Fibreglass doors offer numerous advantages, plus they’re super low maintenance. Unlike other types of exterior doors, they are resistant to warping, cracking, rotting, corrosion, rusting, or getting scratches. Fibreglass doors are built to last a lifetime, so you won’t need to worry about getting new door replacements frequently.
But if you’re looking to shake things up, you can give your home’s exterior a dramatic makeover by changing the color of your front door. Got time in your hands for a little DIY project? Teach yourself how to stain fibreglass doors with this ultimate guide.
Ready? Let’s get started!
What You’ll Need
Prepare all the necessary tools and materials needed for staining fibreglass surfaces. These may include the following:
- One pair of rubber gloves
- A pair of safety glasses
- Mineral spirits
- A piece of lint-free cloth
- Stirring sticks
- 2-inch wide foam brush
- Masking tape
- Utility knife
- Fibreglass stain (Use a high-quality oil-based stain that’s opaque and heavily pigmented or a gel stain. Do not use semi-transparent stains).
- Top-quality exterior grade, UV stabilized polyurethane sealant in satin or low gloss finish
- 2 ½ inch-wide bristle brush
- Phillips screwdriver
- Center punch
Find a Suitable Staining Location and Time
Look for a well-lit spot outside your home with excellent ventilation and preferably free of dust. A spacious backyard or garage with the rollers up should do it!
You should also read the label for the manufacturer’s recommendation on the type of climate or weather condition most suitable for staining.
Unhinge Your Fibreglass Door
Ideally, it would be best if you unhinged your fibreglass door from the frames to ensure that every nook and cranny will be adequately covered. Fibreglass doors are known for being lightweight, so this will not be an issue even if you are a one-person team.
Be extremely careful not to damage your door when moving it to your working location.
Use a center punch and hammer to detach the fibreglass door from the frame.
- Strike the hinge pin front to bottom until it comes up. If you have an outswing unit, the hinge leaf should be removed from the door.
- Using the punch, drive the hinge pin as far as you can.
- Get a grip of the hinge pin using a pair of pliers.
- Take off the hinge by twisting and pulling it until it comes out.
- Then, remove all the door hardware.
Clean and Prep the Surface
This is a critical step that you should not skip or take for granted. Dust, dirt, and pet dander can gather on the fibreglass door’s surface, which will hinder you from achieving a smooth and flawless finish.
To get the desired results, clean and wipe the surface of the door panels and sidelights thoroughly using mineral spirits. Leave it for a few minutes until it has dried completely. Cover any part that will not be stained with strips of masking tape.
What Type of Stain Should You Use on Fibreglass
When staining fibreglass doors, we recommend using only premium-quality oil-based stains and seal with a polyethylene that’s oil-based, too. Choose one that is heavily pigmented, opaque in nature, and with a hue that’s closest to the colour of your fibreglass door.
Contrary to what other fibreglass door manufacturers may say, Do It Yourself warns against using gel-based stains. Due to the added moisture in them, gel-based stains won’t adhere properly to the fibreglass surface or would require a separate rigorous preparation to achieve your desired results. Stir the stain occasionally to maintain its creamy texture.
To make the job more systematic, stain the different parts of your fibreglass door in this order.
- Panels and sticking (Moulding profiles)
- Vertical areas in the center (Mullions)
- Horizontal areas (Rails)
- Outside vertical areas (Stiles)
- The edges of the door stiles
Pro tip: Do a patch test first to see whether the stain or colour would work on your fibreglass door.
Follow These Steps for Staining Fibreglass Doors
- Dip the foam brush into the stain mixture. Swipe off excess at the rim of the container, so it’s not dripping wet.
- Apply the stain smoothly using the foam brush on the various sections of your fibreglass door.
- Rub the stain evenly over embossed wood grain using a lint-free cloth. You can also experiment with subtle colour gradations or variations by repeatedly removing a bit of stain with the lint-free cloth and applying little pressure. Do not press down hard, which will remove the stain completely.
- Clean up drips or excess at the edges using a rag soaked in mineral spirits.
- Repeat the process until you’ve covered every part of your fibreglass door with stain.
- Tidy up drips and lightly brush the surface with long strokes in the same direction. This is to polish the application of the stain consistently in every part.
Most manufacturers suggest one coating per side. However, if you prefer a darker colour for staining fibreglass, repeat these steps while allowing the stain to dry between applications.
Finish Off with a Top-Coat
The top-coat or sealant is extremely important because it’s going to protect and weatherproof your fibreglass door. It’s going to preserve and prevent the staining of fibreglass from fading when exposed to harsh weather conditions. It will also make your fibreglass door waterproof and easier to maintain since it’s washable. Go for notable top-coat brands that are UV stabilized in a satin or low gloss finish.
Here’s how to seal your fibreglass staining with a clear exterior polyurethane coating:
- Stir the top-coat mixture slowly to ensure an even consistency without creating bubbles.
- Dip the end of the brush into the can. Wipe the excess off at the rim to prevent overloading your brush.
- Apply on the stained and dried surface of your fibreglass door. Do it gently in one direction.
- Let the first coating dry completely. A minimum of two coats is necessary to guarantee that your fibreglass door is well protected to endure extreme weather conditions. Maintain by resealing every year.
- Once you’ve sealed both sides of the door and have allowed it to dry, remove masking tape coverings, put back the hardware you removed, and re-install your door in its frame.
Beautiful Fibreglass Doors from Burano
Staining fibreglass to give your home a quick update is only one of the many benefits you get when choosing this material over steel or wood. Burano Doors is a leading manufacturer of stylish and durable exterior steel and fibreglass doors in Canada.
We offer superior quality doors and windows at the most reasonable rates in the market. We guarantee our products’ structural integrity, energy efficiency, and durability by offering a no-nonsense lifetime service warranty to all our customers.
For inquiries about our stunning collection of fibreglass doors or to request a free home estimate, contact Burano today!