Restore Faded Fiberglass Door & Refinish: 4 Ways to Fix

Fiberglass doors are undoubtedly the best creation till now for installing as entry doors. People around the world are now preferring these doors to have the most attractive appearance. They are popular worldwide and feature an outer skin made of fiberglass and a core body of metal or wood. The composition results in an opaque finish that blocks the light.

Needless to say, fiberglass doors are attractive yet come with low maintenance. Compared to general wood or metal doors, fiberglass entry doors are way stronger. Also, working with fiberglass materials is easy since it does not have high requirements like other doors made of traditional materials.

However, after years of serving, fiberglass doors get faded. The effect of direct sunlight is the main reason fiberglass doors are prone to fading. Over time you will discover, your fiberglass is lacking its luster and becoming dull. Hence, it becomes a headache to the homeowner and he wants to restore faded fiberglass door.

Well, restoring or refinishing faded fiberglass is not that tough. Still to make it easier for you we have come with a complete guide regarding how you can restore faded paint on fiberglass doors.

Restore Faded Fiberglass Door

Refinish & Restore Faded Fiberglass Door – In 4 Ways:

As we already mentioned, fiberglass doors are highly resistant, they are more likely resistant to weathering. Also, they are not highly affected by warping or rust and rot. Nonetheless, being exposed to direct sunlight might affect the fiberglass door oddly. If the door is already protected with overhangs then the effect of sunlight becomes lesser. Overhangs are a great help to protect your fiberglass from the rapid deterioration of its finish.

Nonetheless, now, if you really have no other choice but to deal with the consequences already then we suggest, deal properly. There are several ways through which you can restore your precious fiberglass door. In this case, you can patch up the door surface or refinish it. Now, how to refinish a faded fiberglass door? Well, let’s get to it.

For repainting and refinishing purposes, you will surely need some tools. The required materials are,

  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Newspaper
  • Stain stripper
  • Plastic bags
  • Bucket
  • Paint tape
  • Clear topcoat sealer
  • Rags
  • Stain stripper

These are some tools that are normally found in every house and the rest you can just buy from your nearest local store.

1. First, Cleaning of Previous Stain:

Cleaning is very important before you paint anything. It is also not exceptional in the case of fiberglass doors. Know, how to do the cleaning.

a) Preparation:

  • Well, for your own convenience while cleaning, you have to remove and separate the door from its installed area. Keep the door in a place where it is well-ventilated.
  • Before you start with the process make sure you cover places of the door where you don’t want to hurt. If the door handle is removable then remove it and keep in a safe distance. If it is not removable then wrapping it with a plastic bag is a good solution. Also. you can use paint or masking tape to cover the places.
  • To make less mess around your working area, cover the floor by laying newspapers. Make sure the newspapers make a thick layer so that the floor does not get much dirty.

b) Removing Old Stains with Paint Stripper:

scrape off previous fiberglass door stains paint stripper
scrape off the stripper using a putty knife

Now, start with removing previous stains. You can take the help of the stain stripper in this case. Apply water-based thin stripper over the faded door and let them sit for about one hour. You can add multiple layers of stripper to clean off the previous finishes. Then scrape off the stripper using a putty knife. Later, wipe the places with the help of a rag.

c) Sand the Door Lightly and Carefully:

At this point, if the door seems uneven, you can sand it slightly with the help of 120-grit sandpaper. Getting overwhelmed while sanding can result in a great loss. You might release the particles of fiberglass into the atmosphere. So, sand lightly and carefully.

d) Clean off the Door

Carefully clean off the stripper using a rag and then clean the entire door. Before you use any chemical substances make sure you go through the manufacturer’s instructions. Generally, you can use soapy warm water to wipe off the door and then rinse with fresh water. Also, you can use a rag soaking into denatured alcohol to clean the fiberglass door properly.

2. Restore Faded Paint on Fiberglass Door [In 5 Steps]

Well, for restoring faded paint on fiberglass you can use exterior acrylics. These paints are highly resistant to the sun and the ultraviolet ray that you cannot get from other paints. Moreover, exterior acrylic paints are specially manufactured to withstand such odds including weathering. They also have a longer life span. Hence, many professionals suggest using acrylic paint to restore fiberglass doors. Now, let’s see the process.

Step – 1: Prime the Door Surface

apply acrylic primer prime fiberglass exterior door

This is the first thing to do before painting a fiberglass door. Use an acrylic primer to prime the fiberglass door surface properly. To apply primer, you can use a roller as an applicator. Apply at least two layers of primer coats to the fiberglass door to have a perfect finish. Painting without priming will not bring the desired result. So, priming is important.

When you are done with priming, let the final coating dry. Leave the coating for about one day. When it dries properly, apply another two layers of coats for proper prepping of the door. Check out 8 Best Primer for Fiberglass Door, Boat & Car [2022 Reviews]

Step – 2: Prepare the Paint

Before you dip your paint brush and get started with painting already, make sure you have prepared the paint can. Open the can of the paint and stir the component gently using a paint stick. Make sure there is no bubble is created in the paint formula.

Check out How to Paint a Fiberglass Door Smooth – A Complete Guide

Step – 3: Apply the Paint

Apply Paint with paintbrush

Dip only one inch of the paintbrush into the paint can and allow it to be coated. Get the brush out and let the drips first flow off from the brush. To get rid of the extra drips you can tap the paintbrush in the can rim. When you are done getting rid of the drips, start applying the paint.

