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How to Refinish and Restore an Entry Door

By: Danny Lipford

Refurbishing an Entry Door

Entry doors take a lot of abuse from the elements. If yours is looking a bit shabby, perhaps it’s time to dress it up by refinishing and replacing the hardware. By following these simple steps, you can turn an eyesore into the envy of the neighborhood

Steps in refinishing an entry door:

  1. Use a hammer and nail to remove the hinge pins.
  2. Take the door off its hinges. Entry doors can be heavy, so have someone on hand to help you carry it.
  3. Lay the door on padded sawhorses in the garage with the outer side facing up.
  4. Remove the old hardware and sand the finish or paint down using 80 grit sandpaper followed by finer grits.
  5. Stain the door followed by two coats of exterior polyurethane. Or, if you prefer, prime and paint it.
  6. Install a new brass kick plate and doorknocker while the door is still on the sawhorses.
  7. Rehang the door and install a new lockset and deadbolt.

Further Information

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10 Comments on “How to Refinish and Restore an Entry Door”

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  • Laurette Ellis Says:
    April 30th, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    lauretteellis@aol.com
    Live in Miami. Front door faces southwest.
    We sanded it down with 80 and 100. We will fine sand it next. Is gel the only stain to use outdoors. This is what we’re told.



  • Maria Says:
    April 22nd, 2018 at 6:24 am

    Looking to have something like this done for our front door. Need to have the paint removed, sanded, prepped for painting then finally painted. Anyone available in Upstate New York…



  • Taylor Says:
    April 12th, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    You wouldn’t use a stripper to remove old poluyurethane? That’s how I always do it. Then you would sand.


  • Official Comment:


    Thomas Boni Says:
    March 29th, 2018 at 9:13 am

    Hi, Anthony,
    Products used for this kind of project may vary, and each product has specific instructions.
    We recommend following the instructions on each product’s label.
    The standard for many people would be two coats, but user preferences may vary.
    Thanks for your question!



  • Anthony Says:
    March 28th, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    A veritable Sahara of information. How long do I wait between stain and polyurethane? How many coats of each? How long until I can put the door back in place?



  • Nadia Wieczorek Says:
    February 12th, 2018 at 9:57 am

    It was going to be nice to see the answers to the questions. I need more details.What is the point to ask if nobody answer?



  • Erica Says:
    October 1st, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    I just finished sanding hardwood front door. I used 80 grit sandpaper and my electric sander, I went a little too far in about three areas, What can be done to correct?



  • David Says:
    June 2nd, 2017 at 11:17 am

    Can I get a little more detail on the refinishing of the front entry door,please? Like types of stain, how much to use, setup and clean up tips. The more the better. Thank you sir.



  • Lois intindola Says:
    July 1st, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    I need help with the floor at the entry door.



  • Lois intindola Says:
    July 1st, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    I enjoy your show and the helpful hints.


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How to Refinish and Restore an Entry Door