Extreme changes in temperature, coupled with the effects of sun and rain, can take their toll on the finish of an exterior wood entry door. To refinish an exterior wood door:

  1. Remove the door from its hinges.
  2. Lay the door on top of sawhorses.
  3. Remove the hardware from the door.
  4. Sand down the finish on the door.
  5. Apply stain to restore the color.
  6. Brush on several coats of an exterior spar varnish or polyurethane.
  7. Reattach the hardware to the door.
  8. Rehang the door.

Watch the video above to find out more.


Occasionally a natural wood entry door will need to be refinished in order to counter the effects of the elements. The easiest way is to remove the door, so you can lay it down horizontally to sand the deteriorating finish. It isn’t always necessary to take it down to bare wood, just far enough to remove the spots where the varnish is cracked or rough. A light coat of a matching stain will revive the color, and several coats of spar varnish or polyurethane add shine and protect your work.

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Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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