Fiberglass doors are yet another modern convenience we tend to take for granted. Isn’t it amazing that we do not need to chop down trees to have beautiful ‘wooden’ doors? Imitation is the best form of flattery, and it is good to get it right.
A dull battered door can ruin first impressions before people enter your house. That is why you should paint your fiberglass door. The best way to preserve it is to convince faux wood’s appearance and prolong its shelf life.
If you are tempted to skip painting your fiberglass door, think twice. Your efforts to save time or money today by leaving the door unpainted will cost you both. This article will cover everything you need to know about caring for your fiberglass door, including:
- Why fiberglass doors are a great choice
- Why you should paint your fiberglass door
- How to paint your fiberglass door
- How to maintain your fiberglass door.
Why Fiberglass Doors are a Great Choice
No one ever regrets purchasing high-quality fiberglass doors. Homeowners love the durability and convenience fiberglass offers. You are guaranteed a wood-like door that is weatherproof. It will not face the typical rotting, denting, or warping vulnerabilities over time.
If minimal maintenance and lifespan do not ring you bell, how about fiberglass’ highly customizable nature? You can order it in a realistic wood grain or a smoother marble texture. After settling on the color, you can incorporate glass, grilles, or any hardware you need to achieve a personalized look that matches your home’s interior and exterior decor.
What Happens to an Unpainted Fiberglass Door?
It is a shame what happens to an unpainted fiberglass door. Isn’t it mind-boggling that anyone would invest in a quality door and let it waste away simply to avoid painting it? People who make the costly mistake of not painting their fiberglass will face the following outcomes.
1. Rapid Wear and Tear
Doors should be among the items that we seldom need to replace. That will not be the case if you choose not to paint your fiberglass door. If you fail to paint your fiberglass door with a protective layer of resin or gel, it will soon be a shadow of its former self. The protective resin/gel protects the fiberglass from moisture, ultraviolet rays, and other environmental conditions that degrade the thin layer the manufacturer applies.
An unpainted fiberglass door will discolor and fade faster than expected, especially if exposed to sunlight and moisture. Painting your fiberglass door is the best way to prevent it from losing its original sparkle and appeal.
2. Reduced Durability
Fiberglass doors are popular for being strong and durable. However, it would be best to paint your fiberglass door to prevent it from weakening and reducing lifespan. Painting your door with a protective resin is an important finishing step that seals it from insects, moisture, heat, and other harmful elements.
Without a protective layer of gel or resin, your fiberglass door will fall prey to moisture absorption that will ruin its appearance and durability. Once your fiberglass door absorbs moisture, it will swell, warp, and rot. Even worse than looking bad, an unpainted fiberglass door is also a security risk. Eventually, you will have to replace it with a new door that you will not dare neglect to paint.
3. Reduced Customization
Whether you are shopping online or in person, you are unlikely to find a color that matches your taste. Most fiberglass door manufacturers do not offer clients the choice of ordering doors in customizable colors. Painting your fiberglass door allows you to express your creativity and match your home’s style without limitations. Be careful to avoid crossing your local HOA rules on front doors.
4. Voiding Warranty
Most fiberglass door manufacturers sweeten the pot with warranties to cover performance issues and manufacturer’s defects. Most homeowners must learn that the warrant is pegged on them finishing the door according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Failure to comply with these finishing guidelines automatically voids your warranty.
According to the manufacturer’s instructions, there is no reason not to finish your fiberglass door. Not only will painting the door improve its appearance, but it will also guarantee the door remains looks good as new.
How to Paint Your Fiberglass Door
Now that we sold you on the merits of painting your fiberglass door, we can discuss the how of it all. You will be glad to know that painting a fiberglass door is easy. It is a wonder why anyone would want to skip the step. All you need to do is choose the right paint and follow recommended DIY painting procedure.
1) Selecting the Right Paint
There are five different categories of fiberglass: AE glass, S glass, C glass, A glass, and E glass. Each type of fiberglass door has different properties and needs different types of paint. The type of door you have will determine the most suitable paint.
You can choose stain, varnish, acrylic, or alkyd paint for your fiberglass door. These paints are available in varying levels of sheen. Acrylic fiberglass is the most recommended for a perfect high gloss finish. Varnish and stains are recommended for fiberglass doors with a good grain finish.
After selecting the type of paint you need, you must pick low, regular, or high gloss. Each of these has advantages and disadvantages you will need to consider. Low gloss paint is the best for people who want a conservative look that imitates natural wood as best as possible. It will protect your door without causing it to reflect sunlight.
Regular gloss provides a middle ground and allows your fiberglass door not to be dull without letting it shine too much. It will give your door a bit of sheen without calling too much attention to it. A high gloss sheen will make your fiberglass door stand out from everything around it. It provides a high sheen appropriate for doors with a lot of elegant detail.
If you need more clarification about the best type of paint for your fiberglass door, check the manufacturer’s website for instructions. You could also ask for advice from your local home improvement store.
2) Gathering the Right Tools
After selecting the right paint for your fiberglass door, you must gather all the tools before you open the can. You will need the following:
- Painter’s tape
- Paint tray
- Dry cloth
3) Prep work
Ensure your work areas is well ventilated. If you work in an area with poor ventilation, consider wearing a mask or a fan to protect yourself from the toxic fumes produced by the primer and paint. It is also recommended to wear protective goggles and gloves throughout the painting process to protect your eyes and hands from coming into contact with the paint.
You should also check your primer and paint labels for precise painting instructions. Most paints and primers should not be used in weather below fifty degrees or above ninety degrees Fahrenheit. Painting in extremely harsh conditions will affect the paint’s consistency and spreadability, reducing its durability and aesthetic appeal.
4) Clean the Door
If your fiberglass door has weather stripping for protection, you must remove it. The manufacturer usually includes instructions on how to remove the weatherstripping. If there aren’t any instructions, use a soft-bristled brush to remove the weather stripping without damaging the door. You can then use a soft dry cloth to ensure no leftover weatherstripping.
Use a container of warm water with a few drops of dish soap and a warm sponge to scrub the door gently. Next, use a damp sponge to rinse out the soapy water. After ensuring all the soap is rinsed out, allow your door to dry. The amount of drying time will depend on the weather conditions. Allow the door to open for at least six hours to be safe.
5) Protect the Door’s Hardware
Use painter’s tape to protect the frame, doorknob, glass part, and door jamb from paint splashes. Use pieces of old newspaper to cover the floor and door frame from paint. If you do not have newspapers, old rags or clothing will protect the floor.
6) Apply Primer
Some fiberglass doors do not need primer, but it is better to be safe than sorry, especially if your door is old. Stir your primer and use the brush to apply a little at a time on the outer edges. Cover the entire door with a thin, even layer, allowing it time to dry.
7) Apply Paint
Apply the paint in thin, even layers. It is advisable to paint more than two or three coats to increase durability. Ensure you allow enough time for the first coat of paint to dry before applying the second layer.
Painting your fiberglass door is a small chore offering many benefits. It will keep your door looking its best for as long as possible and reduce your energy bills. Whether you hire a professional or do it yourself, we hope this article has come in handy.
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