Types of Stain to Use for Fiberglass Doors

front porch with a stained fiberglass door

Fiberglass doors are great additions to the home because if they are taken care of they can last for decades. They are durable and can be bought with a wood grain, thereby giving off the elegance of wooden front doors but with the longevity of fiberglass. One of the problems associated with fiberglass doors is picking the right stain to use in order to refinish them. There are several types of stain that can be effectively used on fiberglass doors with great results and other stains that should not be used on fiberglass doors. The following information will layout which stains are best used on fiberglass doors and which ones should be avoided.

Gel Stains

Many people that stain fiberglass doors as part of their job often use gel stains with much trepidation. Even though manufacturers say that gel stains work on fiberglass, there are some problems with them. Stains work because they have something to latch on to and bond to the door. Fiberglass doors do not accept added moisture, which is why they make great doors. Gel stains are very fickle and require great care to apply to fiberglass doors. The main trick to applying a gel stain is to follow the instructions precisely that are on the can. The directions for gel stain application can vary depending on the manufacturer so do not assume all gel stains are the same.

Oil-based Stains

a paint can and foam brush sitting on a counter

This type of stain is probably the best for fiberglass doors. In addition to the stain, you will always want to seal it with a layer of polyethylene. When you do, make sure the polyethylene is also oil-based. Not every oil-based stain on the market will do the job of covering fiberglass doors. It has to be high quality so do not cut corners by using a cheap brand. The stain also has to be opaque in nature. Stains that are transparent or semi-transparent will not work on fiberglass doors. The last thing that you need to make sure of is that the oil-based stain is heavily pigmented based on the color you are painting over. This will help achieve the best finish possible.

Exterior Stains-

Since fiberglass doors are used for exterior use, you need a stain that is made for that purpose. It should meet with the other requirements of stains for fiberglass doors. This means that the stain should not be semi-transparent or transparent, but opaque (non-transparent). You'll also need to look at the UV rating on the stain as UV rays cause doors to fade in the sunlight.

Semi-transparent and Transparent Stains

porch with stained front door

Stains that are transparent or semi-transparent cannot be used on fiberglass doors that aren't textured. The idea behind these stains is that they add a layer of color to a wood door so that the natural grain can still be seen. Fiberglass doors do not have a wood grain or a porous texture that can absorb the stain. However, some of these can be used with an undercoat.