Step-by-Step Guide: How to Refinish a Door

Welcome to our step-by-step guide on How to Refinish a Door. While this is a basic guide designed to help homeowners understand the process, door refinishing can be a complex task. If at any point it feels overwhelming, remember that professionals like us at DoorStain Atlanta Door Refinishers are here to help. With years of experience in door refinishing in Atlanta and surrounding areas, we’ve honed secret techniques and advanced methods that ensure a flawless finish every time. So, whether you’re searching for “Door Refinishing Near Me” or “Professional Door Restoration in Atlanta” or “Door Refinishing Atlanta,” this guide is tailored for you.

Atlanta, with its unique climate and urban charm, demands homes that stand out. One of the first things people notice about a home is its front door. Over time, even the most majestic doors can lose their luster. That’s where door refinishing comes into play, especially in bustling areas like Atlanta.

Why Door Refinishing is Essential

Doors, especially wooden ones, are exposed to the elements, leading to wear and tear. Refinishing not only restores its beauty but also extends its lifespan. For residents in areas like Alpharetta, Marietta, Sandy Springs, Johns Creek, Kennesaw, and Roswell, understanding the nuances of door refinishing is crucial. Whether you’re looking for door refinishing in Alpharetta, Marietta, or any part of Metro Atlanta, this guide provides a comprehensive overview. From wooden door refinishing to fiberglass door refinishing near Atlanta, Refinish a Door process ensures longevity and beauty. Remember, whether it’s wood finishing in Atlanta or door restoration in Georgia, always trust professionals for the best results.

Interested in learning How to Maintain a Wood Door Instead? Check Out Our Other Guide by Clicking Here!

Looking for the Best Door Refinishing Atlanta has to offer? Explore our range of services, from Refinish a Door in Atlanta to professional wood restoration. We are the door refinishing experts you’ve been searching for.

Step-by-Step Guide To Refinish A Door – Wood Door Refinishing Atlanta

DoorStain Before After Double Door 137
Step-by-Step Guide: How to Refinish a Door 2

Estimated Cost: $400
Total time: Around 9-20 hours

Materials Needed:

  • Wooden Door
  • Plastic Sheet
  • Liquid Stripper
  • Sandpaper
  • Tack Cloth
  • Soft Brush
  • Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner
  • Wood Stain
  • UV-Resistant Exterior Varnish

Tools Required:

  • Orbital Sander
  • Paintbrushes
  • Rags or Towels
  • Protective Gloves
  • Safety Eyewear
  • Masks
  • Screwdriver or Drill
  • Sawhorse set

1. Preparation

Begin by removing the door from its hinges. This step is crucial as it allows for a thorough and even application of products. Working with a door that’s off its hinges makes the refinishing process more manageable. If you’re working alone and find it challenging to remove the door, you can opt to refinish it while it’s still in place. In such cases, always cover the doorway with a plastic sheet to protect your home’s interior from dust and debris.

2. Strip the Finish

Over the years, doors accumulate layers of paint, varnish, and other finishes. To bring back the door’s original charm, apply a quality liquid stripper to its exterior. This product helps in effectively removing the old finish, making the wood ready for sanding. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and ensure you wear protective gloves and eyewear for safety.

3. Sand the Door

Sanding is a vital step in the refinishing process. Start with an 80-grit sandpaper to tackle any stubborn residues or imperfections. Once the initial sanding is done, progress to a 150-grit sandpaper to smoothen the surface further. Finally, use a 250-grit sandpaper for a smooth, ready-to-stain surface. Remember to always sand in the direction of the wood grain to avoid unwanted scratches and achieve a uniform look.

4. Clean the Door

After sanding, it’s essential to have a clean surface for staining. Use a tack cloth or a soft brush to meticulously wipe away any sawdust or debris from the door. This step ensures an even and smooth application of the stain, enhancing the door’s final appearance.

5. Pre-Stain Conditioning

Before applying the stain, treat the door with a pre-stain wood conditioner. This product prepares the wood to absorb the stain evenly, ensuring a consistent and vibrant color throughout the door.

6. Apply the Stain

Choose a stain shade that complements your home’s exterior. Using a clean rag or brush, gently apply the stain, ensuring you move in the direction of the wood grain. Allow the stain to penetrate the wood for a few minutes, then using a separate clean rag, wipe off any excess stain to prevent blotchy spots.

7. Varnish for Protection

For the door’s protection, especially from the sun’s UV rays, select a varnish that offers UV protection. Carefully apply the first coat, ensuring an even spread, and let it dry as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

8. Light Sanding

Once the first varnish coat is dry, it’s time for a light sanding session. Using a 250-grit sandpaper, gently sand the surface. This step prepares the door for the second coat and ensures a smooth, glossy finish.

9. Apply the Final Varnish Coat

Apply a second coat of varnish to seal in the stain and provide a protective barrier against weather elements.
Pro Tip: For a more vibrant color, consider adding a light stain coat on top of the first layer of varnish.

10. Let it Dry

Patience is crucial at this stage. Allow ample time for the door to dry before reattaching hardware and rehanging it. Ensure the varnish is fully set to prevent any smudges or fingerprints.

11. Optional: Additional Coats

For enhanced protection and longevity, we recommend applying at least 3-4 heavy varnish coats. To achieve this, simply repeat the light sanding and varnishing steps until you’ve reached the desired number of coats.


Refinishing your exterior door can be a rewarding DIY project, but it’s essential to get it right. This guide provides a basic overview, but the true art of door refinishing involves intricate techniques and expert knowledge. If you ever feel the task is too daunting or if you’re aiming for a professional-grade finish, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. At DoorStain, we’ve been mastering the art of door refinishing in areas like Alpharetta, Marietta, and Metro Atlanta for years. Our team uses advanced directions and secret techniques that only years of experience can bring. So, whether it’s “Wood Door Refinishing Near Me” or “Best Door Refinishing Atlanta” that you’re searching for, remember that we’re just a call away. Trust the experts, and let us bring your door back to life.

Don’t forget to maintain your recently refinished doors to always keep them looking brand new!
Interested in learning How to Maintain a Wood Door Instead? Check Out Our Other Guide by Clicking Here!

Looking for the Best Door Refinishing Atlanta has to offer? Explore our range of services, from wood restoration in Atlanta to professional door restoration. We are the door refinishing experts you’ve been searching for.