Paint double Front Doors to Look Like Wood

These first two pictures show what happens when you use oil based products on the exterior of doors. What happens is the sun will bake the doors and the UV light will break down any oil based products in short order.  Here in Florida typically if the sun gets on the doors they will last less than a year before they need to be refinished when an oil based product has been used.

 Here is a closer look at what happens.  These doors are made of fiberglass and are not wood in the first place.  It wouldn't matter however, the same thing happens whatever the substrate is.  The sad part is homeowners get bad advice on painting.  Even door manufactures will recommend using a product like 'gel stain' and then coating with an exterior clear coat of marine varnish or something like that.  Total mistake.  Never use an oil based product.

So I really can't stand stripping down doors but I had painted this homeowners garage doors several years ago and he asked me to 'fix' the front door and paint it to match the garage doors I had painted to look like wood.  It took 2 days with an orbital sander and a heat gun to get all the paint off have the door down to the original fiberglass skin.  You can use chemicals if you want to strip but that takes just as long and is way more messy.

I finally got them cleaned up and primed then base coated with the same color I had base coated the garage doors with.

I used Sherwin Williams exterior acrylic paint.  The base is Toasty, the first color brown for the wood grain is Terra Brun and the second color for the darker grain is Black Bean.  When I finished all the wood grain painting on the doors I sealed them with an acrylic UV clear coat.

 The doors came out great and matched the garage doors I had done years before and now they will last 15-20 years before they start to look shabby.


  1. Your work is beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and teaching others this skill. I just found your site today and wanting to start painting my garage doors asap.


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