Our Top Tips for Refinishing Wood Garage Doors

There are many reasons to love wood garage doors. In particular, wood is both attractive and an excellent insulator. However, these doors require some extra upkeep, which includes refinishing them every few years. This means you’ll need to either re-stain or repaint them.

Why Do Wood Garage Doors Need To Be Refinished?

Paints, stains, and other wood finishes will help protect your garage door from the following:

  • Pest damage. Insects like termites and boring beetles can weaken the integrity of your garage door by forming holes and tunnels in the panels.
  • Wood rot. The combination of moisture and fungi can result in wood rot, which softens the wood and causes it to deteriorate.
  • Weather damage. Wind can cause dirt, sand, and other debris to collect on the finished surface of your door, wearing down the protective layers.
  • General wear and tear. Cracking and peeling can expose your garage to moisture, wood rot, and pest infestations.
  • Fading. Sun exposure causes the colour of your garage to fade and the top coat to thin. Fading occurs at a faster rate on both southward and westward facing garages.


How Often Do Wood Garage Doors Need To Be Refinished?

As a general rule, wood garage doors should be refinished at least every few years, or sooner if you observe any of the issues listed above. For example, if you see that the wood is starting to peel away in several areas, it’s probably time to get out the paintbrush.

In fact, you should look for signs of degradation on a monthly basis. Note that for issues such as pest damage and wood rot, refinishing is a preventive and not a corrective measure. In such cases, a garage door repair will be needed. Our technicians can replace wood panels in the event of pest damage or rot.

Warranty Considerations

It’s important to note that the warranty offered by the garage door manufacturer’s may be voided by refinishing your door. This can happen if you don’t follow the manufacturer’s recommendations with regard to staining and painting.

However, it’s also worth pointing out that manufacturer’s warranty on wood doors is generally only for one or two years.

Should You Re-Stain Or Repaint Your Wood Door?

Either stain or paint can be used to refinish a wood garage door. Staining is ideal for accenting the woodgrain, while painting gives you a larger range of colour options and greater saturation. Both are effective finishes when it comes to protecting wood from the elements.

However, optimal results are most easily achieved when homeowners choose to refinish their garage door in the same way that it was originally finished. While it’s possible to paint over wood stain or stain a previously painted wood door with the right preparation, this can be more difficult.


How do you re-stain wood garage doors?

Here are the main steps you’ll need to follow if you want to re-stain you garage door:

  • Clean and sand the surface. Wash your garage door using a quality wood-cleaning product. Get rid of dust, dirt, debris, and any moss or mildew. Once the door is clean and dry, it should be sanded. This will even out the surface and allow the stain to adhere better.
  • Prep the area for staining. Make sure the door is completely dry before you start staining it. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to wait at least 24 hours after cleaning it. You should also protect the surrounding surfaces using painters’ tape and drop sheets.
  • Apply the stain. To ensure your garage door is fully protected, choose a high-quality exterior stain. For best results, avoid using a dark stain, as this will cause the door to absorb too much heat. A penetrating, oil-based wood stain is typically the best choice. Apply it according to the manufacturer’s directions.
  • Apply a varnish. Whereas stain penetrates the wood, varnish forms a protective barrier on the surface. Once the stain has dried, apply a quality wood varnish such as Alkyd, making sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Typically, three coats of varnish are needed.

Prior to staining, you may opt to apply a brightener, especially if your garage is made of a high-tannin wood such as cedar or redwood. Cleaning these types of woods can bring tannins to the surface of the door and cause the wood to darken. A brightener can be used to counteract this effect.


How To Repaint Your Garage Door

If you’re repainting your door, the initial steps are the same as the ones listed above for re-staining: clean and sand the surface thoroughly and prep the area to prevent paint splatters. After, apply two coats acrylic latex paint, waiting at least 24 hours between coats.

Comprehensive Garage Door Services In Western Canada

Turn to the dedicated team at Creative Door Services™ for help with the installation , repair, and maintenance of your wood garage doors. In particular, we offer planned maintenance programs that can help extend the lifespan of your garage door system.

For more information about our garage door services or to speak with an expert, contact us at one of our locations. You can reach us in Vancouver, British Columbia; Kelowna, British Columbia; Calgary, Alberta; Edmonton, Alberta; Fort McMurray, Alberta; Regina, Saskatchewan; Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; and Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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