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Front door finishes

4549 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  timhag
I know I have asked this before, but just seeing if there are any new opinions out there.

What is the best procedure and materials for recoating front doors that are in decent shape that have spar varnish on them. The doors are in pretty good shape, a little flaking of the finish at the bottom, especially on the side lights. The price does not allow for stripping. I usually will scrape and sand peeling areas, restain these areas and apply two new coats of spar varnish.

Is there a better top coat for this situation? Any waterborne coating that would be superior?
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Dean, why did you not bid out for stripping?
From what I have heard, to strip a door with 2 sidelights, restain and finish runs around $1500.00 and until the option is strip or replace, I do not think these jobs would bite on that type of job.
I would lightly sand with a 220 and then apply the poly.
We do a lot of these. They are very common in Houston. Usually the lower 25% to 40% of the door has the wear and tear from UV and water.

We sand with 180 and then 220 to remove the varnish. We then restain the entire door to match the existing color. We typically only apply 1 coat of poly. The sun here makes this an annual event, and we've found that 2 coats of poly really doesn't help those areas of the door getting high sun exposure.

This is one situation where I've found that following the manufacturer's specifications really doesn't work. A lot of the doors we do have western exposure. In the summer, that can mean 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight and the temperature is 95 to 100. It just kills these doors, and additional poly seems to make it worse.

Brian Phillips
So you guys are putting oil poly over spar varnish? I have heard that can be prone to peeling between the different layers of finish. Any truth to those rumors? I have a lot of doors that have glass doors in front of the wood doors too, which just seems to bake the finish.
Polys are usually not suitable for exterior doors because of there susceptibility to deterioration to UV exposure..As all will see damage spar marine varnish is your bet for longevity...
we do anywhere from 1 -5 sets a week/ 1 day job, chemical strip twice,clean,sand,clean, hang,stain,urethane,lunch, sand,urethane, check
We actually use a spar urethane. I'm in the bad habit of calling it a poly, though it isn't.

Brian Phillips
We actually use a spar urethane. I'm in the bad habit of calling it a poly, though it isn't.

Brian Phillips
:yes: We use a marine spar, I have the same habit as Brian.
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