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How To Restore Entry Doors

Learn The Best Tips For Entry Door Restoration in Cincinnati, OH, and the Surrounding Areas

Entry doors are an important part of a home, offering security and enhancing the overall look of the property. However, they can become worn and weathered over time, which can detract from their appearance. Thankfully, restoring entry doors can be a straightforward and effective way to revive these essential features.

Restoring an entry door requires several important steps, such as sanding, filling, staining, and sealing. The specific steps may differ depending on the door’s condition and the desired outcome, but by following general guidelines, homeowners can achieve high-quality results.


The initial step in the restoration of an entry door involves sanding it down, which effectively eliminates any existing finish or stain, as well as any accumulated dirt or grime on its surface. Additionally, sanding creates a smooth surface, facilitating the subsequent steps in the restoration process.

When sanding an entry door, it is important to use the right tools and techniques. An orbital sander is the best choice for most doors because it can remove old finishes without causing damage. Start with coarse-grit sandpaper, like 60 or 80 grit, to get rid of existing finishes and deep scratches. As you progress, switch to finer grit sandpapers, such as 120 or 150 grit, to achieve a smooth surface.

The final sanding of the door should be done by hand, following the direction of the grain, for any imperfections caused by the previous coarse sanding process to be removed.


The next step in the restoration process after sanding is filling. This involves using a wood filler compatible with the stain being used, as certain fillers may not absorb the stain evenly. It is essential for repairing any cracks or holes in the door’s surface.

It is important to carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions when filling cracks or holes. Some fillers may require multiple applications or sanding to achieve a smooth surface.


Staining plays a crucial role in the restoration process as it impacts the final color and appearance of the door. When selecting a stain, it is important to consider factors such as the home’s style and the type of wood utilized in the door.

There are two types of stains: oil-based and water-based. Oil-based stains penetrate deeper into the wood and provide a durable finish, but they take longer to dry and can emit strong fumes. Water-based stains dry quickly, and have less odor, but may not be as durable as oil-based stains.

When applying stain to an entry door, it is recommended to use a brush or cloth for even coverage. Working in sections is advised as the stain dries quickly and can become sticky if left too long. After applying the stain, it is necessary to wipe away excess with a clean cloth to prevent blotchiness or unevenness.


The last step in the restoration process is sealing the door. This step helps protect the wood from moisture and other environmental factors, which helps prolong the life of the door. There are various types of sealers available, including polyurethane, varnish, and shellac. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, so choose the sealer that best fits your needs. This is also the time to decide on the sheen for your entry door.

When applying a sealer, it is essential that you carefully follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Certain sealers may require multiple coats, and in some cases, sanding may be necessary between coats to achieve a smooth finish. Additionally, you must work in a well-ventilated area and wear appropriate protective gear, such as a mask and gloves.

Final Steps

Restoring an entry door can be a beneficial project for homeowners, providing both aesthetic benefits and long-term door protection.

At LIME Painting of Cincinnati, we understand that time constraints may hinder your ability to tackle your entry door restoration project, despite your best intentions. We’ve assisted numerous homeowners in the Cincinnati area, similar to your situation, with our expert door restoration services.

Rather than postponing your project once more, reach out to us. We provide complimentary estimates and ensure a quick turnaround. With LIME Painting of Cincinnati, your entry door will be expertly restored!