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How to Stain Your Front Door

The title of this post should really be:  What Inspired You to Stain Your Front Door.


stained door 2

My friend Joyce makes these awesome wreaths.

WreathThey are beautiful and when she makes them, they sell really fast.

I let a few get by me, but this one was destined for my door.

Before Stain

But my door looked like this.  It faces the west and the sun beats down on it really bad.

There was no way that wreath was going on this door!

Before door numbers

One thing and being lazy that kept me from doing it last year was my house numbers.  For that wreath, I was willing to sacrifice the numbers.

door java

I used General Finished Java gel stain and I loved it! I ordered my from Amazon.

Door during

1.  Here I am with a glove and sock on spreading the java gel, before work one morning.

2.  You can see the difference and it looks better already.

3. Really looking good in photo 3.

I ended up putting two coats on.

stained door 1

I love the wood door and it looks great now.

All because I fell in love with that burlap wreath 🙂

stained door 2


I just need to use my silhouette and cut out new numbers.

This post contains my affiliate link to Amazon for the stain.



  1. How do you gel stain a metal door

  2. Can this be used on a painted metal door?

  3. Would that stain only work on bare wood or would it be okay to use on a prefinished door? I’m trying to paint my front door without having to sand.

  4. To those wondering – I talked to the gentleman at my woodcraft store about doing the java gel stain on my front door just this weekend. He said that the gel stain can go right over a previously painted door. Also, if the door is a laminate-style it can also take the gel stain. He also recommended the outdoor sealer 450. Additionally, General Finishes has an exterior 450 stain in lots of colors that you might want to look at.

    Hope this helps anyone. I’m excited to do it myself!

  5. Looks great! I’ve used the gel stain on my bathroom cabinets and I’m about to do my staircase. I’ve been trying to decide for awhile now about my front door! Did you do both sides of your door in the gel stain?

  6. My door is your size how many gallons of paint do I need

  7. I have this exact same door in about the same condition as your before picture. Thank you for the great idea. I can’t wait to do this!

  8. I know your post was a long time ago but I hope you see this. After the gel stain was that it? No poly or varnish? They look terrific! I had to sand my doors down to almost bare wood and now need to finish them. Looking at gel stain but don’t know what to do afterwards, if anything.

    • Thanks Ellen! I copied this from their site: Optional:
      Due to the high content of urethane in Gel Stains,
      they may be used by themselves as a one can
      finish. We recommend applying 2-3 coats.
      However, for maximum durability apply Gel
      Topcoat over Gel Stain.
      I didn’t use a topcoat, but you can if you want!

  9. The wreaths are beautiful. Does your friend sell them online?

  10. Hi there, I just brought the java gel into stock, at my Sacramento area sbop. Great product! I highly recomend the High Percormance Top Coat. It will look better longer and has uv protection built in. (Would love to know how to make the wreaths!!)

  11. Your door looks brand new! I Love it. The wreath is very pretty too~

  12. Is there someway of seeing more of the wreaths you have on your door ? Gorgeous. Also hot on the trail to get some of this gel. Thanks. crista

  13. looks fabulous.. unfortunately I don’t have a wood door. so wish I did!

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Debbie Westbrooks
Founder of Refresh Restyle
Fun, messy, and lover of all things DIY. Let's connect on Facebook and Pinterest!
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