French doors are a investment that is well worth the work of refinishing in the event that you find a set in need of care. Finished exterior French doors are a fantastic selling point in real estate transactions. They require a little bit of work since there are many surfaces involved in every pane of glass, but the work isn’t hard –just time consuming.
Take the doors off their hinges if they’re still hanging in a door, and require them to your work area. Remove all the hardware, including the doorknob, the lock assembly, the hinges, and bolt locks. Place the hardware apart to be replaced or cleaned.
Lay the doorway flat so you can work on one side at a time. Employ a chemical stripper into the surface of the doorway, painting it on with a fresh brush based on the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow it to soften the paint or whatever point you are eliminating and then scrape it off with your scraper, functioning at the direction of the grain. From the angled regions around the windows, you may have to use fine steel wool to remove the finish from the recessed regions.
Wash the surface of this stripped timber using a clean rag dipped in mineral spirits, again working with the grain as far as you can. Permit the wood to dry completely before sanding. At this point, you can flip the doorway over and remove the finish from the opposing side.
Sand the door with medium grit sandpaper until you’ve removed all the pieces of the old finish. Change to finer sandpaper, wiping down the surface with a tack cloth to remove the excess dust. Always sand in the direction of the grain.
Seal off any big cracks with caulk or silicone by applying a small bead and then piled it with your gloved finger. This is particularly critical around the windows. Clean up any excess before it has a chance to dry, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Apply paint or stain, depending on how you are refinishing. Paint is definitely the simpler program, and will continue more than a clear coating, but the wood finish will be more desirable. Use at least 2 coats of paint, allowing the recommended drying time between coats, normally six to eight hours.
Brush in your clear coating, working with the grain, if you are refinishing your French doors using a timber finish. Keep from going over an area multiple times, causing the finish to get streaks and tiny bubbles. Work on only 1 side of the doorway at a time and permit a day between sides. Apply a few coats. Maintain the finished door from the weather for many days, according to the instructions, so the finish has a chance to cure and harden.
Re-install the hardware the same way you took it off, making sure it is clean and a nice contrast to your doors. You can provide good old hardware a new finish by painting it with exterior grade metal spray paint.