How Do You Refinish a Faded Fiberglass Door

A fiberglass door is one of the most popular types of entry doors used in homes today. A fiberglass door is composed of a fiberglass outer skin and a wood or metal core (depending on the manufacturer) and is considered a solid core entry door. A classic fiberglass door has an opaque white finish that allows you to see through it and block light.

Fiberglass doors are not as energy-efficient as actual wooden doors due to their ability to retain heat in winter and cool air in summer; however, they have other advantages, such as being stronger than wood. Also, some people prefer working with this material, knowing that it doesn’t require maintenance like traditional wood doors. Today I will be discussing the process of how do you refinish a faded fiberglass door. So let us get started.

Step-wise Guide on How Do You Refinish a Faded Fiberglass Door

  • First of all, you have to remove the door from its place and keep it in a well-ventilated area.
  • Use sandpaper that is not too rough and lightly sand the surface of your fiberglass door for about 10 minutes or so. This will make sure that no dirt remains on the surface of the door, after which you can apply some primer coat on it. You must use high-quality paint thick enough to cover fiberglass adequately if you can apply two coats. Be careful about drying time between applications because it is pretty important as far as the final result is concerned.
  • After priming is done, leave it for at least 24 hours and then apply two coats of finishing paint. Make sure that you let it dry for at least 4 hours after applying the first coat and then give a second one followed by drying.
  • If you wish to add stripes or wavy lines to your new fiberglass door, make sure that they are adequately sealed with a clear coat to avoid any damage from taking place.
  • After all these steps are completed, it is good enough to install your painted door back where you kept it earlier. It will look as good as new once you do this, and it will look even better than the original!
  • The last step on how you refinish a faded fiberglass door would be to apply wax to its surface so that its shine remains intact for years to come!

Precautions While  Refinishing a Faded Fiberglass Door

A fiberglass door develops memory problems very soon after its initial painting. Therefore, using high-performance paint is not recommended for this material. You can also use synthetic enamel or epoxy to achieve a good finish on fiberglass and plastic doors.

The prime coat needs to be applied as soon as possible after the wood has dried completely; you need to be extremely careful while using the basecoat because these surfaces tend to buckle very quickly, making it difficult to smooth out the character later on, even with primer/sealer underneath. In addition, moisture can enter into this kind of surface from several different sources:

  • The sides and bottom of the frame trap moisture, which gets condensed onto the foliage or moisture-ridden wood.  Because the wood is thick and porous, it soaks up moisture very quickly especially if the door is used regularly.
  • The top rail where the sashes slide in and out can collect a lot of moisture as well.  If you attempt to sand down this surface, remember that the wood will be very wet underneath, which means your sandpaper won’t adhere to the surface.  This means you’ll have to change sheets often, which is impractical for a large job like refinishing a fiberglass door.
  • Any nail holes or screw holes can also be guarded against using some waterproof putty (this material works better than silicone sealers since it doesn’t dry up as fast).
  • The bottom rail can also collect moisture if there is a gap between the doors.  Before painting, you need to close this gap so that no moisture gets trapped during the painting process.
  • If you’ve ever painted a fiberglass door before, you might have noticed that these surfaces tend to bubble up very quickly.  This is because the wood tends to absorb too much paint, which causes the surface tension of the top layer of paint to be disrupted, leading it to form bubbles; if your primer has not completely dried, then this phenomenon will occur sooner as well due to poor adhesion action between layers of paint.
  • Using thinner instead of mineral spirits or turpentine is a good idea. The thinner can evaporate faster and doesn’t tend to leave behind any surface residue after it dries up; you’ll get better performance with a catalyzed paint this is done properly.  
  • The room temperature needs to be such that there is no moisture in the air (no cold drafts); if you’re using a forced hot air heater, there should be an exhaust fan installed as well so that moisture can escape from the room completely.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Makes Fiberglass Fade?

Fiberglass door fading occurs when water or moisture gets inside the fiberglass and evaporates out into the sunlight. The evaporation makes the fiberglass molecules weaken and deteriorate faster than they should naturally. In addition, this exposure to moisture causes them to break down sooner than they should under normal circumstances.

When Things Break Down, It’s Called Oxidation

For The Reason of Oxidation Fiberglass Door Will Be Break Down

Inside your house, there is usually not much oxygen, which means that there is little chance of oxidation occurring very often in most household goods like furniture or doors. But when you let the sun in, there is plenty of oxygen that can cause the fibers to break down and weaken or discolor. So without proper care, like sealing the fiberglass with a silicone spray or coating it with sealer, etc., it will not last long against moisture and sunlight.

Fiberglass door fading occurs when water or moisture gets inside the fiberglass and evaporates out into the sunlight. This exposure to humidity causes them to break down sooner than they should under normal circumstances.

Which Paint is Suitable for Refinishing Faded Fiberglass Door?

When deciding to refinish a faded fiberglass door, the first question that pops up in your mind is the paint best suited for this job. There are many types of paints available in the market, and you can choose from them.

The main factor in choosing the paint for refinished fiberglass doors is its ability to resist wear and tear and heat. We all know that these doors are exposed to adverse wear-causing factors like dirt, sunlight, etc., which cause the surface color to fade away, leading to chalking and peeling off of the surface layer of paint.

In addition, such doors generally get heated up during summer days. So when it comes to finding out what kind of paint will be most suitable for such surfaces, polyurethane enamel will be the best choice because of these reasons. In addition, polyurethane enamel is a paint that provides good protection to fiberglass and can also protect it from sunlight damage.


In the end, it’s up to you whether you want to spend half a day sealing and priming your fiberglass door or just two hours finishing it off with high-quality catalyzed polyurethane enamel.  In this article, we’ve discussed some of the best steps for learning how do you refinish a faded fiberglass door, including how to prepare your work area so that the application of paint goes smoothly (this step is crucial if you’re using thinners instead of mineral spirits/turpentine) as well as avoiding common mistakes while painting fiberglass doors.

You may read also: How to Rescreen a Sliding Door

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