally get the stain on any surrounding surface, use mineral spirits or paint thinner to clean it up quickly.
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Staining Metal Doors To Give The Appearance Of Wood
So you are getting tired of your aluminum or steel garage door and want a new look but you dont want to spend thousands of dollars to get a brand new wood door. Well, we have a solution for you. Did you know that you can actually stain or paint your garage door to make it look like wood? If you want to take on this DIY project, then keep on reading to see how to stain your metal door to look like wood without having to buy one!
Start with properly preparing for the project, which involves buying the stain or the paint you will need, the paint brushes or rollers, the trays, tape for creating clean edges, and anything else you might need to prevent paint from getting on other surfaces or the concrete. We also recommend getting some rags if you dont already have some. Whether or not you will use stain or paint depends on the look you are going for, paint is thicker and provides richer color but will need a bottom and top coat of different colors to mimic wood, whereas stain requires more coats and gives a different end result. We recommend researching photos of both results to determine which look you like best and want to create.
Give the paint plenty of time to dry before touching and for both stain and paint, we recommend adding a sealing top coat that will help the new look of your door last again the sun and rain and time. And when youre done, step back and admire your stylish and brand new door wood doorat least, thats what all your neighbors will think.
If Youre Looking For A New Garage Door With A Woodgrain Finish
Youll be happy to know that Garaga offers a steel garage door in American walnut. It is painted in two directionsa first in the garage door industryand then fired. This gives it the appearance of a genuine wood door with the woodgrain effect embossed on the surface of the metal. To learn more, consult a garage door specialist in your area.
They can email you a detailed free estimate or theyll even be happy to come to your home to tell you all about the full range of garage doors and garage door openers available in the market. Theyll recommend the best options for you according to your tastes and your budget. If you decide to replace your garage door, to get an idea of what your new door might look like, you can use a design centre like the one provided by Garaga or you can take a look at their image gallery.
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Material Of Gel Stains
You want to make sure that your gel stain for cabinets is made from the same materials as the wood you are applying it to.
Stains come in a variety of options depending on what they are intended for and how strong they will be. Some stains offer mild tinting, while others are designed to be full coverage. It is important to know what kind of finish you want before choosing a gel stain.
How To Gel Stain Garage Doors
- Clean your garage doors. I did this by power washing them with a hose nozzle.
- Let the doors dry completely.
- Wait until you have a warm day, between 70ºF and 80ºF.
- If there is time when the garage doors are in the shade, do it during that time.
- Start at the top or bottom and work in sections, ending where the square sections end. This allows you to have a stopping point and not create a lot of streaky lines.
- Work your way up or down, just doing the one square-wide section at a time. Move over to the next square section and continue up or down. Try not to re-brush over where youve already brushed the stain on.
- I did my doors when it was 60ºF out and they took a long time to try, about 8 hours. This was a problem because as they dried, dust and animal fur got on the bottom of the doors. It isnt noticeable, but quicker drying times would avoid that.
- Let the first coat dry completely. If you try to add the second coat while the first coat is still tacky, it will brush off.
- Add a second coat the same way you added the first.
- Once its dry, add the carriage door hardware.
See?? Its so easy! And its project you can get done super fast in one day. I havent had any problems with my garage being extra hot, and it even faces southwest.
Make sure you open a back door or window when youre staining the garage doors, otherwise the stain fumes will leak into your home.
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Next Generation Liquid Wood
What comes in the kit
- Wood’n Primer – High coverage primer that contains over 60% recycled wood fibers.
- Wood’n Stain – Revolutionary gel stain which contains over 60% recycled wood fibers.
- Graining Tool Set – Includes one 6″ and 3″ graining tool.
- Wonder brush – 3″ flat brush.
- Polytique It Exterior Topcoat – is a water-based, marine grade sealer with three UV stabilizers as well as mold and mildew resistance built in.
Retique It® Wood’n Stain contains over 60% recycled wood fibers along with stain and some built-in topcoat.
- Interior / Exterior – From Furniture to Decking, unmatched durability
- Easy to Use – Simple 3 step process, goes on like a gel stain but looks and feels like real wood because it IS real wood
- Safe – Low Odor – Waterbased, low VOC, low odor, easy clean up
Defy Extreme Perfect For Exterior Decks And Pressure Treated Wood
This product by Defy Extreme is a water-based exterior stain. It features an environmentally friendly formula thats mainly intended for decks, pressure-treated wood, and wooden patio furniture.
Wood grains show through a semi-transparent layer with a matte finish for a natural look. High-Quality Resins in this formula add durability against weather and scratching. The resin also fights against fading. It includes zinc nano-particles that reduce the growth of mold.
Youll get a lot of value from this stain on outdoor projects that experience a lot of constant moisture. It will seal and protect against the elements exceptionally well. Its best used on pressure-treated woods that are meant for exterior use. It has great features like added zinc particles that reduce mold and mildew.
The resin in the formula stops fading, so youll get a longer lifespan from this option on decking than most other brands on the market. Cleanup is easy because its water-based. You can use a standard brush to apply it. You dont need to strip this stain when putting on a maintenance coat later on. No Sanding Is Required.
A new deck project would be ideal for this product. Youll need to completely remove your previous stain or finish if its not Defy brand. Maintenance is simple and it lasts a very long time.
