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Fiberglass Front Door to Look Like Wood

I just painted my front door dark brown to give it that wood look and had stained glass inserted. I just need to cover the trim but the dark brown looks ok but not that wood look you really want. Home depo sold me the dark brown paint and they did not have a glaze or anything to look like wood. I called Lowes and they have a product from Mini Wax that is a GEL but have not tried it. I just don't want to keep spending the time and money on loosing products that promise me the wood look. The fiberglass door does have a grain to it; not exactly wood look but will do if I get the right product. ANY suggestions out there on what to use that will give me a wood look in a medium brown family. Now the door is Dark Brown. HELP

A. Spruce
Re: Fiberglass Front Door to Look Like Wood

It may be too late to change it now if you've already painted it. Paint is thick and heavy and will have filled in all the faux grain that is stamped into the door.

Stay away from the gel stain, it's not what you want in this case. What you will need is a standard stain that is darker than the door color already. Wipe on, wipe off, you want to remove the stain from all the high surfaces, but it will remain behind in the deep valleys faux grain of the door, bringing that grain into view. Having painted the door, you'll likely only highlight the brush strokes rather than wood grain.

On the bright side, you can still try staining as described and if it doesn't work out to your liking, all you have to do is repaint the door.

Re: Fiberglass Front Door to Look Like Wood


Alas, I fear Spruce is correct that it is too late to try the gel stain. Staining new fiberglass doors is the one use for which gel stain is specifically recommended. The tan prime color, that those doors come with, is actually somewhat porous and will accept the stain color. The heavy bodied gel does, as Spruce says, get caught in the embossed grain texture and give the appearance of wood.

The dark brown color you painted the door is not appropriate as a base coat for a wood grained look. The original tan color was.If you paint the door again, you will further obscure that embossed grain.

The door still could be given a full faux woodgrain treatment, but this requires quite a bit of skill. Quite frankly, I was never that good at it myself. It requires much time consuming, tedious work. My brother, and business partner, was a genius at it and I was content to let him do it! To have a pro do it for you will end up costing more than you paid for the door!

Personally, I painted my fiberglas door:)

Re: Fiberglass Front Door to Look Like Wood

One way to get the real wood look is to paint the door a couple of shades lighter than you want the finished door to look like. Then coat the entire door using a gel stain in a darker color than the paint. Using an inexpensive graining tool(available in any discount store such as Menards/Home Depot/Lowes) while the stain is still wet you can rock the tool in a gentle motion while pulling down, creating a realistic looking wood grain. You can also purchase a kit with the paint, stain and tool included. I have done this on a steel door and my sister-in-law actually painted her kitchen floor using this method. You might want to practice on a sheet of cardboard to get the desired look.

Re: Fiberglass Front Door to Look Like Wood

Fiberglass windows and doors are NOT subject to the expansion and contraction of the PVC plastic which is commonly used for windows, shutters and vinyl siding. Fiberglass is paintable.

PVC plastic should never be painted in colors darker than those offered by the manufacturer. PVC begins to distort at as little as 130 degrees fahrenheit, a temperature that can easily be reached on a hot, sunny summers day on a dark colored surface.

My own front door is painted with a dark hunter green acrylic trim paint.

Re: Fiberglass Front Door to Look Like Wood

annefil, this is fairly easy to change. First you need a product called Old Masters Graining Base. These bases come in a handful of colors that should match the original fiberglass door color.

1) Find Old Masters Graining Base and buy one of the pre-mixed colors that matches the fiberglass door when it was new. Look at either Maple or Walnut. Apply the graining base let dry over night.

2) You have stain options like GEL's etc but again I suggest Old Masters Wiping Stain and you can go check out their color selections under Wiping Stains. The Wiping Stain is fairly thick but not thick like your oil based paint. More like a thinner version.

3) Apply the Wiping Stain directly over the top of the graining base. The graining base has a low sheen to it and will allow you to move the stain fairly easy and give you working time.

4) Let dry about 48-72 hours before you clear the door. I suggest 5 coats of clear and then 18 months later do another maintenance coat.

You can find more info on the procedure to do fiberglass doors on www.jackpauhl.com and search Jacks Archives too. There is a ton of info.

All you are doing is repainting your brown door with a graining base which will give you color of wood and then you will stain it then clear it. Its time consuming but worth it.

Re: Fiberglass Front Door to Look Like Wood


It may not be too late for your door! I work for Therma-Tru, and we have a Same-Day Stain Kit (http://www.thermatru.com/products/entry/stain/index.aspx) that allows for staining your front door, even over a coat of existing paint. Therma-Tru’s Same-Day Stain dries in one day (compared to the 48-hour dry time recommended for traditional stains). The stain can be applied in the morning and should be ready for topcoat application by afternoon.

Clicking on the link I provided above will give you more information and instructions, as well as the ability to order the kit online. Let me know if you have any questions!

Good luck,

On behalf of Therma-Tru Doors
[email protected]

Re: Fiberglass Front Door to Look Like Wood

Unfortunately, the above named video clip from Therma-Tru demonstates their "stain" on a new door. The problem from the original poster is that the door has already been painted a dark brown and some of the embossed grain has been filled in with paint. An additional coat of a neutral wood tone base coat would further fill in that grain and add additional brush marks which would be highlighted by the stain.

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