Should You Paint or Stain a Fiberglass Door?

Fiberglass DoorPerhaps you’re wondering whether it would be better to paint or stain a fiberglass door. The answer to this question depends on several different factors, and there are compelling reasons you might want to use either type of finishing technique.

When You Should Paint a Fiberglass Door

Some fiberglass door models are manufactured with smooth surfaces that make them ideal for being painted rather than stained. Doors like these are designed to be finished with paint; staining them would not be an effective means of finishing them. An example of this is the Smooth-Star door by Thermatru.

Painting is the ideal finishing technique for your fiberglass door if you want it to be a flat, solid color.

Some builders believe that a painted fiberglass surface is more durable than a stained fiberglass surface. This is true in many cases, although there are too many variables to make a general comparison with complete accuracy; the durability of the finished surface depends largely on the quality of materials used, the manner in which the finish is applied to the door, the weather the door will be subjected to and the care taken with cleaning and maintenance of the door. Of particular importance is the amount and intensity of sunlight the door will be exposed to. For doors that are subjected to intense sunlight, it is generally preferable to choose paint rather than stain.

When You Should Stain a Fiberglass Door

Textured fiberglass doors can be either painted or stained, but they usually look better when stained.

Many homeowners prefer the look of wood instead of fiberglass. If you want your fiberglass door to resemble wood, staining it can be an effective way to create the appearance of real wood grain on the surface of the door. This treatment allows you to enjoy both the ease of maintenance you can expect from fiberglass plus the appearance of a beautiful wood grain. The New York Times has reported on this in an interesting article called replacing a door on a house; the article briefly discusses the topic of painting versus staining before going on to elaborate further about the growing popularity of fiberglass doors.

If your home exterior includes many wooden details, a textured fiberglass door with a replicated wood surface is an ideal choice for a front entry door. This choice of doors will give you a good chance of successfully matching the appearance of your home’s existing wooden accents. The stained surface of your fiberglass door can successfully emulate the look of many different woods including but not limited to oak, cedar, cherry, walnut, mahogany and knotty alder.

If you want to create a high gloss finish on your fiberglass door, you can also use stain to achieve this effect.

If you do decide to finish your fiberglass door using stain, be sure to choose a stain that is specifically intended for use on fiberglass. This will help you to avoid many problems you’re likely to experience otherwise.

If you’re installing a new fiberglass door, hopefully this information will help you to clarify whether you would prefer to paint or stain it. As you can see, there are advantages to either approach, and in many cases it is a matter of personal preference. We hope this information is useful to you if you want to be able to distinguish the situations in which it is best to paint or stain a fiberglass door.

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