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How to Achieve the Look of Wood Grain by Staining Fiberglass

Fiberglass entry doors are the ultimate low maintenance door. They are available with realistic-looking wood grain finishes that makes it very hard to distinguish them from their real wood counterparts.

If you want a durable door that won’t dent, rot or rust, fiberglass is the best choice. Manufacturers of fiberglass doors have really come a long way, offering realistic grain patterns that make you take a second look. However, the most important aspect to making it look authentic is the finish you apply.

ZAR® Wood Stain and Polyurethanes are finishes recommended by many leading door manufacturers. By following these simple steps, you can have an entry door fit for a showroom.

For best results, lay the door on padded sawhorses. Remove all hardware, and clean all dirt, dust and greasy stains using a cloth and mineral spirits (paint thinner). Mask the glass adjacent to all window moldings and remove all hardware.

Apply stain, using a lint-free cloth or a foam brush, in a circular motion (like you apply shoe polish), working the stain into the embossed grain pattern.

Next, use your staining cloth or foam brush to smooth the stain in the direction of the grain. Do not wipe off excess stain. Remember, fiberglass doesn’t absorb stain like wood, so you need to leave a coat, like paint, on the door.

Work on the same area you just stained, using a clean, soft paintbrush to gently feather out any streaks or lap marks. Be sure to feather the corners where the stain tends to pool. Occasionally, remove the excess stain from the brush with a clean cloth.

If a darker color tone is desired, wait 24 hours and apply a second coat using the same steps as above. Allow the door to dry for 24 hours, depending on the drying conditions, before applying the polyurethane. Once you have allowed the door to dry, apply two thin coats of polyurethane. It is important to use interior polyurethane on the inside of the door and an exterior polyurethane, preferably one with UV inhibitors for doors exposed to direct sunlight, on the outside.

You can find all the supplies you need at your local lumberyard, hardware store, or home improvement center.


Now What?

There are many different substrates in your home made of a variety of materials. ZAR® Wood Stain is so versatile, it can go on all of them.

Many different types of materials go into building a single-family home. Coordinating these different substrates into a cohesive design style is not always easy. Because ZAR® Wood Stain has a unique, full-bodied formula, it is ideal for all types of materials including, but not limited to:

  • Fiberglass
  • Masonite®
  • Metal
  • Rubber
  • Plastic
  • Wood
  • MDF
  • Fypon

ZAR® goes on easily and wipes on evenly to deliver a uniform look on all types of surfaces. It comes in a variety of colors and can be tinted to match virtually any color in your home. Since ZAR® has a heavy-bodied consistency, you can apply it over painted surfaces without stripping or priming. If you are restoring old wood, or refinishing/​finishing furniture or millwork, ZAR® has what you need in wood stains and clear finishes.