Wood is one of the most attractive materials for a garage door, but you do need to give it some regular TLC to preserve its beauty and functionality for the long term. If you’ve chosen to revamp your garage by installing a beautiful wooden garage door, or you’ve purchased a home with an existing timber garage door, you will no doubt want to maintain its good looks and your home’s overall curb appeal.
1. Begin with Cleaning
You always want to start with cleaning the wood garage door. Use a good quality wood-cleaning product. Dust and other dirt, mildew, and moss are common on wood exposed to the elements. You don’t want these things ruining the look of the door. But more importantly, these things are bad for the wood.
If you are working on a new door, cleaning it, then sanding the door will remove “mill glaze.” Mill glaze is a name professionals use for the crushed pores milling leaves behind. This compaction of the wood’s surface prevents the stain from penetrating the wood garage door properly.
A water pressure washer can be used on many wood doors, but low water pressure, 1000-1500 psi or less, must be used. This, when combined with a wood cleaner, will remove most stains and all types of grime. Take care not to cause any damage to the surface of the door while using this powerful tool.
2. Apply Brightener on Tannin-rich Woods
You may want to brighten your wood garage door. This step is optional, but it does make the wood garage door look better if the wood is a high-tannin wood such as redwood or cedar. Tannin-rich trees are naturally fire and rot-resistant, so they are popular for exterior doors. When you disturb the wood during cleaning, it can bring the tannins to the surface of the wood. This changes the color of the wood and darkens it, usually unevenly. If you use a quality, wood-brightening product, it will neutralize the tannins. This restores the natural color to the wood.
3. Allow Drying Time
Once you have cleaned the wood garage door, it must dry thoroughly. The rule of thumb is 24-hours or longer. Oil-based stains will bead on moist wood. Water-based stains will apply unevenly on wet wood.
4. Apply Quality Stain
As always, make sure to choose a high-quality stain so your newly stained wood garage door will last longer and look professional. A penetrating oil-based wood stain is usually the best. You can use a brush, roller, or air-sprayer. One coat usually does the job.
Use a technique called back brushing, even if you spray or roll the stain on. This encourages the stain to penetrate the wood’s surface as deeply as possible. Just be sure to do this within fifteen minutes. Any longer, and the stain will be too viscous.
The darker a stain you choose, the longer you can expect your stain to last. The ultraviolet protection in the stain you choose comes from the pigment in the stain. Stain does fade over time. You can refresh the color by washing the wood garage door down with wood cleaner and recoating.