DIY: How To Refinish Interior Doors

Published on Oct 6, 2021


When managing rental properties, costs can add up quickly. Routine maintenance doesn’t require just the tools and supplies to complete the job, it can also require the cost to hire labor in order to complete the tasks. One way to reduce costs is to select some tasks that can be done on your own in a timely manner. One task that can be done on your own is to refinish and maintain all the interior doors in your rental property. Here is how you do it: 

What You Need

  • Gel stripper
  • Brushes
  • Scraper
  • Steel wool
  • Mineral spirits
  • Rag
  • Random orbital sander
  • Sandpaper
  • Tackcloth
  • Stain
  • Clear finish
  • Sawhorses

Step 1: Remove the door from the hinge

Using a screwdriver, drive the pin in the hinge from the bottom up. Start with the lowest hinge and work your way up until you can remove the door completely.

Step 2: Apply stripping gel

After removing the door from the hinges, rest it on a pair of sawhorses. With a brush, spread a gel-type stain over the surface of the door. Read the instructions for the gel and allow it to sit for the recommended amount of time. Once the required time has passed scrape the old finish from the surface of the door. Use fine steel wool to remove the finish from any remaining parts of the door. Soak a rag in fine mineral spirits and rinse the door. Let it dry before the next step. 

Step 3: Sand the door

Using a random orbital sander, sand the surface on the first pass with 100 grit sandpaper. To complete the process, use 220 grit sandpaper on the final pass before using the door stain. Wipe down all of the dust on the door with a  tackcloth, then flip the door over and repeat the same process on the other side. 

Step 4: Stain the door

Choose the color of stain for your door. Using a soft bristle brush, apply the stain to the surface of the door. Brush as evenly as possible in order to avoid runs and drips. Once you are done, allow for the stain to dry before moving on to the next step. 

Step 5: Lightly sand door surface

With 220-grit sandpaper, sand the door lightly and wipe off any dust with a tackcloth. Then flip the door over and repeat the process on the other side, wiping it down with a tackcloth when done. 

Step 6: Apply clear finish

Using a soft-bristle brush, apply three coats of clear finish. Follow the instructions for the proper drying team in between applying each coat. Using  0000 steel wool, polish the door between the first and second coats. After using the steel wool, polish with a tackcloth. Allow for the door to dry completely before turning over and repeating the same process on the other side. 

Step 7: Hang the door

Let the door sit overnight to allow it to dry thoroughly. Line the door up with the hinges and with a hammer, drive the pin down from the top. Start with the top hinge first and work your way down. 


With all the work that goes into managing a property, it can be difficult to keep track of all your costs as well as your income. Ziprent can help keep track of all of your expenses and revenue with comprehensive reports that are easily accessible on your dashboard. It’s easy to use and can help both small and large landlords manage each property efficiently.

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