Author: Christina Eleton
September 18, 2023

DIY Faux Wood Front Door (How To Paint A Front Door To Look Like Real Wood)

With a few simple steps, transform your door to look like an actual real-wood door.

When we built our home a few years back, we bought this door and left it the original tan color. We couldn’t decide what color to paint it because we were trying to figure out the color of our house first. The door was painted several colors before we started painting it white. I came to the conclusion it just wasn't going to look right to me no matter what color we painted it. The best option was to purchase a new real wood door. I looked at Home Depot and a few other places and really did not want to spend that extra money on a new door when our door was a really nice one. I felt like surely there was a way to make our door work.

My daughter mentioned to me that she came across a technique that she believed would work on our front door. She said she would like to give it a try. I mean, what did we have to lose? So, we headed to our local home improvement store and purchased all of the supplies for this project.

Supplies Needed To Complete This Project

Here's everything you need to get started on your front door...

My daughter cleaning and prepping our front door

My daughter first started by cleaning our front door. Keep in mind, some doors may need to be sanded first.

Steps To Complete This Project

  • Lay the drop cloth on the ground to protect the floor from paint or stain.
  • Clean/ front door (sand if needed)
  • Remove the hardware
  • Tape the edges of the door with painters tape.
  • Paint the door with the base coat, an exterior flat paint.
  • Let the paint dry for a few hours and then apply a thin layer of gel stain with your brush, starting with the panels working your way out to the edges of the door. Be creative and create a textured wood grain pattern using the different size chip brushes.
  • Allow the first coat to dry completely.
  • Next, apply a second coat of gel stain and follow the same technique.
  • Once the second coat is completely dry, apply a clear polycrylic finish to seal and protect the stain.
Front door with my daughter painting the base coat

She then applied the base coat, an exterior flat paint. We used a light tan.

Front door with light tan base coat

Next, she allowed the paint to dry for a few hours and then applied a thin layer of gel stain, starting with the panels working her way out to the edges of the door.

Front door with first layer of gel stain

She used the Chip Brushes to create the grain look of the door.

My daughter painting our front door to look like real wood

After applying the second coat and she was happy with the way it looked, it was time to seal the door with a polycrylic finish to protect the stain.

A few tips for creating a beautiful faux wood door

  • Make sure to paint each layer a thin coat. If the gel stain is too thick, the brush strokes will not look natural or like real wood.
  • Take your time and don't rush the process.
  • Be sure not to over do your brush strokes...keep it simple.
  • Make sure to allow each paint layer to dry completely before going to the next step.

Here is the door finally completed and ready for some final decor touches. We couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out. My daughter did a fantastic job and I am so proud of her! We could not have purchased a more beautiful door, and the fact that she did everything herself!

Finished faux wood front door

It is so beautiful during the autumn season with our wreath.

Faux wood front door with wreath (close up)

The door now compliments the color of our home, the porch and chairs. We absolutely love it!

Our faux wood front door with autumn wreath

And here is our door at Christmastime. I found the perfect wreath at Kirklands, it matches so well with the door.

DIY Front Door at Christmas time

I love the cozy look at Christmas just as much as the Autumn season.

DIY Front Door at Christmas time

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This post may contain affiliate links. Christina Eleton’s Real Girl Living is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, (as well as other affiliate associations offered by other companies). If you purchase a product through an affiliate link your cost will be the same, but Christina Eleton’s Real Girl Living will receive a small commission. Your support helps us continue our mission and is greatly appreciated!

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