Tag: Refinishing Wood Garage Doors

Garage Door Update

Garage Door Update

Between the travel and the weather, the home projects are tough to complete. I am happy to give a garage door update. Both doors are finished. Or should I say refinished.

Work on the single door occurred in late September. Since then I have travelled to both coasts and states in between. Weather also delayed things. Ideally temperatures should be in the 70s for staining. As November rolled on, I began to think I would have mismatched doors for the winter.

However the third week of the month turned uncharacteristically warm. I did have a planned trip back to Kentucky so the race was on to see if I could strip, sand, stain and varnish in the allotted six and a half days. I made it!

The challenge was great. This time I was working on the double door. That is twice as much surface area to work on. Also I learned from some of my earlier mistakes.

Taping the door took quite a bit of time. On the single door I left the tape on the windows throughout. This left a sticky residue. So this time I removed the tape from the windows after each step and the tape from other areas after the staining. No residue is evident anywhere.

Because the wind kicked up on two days, I worked occasionally with the doors partway up. This may have caused a problem with the mechanism. The door is now off kilter and we are waiting for the installers to come adjust it.

This has happened before so it may not be related. I love my wood doors but the heavy weight has caused problems with the double door. My recommendation to anyone would be to use them only if all your doors are singles.

The garage door update is related to an earlier post. If you are a new reader you can click here for the initial report. I am a DIY individual. The money saved on this project was considerable. But the main reason I refinished for a garage door update was the inability to find someone willing to do the work.

If you are a young person out there struggling to find work, look around. Many skilled labor jobs are going unfilled. Ten years from now I may not be in shape to do another garage door update. I hope someone can be found to do the work then.


Refinishing Wood Garage Doors

Refinishing Wood Garage Doors

One of my big fall tasks this year is refinishing my wood garage doors. I really like the doors because they reduce the sound from the street. Since they face southwest the finish absorbs a lot of heat. In previous years I have just added a coat of varnish but it is time to start anew.

Refinish safely
Protect yourself

As you can see from the pictures, peeling of the varnish is occurring. The bottom of the panels are taking the brunt of the heat. I hope the stripping and refinishing will improve the look of the doors.

Refinishing wood garage doors
Peeling Varnish


The first step in refinishing wood garage doors is stripping the finish. It is important to use correct safety equipment in the stripping process. I am using a Safety Works Half Mask Respirator and chemical grade gloves made by Magid Glove & Safety. The stripping gel is Citri-strip. Other tools are a step-ladder, plastic scraper and a natural bristle brush.

Stripping works best when the temperature stays between 65 and 85 degrees. Therefore, fall is the perfect time for this type of work. Forecast temperatures for this week are within this range. Since this is a lengthy project I need more than just one day of ideal conditions.

Refinishing wood garage doors takes elbow grease. My first task was taping around the glass windows and the rubber seals. I am unsure of the potency of the chemical agent in the stripper. While it may only etch the glass it could eat away at the rubber door seals.

The stripping gel will take off layers, but I have many layers so it is taking more than one coat of gel. The minimum time suggested for leaving the gel on is 30 minutes and the maximum is 24 hours. As the temperature warms, the time needed decreased for me.

Yesterday,I spent about 5 hours on the single door. As you can see by the picture I have a way to go. If the weather cooperates, I hope to have this door completed in 3-4 days. The double door will take more time. I plan to have after pictures and a full report in a few weeks.