I had done some work on the brick mould of Josephine’s front door some time ago; touching up the paint where it had peeled over time. Then she asked me if I could paint the door itself. It had been white for many years and it was time for a change. (Many of her neighbours have doors in different colours). However she didn’t want to add another colour to the overall scheme, so I said I would try to match the cedar shakes in the front. How to turn a white metal door into a cedar door?
I chose two shades of gel stain and over 3 trips I layered them over the white paint. I started with a lighter shade and then used a darker shade with a wood-graining tool ($3 at Michael’s!). This made the door a shade darker than I had planned, so I went over it all again with the first colour. It was still a tad dark but luckily my customer liked it.
Now in most situations it would be advisable to remove the door and work on it elsewhere, but for various reasons that was impossible this time. So I had to be careful not to get stain on the nice white frame. I used paint markers along the edges where the door contacts the weather stripping, and that dried quickly enough. Varnishing was another matter – the first coat of varnish went on at 1 degree Celsius so it did not dry very quickly. For the 2nd coat I tacked a blanket over the door and left it open for the day, and it dried nicely.
So there you have it. A cedar metal gel stained varnished door!