One of the first items to require restorative maintenance is likely to be your front door, if it is one of the stained wooden varieties. Particularly if direct sunlight falls on it, you're going to find that the finish just doesn't stand the test of time. Our front door is a leaded-glass mahogany upgrade which faces southeast - great for feng shui, but it gets blasted by direct sunlight. Less than two years after it was installed, it had begun to look like this:
In other words, I used a CLEAR polyurethane - not a tinted one. Stained wooden doors typically do not bleach out evenly - the bottom section ends up with more sun and water damage. For this reason, if one uses a colored product, it's likely going to soak in to different degrees on different parts of the door, which means that the door might no longer be the same shade from top to bottom. That would look nasty, and that's also why I recommend that you hire a professional if you want a total stain-color restoration.
Here are the steps I took. Remember that your door may be different, and what is shown here may not produce the same results for you.
|After you get the damaged coating off, you have to remove all the dried varnish dust and steel wool fragments using a tack cloth. Very important that you don't re-coat the door with gunk still in the grooves because you will seal it in there and it will look awful.|
|Here you can see the bottom part of the door about half done. The right side has been re-coated, while the left side is still bare. The difference is obvious.|