If the fiberglass door is made of wood, then follow the wood grain while applying the stain. When you are painting try to make larger strokes. Brushing in a longer movement will make the painting process easier. Only one coat of paint is not enough. Therefore, it is better to apply multiple layers. But make sure you make each layer of paint thin. Thin layers work better.

Step – 4: Stir the Can Frequently

While you are busy re-painting the fiberglass door, do not forget to stir the stain can occasionally and gently. It will keep the paint formula and its internal components blended properly and uniformly. Otherwise, the paint won’t stick to the door properly.

Step – 5: Repeat the Process and Let the Paint Cure

For having several layers of coatings repeat the entire process again. However, let the previous coat dry first and then go for another coat. After applying the final layer of paint, let the fiberglass door fully and cure and dry. Allow the paint to sit for one day to three days for its complete drying.

Tip: While choosing the color for painting, try to avoid dark colors. Dark color paints are prone to absorb more heat. Absorbing more heat can result in the warping of the fiberglass door.

3. Refinish a Faded Fiberglass Door Using Gelcoat:

You can also treat your faded fiberglass door with a gelcoat. It is basically a resin-based polyester paint that is highly susceptible to oxidation. Yet, for having a better refinishing and to restore faded fiberglass paint, a gelcoat finish can contribute a lot. It can restore the previous shine of your door. Proceed in the following process step by step

Step – 1: Clean the Surface

Clean the fiberglass door with a solution of water and mild detergent. Scrub the door using a sponge and clean off all the dirt and buildups. Then rinse the surface with clean water and wipe with a towel.

Also, rub the surface using rubbing compounds on a clean rag. Go with a circular motion gently and make sure you do not hurt the gelcoat. Just rub on the oxidized area. Getting overwhelmed with the rubbing can hurt the fiberglass components underneath. Again, rinse the surface.

Step – 2: Apply Gelcoat

apply Gelcoat to Refinish Fiberglass

Apply the gelcoat over the fiberglass door surface using a brush that has natural bristles. Then apply two later of boat wax to have a more perfect finish. Then buff the surface. You can use an electric buffer in this case. This process is also known as patching to restore faded fiberglass doors.

4 Ways to Protect Fiberglass Door from Sun Damage:

There are many ways to keep your fiberglass door away from being faded by sun exposure. There are ways you can lessen the exposure effects. The ways are given below:

a) Install the door in the right place

To prevent this problem, you need to pre-plan when installing entry doors of your home. Try not to keep it on the western or southern side. It will expose the door directly to the sun and consequently, fading will happen. If you have already made the mistake then you can replace it.

b) Regular cleaning

Keep cleaning the fiberglass door on a regular basis. In this case, you can use commercial sprays for cleaning fiberglass doors available in the market. These cleaning sprays offer UV protection to fiberglass.

Also, use furniture polish frequently to wipe away the door. Use only a soft cloth while wiping down. To clean the glass panels of your fiberglass door, you can use a solution of water and white vinegar.

c) Go for the best sealant

Sealing the fiberglass door can protect it from the consequences of direct sunlight. Go for the water-resistant sealer. While staining, make sure you use a sealant that is higher in quality, has exterior grand, and of course, UV-stabilized.

d) Install high-quality fiberglass

Higher quality fiberglass is less prone to cracking, fading, and most importantly, warping. They are also highly resistant to all environmental odds.

FAQ:

How do you fix a faded fiberglass door?

You can fix a faded fiberglass door by following four methods. They are cleaning, refinishing, using acrylics, and patching. However, while repainting and refinishing to restore faded fiberglass make sure you follow the process accordingly. Also, for repainting purposes, scraping off old stains is important. So, prepping and cleaning of the fiberglass door should be done accordingly as well.

How do you restain a fiberglass exterior door?

If your stained fiberglass exterior door is faded by the direct sunlight then you surely can restain it. But the process is a bit complicated. Also, it mainly depends on the quality of fiberglass and the brand of the door. You may affect the fiberglass particles while sanding or stripping. You can patch the stain as well by inspecting the fading properly. whatever process you apply, make sure you do it properly.

What kind of stain do you use on a fiberglass door?

Generally, gel stains work best on fiberglass doors. Fiberglass cannot absorb all types of stains. Therefore, fiberglass doors are mostly stained with gel paints. The components of gel stains are highly susceptible to sunlight and the door also absorbs the stain easily.

How do you touch up gel stain on a fiberglass door?

Just apply the gel stain on the scratches going the direction of the grain and then wipe away the excess stain. Use a clean dry rag while wiping and go with a circular motion. Then let it dry and you are done touching up the gel stain on a fiberglass door.

Can you clear coat a fiberglass door?

Indeed, you can clear coat a fiberglass door. Just use the best topcoat sealer available in the market. Apply thin layers of the sealer with longer brush strokes. Clear coats are mostly UV-stabilized. So, a high-quality clear coat can protect your fiberglass door from fading.

Conclusion:

It’s important to protect your fiberglass door from sun damage. Otherwise, your fiberglass door will be faded and last less time than expected. Refinishing old fiberglass is important to protect from sun damage. you may need to apply primer, paint, Gelcoat, or sealer to seal and restore faded fiberglass door.

Last Updated on March 30, 2022 by Rogers Weber

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