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Old Masters Dark Walnut Gel Stain For Cabinets
The Old Masters gel stain is a high-quality gel stain that can be used to change the color of wood cabinets. It can also be used to cover up blemishes or scratches on the cabinet surface.
This Old Masters Dark Walnut Gel Stain for Cabinets, in dark walnut, is perfect for gel staining cabinets! It goes on smoothly and evenly and provides rich, beautiful colors that will be durable. Using it is also easy, so you can get great results with little effort.
It applies easily and dries quickly, so theres a minimal wait time before you can start using your cabinets. It is available in a variety of colors, so you will be able to match the stain with the decor in your home.
The antique walnut gel stain for cabinets is a high-quality product that is manufactured in the United States. It is perfect for adding color and depth to your cabinets, and it can be used on a variety of other surfaces as well.
Application is simplified by the gel formula, and the results are fantastic. This product packages dimensions are 11.176 centimeters in length, 12.7 centimeters in height, and 11.176 centimeters in width.
How To Determine The Type Of Your Wood
The first thing you need to do is determine what type of wood youve got. Softwoods like pine will absorb a stain much easier than hardwood and thus could come off looking quite dark with even one coat of stain. Hardwood like oak and cherry, on the other hand, does not absorb stain as well and you may need to put several coats to actually get it to darken up to any significant extent.
So here is how you determine what type of wood you actually have whether it be hardwood or softwood. Its easy to actually tell for the most part by just looking at the grain of the wood. With hardwood, youll notice the grain is rather consistent throughout whereas softwood frequently can be blotchy and the grain isnt consistent throughout the length of the bore.
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Deck Premium Wood Stain Choice For Exterior Siding And Floors
This #1 Deck product is an all-in-one stain and sealant. It is a semi-transparent finish with a flat and natural look. Its water-based and environmentally friendly.
You should use this product with softwoods in exterior projects. It protects against moisture and UV light. It has a low odor and is easily cleaned up with soapy water. Its an average product without any other features that stand out from other brands, but it doesnt suffer from any great downsides either.
This is for exterior use only. You cant thin it with mineral spirits or else the sealer mixture will deteriorate.
Applying Gel Stain To The Door
Using a gel stain is similar to normal painting except for a couple of differences. Gel stain dries very quickly and must be stirred carefully before you start. Do not stir it vigorously, but make sure you get down to the bottom of the can because the pigments tend to settle at the bottom. If you stir it too hard, then you may get bubbles in the gel, which, if applied to the door, will stay there and spoil the finish. Once you have stirred the gel, follow these few easy steps for a perfect finish:
Use a quality paint brush. Do small sections at a time. First, apply the gel stain to the raised panels. Then the recessed areas, finishing with light, even strokes following the direction of the texture of the panels Dont be tempted to go over a stained area again before it is dry. You will only lift the stain off and ruin the finish. If you need the door to be darker, then apply additional coats, but wait at least 6 hours before applying another coat.
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How To Stain Metal Garage Doors
You can stain metal garage doors by applying a gel stain and allowing it to dry.
Your garage door has withstood the elements for a number of years and is beginning to show its age. Apart from a few little dings and scratches, there is nothing really wrong with it and going to the expense of a new door is out of the question. You want to give it a facelift but painting it doesnt appeal to you. Did you know that you can stain a metal garage door, and give it the appearance of wood if you wanted to? Yes, you read that correctly. Stain the door to make it look like wood. But, not with the traditional stain you would use on furniture where you apply it, leave it for a few minutes, then wipe it off. You use Gel Stain. It is thicker, dries very quickly, and you dont wipe it off. Just apply it and leave it to dry. Job done.
We have listed below some tips and questions to help you get a brand new garage door by using gel stain.
What Materials Are Recommended For Applying Gel Stain
To assist you, here is a list of materials recommended for applying gel stains.
Paint brushes or clean lint-free cloths. Natural bristle brushes are recommended. Disposable rubber gloves. Apart from the possibility of staining your hands, gel stain is a petroleum-based product and contact with your skin should be avoided. Cleaning pads. Scrubbing pads do a great job loosening any grime or debris on the doors surface. Odorless mineral spirits. This is needed for the clean-up process. Painters tape. You will need this to cover up areas that you dont want stained. Plastic sheeting or drop cloths. Although gel stain is thicker than traditional stain, and is designed to adhere to vertical surfaces without dripping, accidents do happen. Protect your driveway by placing drop cloths or plastic sheets under the garage door is advised. Good, quality gel stain. Choose a quality gel stain, such as Minwax or Old Masters in the color that matches or blends with the surrounding paintwork. Clear coat. This is recommended, but optional.
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Update: Gel Stained Polebarn Garage Door
This little project has been on our radar for quite a while, but we finally got it done in 2019. The door was beginning to show its age, so we had to do something. The gel stain transformed the old faded aluminum door into a door that looks brand new.
As with the garage doors attached to the house, we couldnt be happier with the results! We think it gives the place a nice consistent look. Even though the garage door gel stain is 5 years older than the polebarn door, they have held up very well.
However, now that weve started seeing signs of flaking on garage doors, we will be applying the clear protective coating to our polebarn door. We will also redo our garage doors and seal them as well. We still love the product.