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My Gel Stained Front Doors: One Year Follow-up Review

My Gel Stained Front Doors: One Year Follow-up Review

In a mad dash to elevate the curb appeal of my home in time for the holidays, last November, I gel stained my front exterior doors. Today, I am giving a follow-up review -revealing just how durable the gel stain proved itself to be over the course of twelve months.

My…how the time flies, my friends.

I cannot believe just a little over a year ago my front doors looked like this…

Doors Before Gel Stain:

gel stain review

Essentially, the wooden doors were mummified in their original, 1980’s form.

While I do find red doors quite charming on certain exteriors, this particular paint had seen better days. After enduring approximately 12,045 sunsets (based on the fact that our house was built in 1986), I knew it was time to revive these babies.

Desiring the modern farmhouse vibe of stained wooden doors (not painted like mine), I proceeded to research just how much it would cost to replace the original doors. After receiving multiple quotes on replacing the entire unit ( I was told I had to replace the side glass panels as well), I was looking at an invest of around $10,000. F#*K that!

After peeling myself off of the ground in disbelief, I decided to consult my trusty friend, Pinterest. I just knew there had to be some sort of DIY solution, and as always, Pinterest totally pulled through.

Several blogs had proven that it was in fact possible to successfully stain over painted doors – giving them a “wooden” effect. While it was a multi-step process (you can read my step-by-step tutorial here), It really wasn’t too bad.

Not only was it beginner-friendly, I was very pleased with the results….

Doors After Gel Stain:

gel stain review for exterior use

For your shopping convenience, I have included affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

While it wasn’t exact perfection, it was a hell of alot better than dropping $10,000 on new doors. Not to mention, I was thrilled to place my new wreaths on my wooden doors just in time for Christmas.


How are they holding up one year later?

My Gel Stained Doors One Year Later:

gel stain on exterior door review

As you can see from the pictures (please ignore the Halloween rug..Ive really got to get it together ..huh?), my gel stained doors look just as good as the day I originally executed the project. While I was a little apprehensive about removing the dated storm doors (which I assumed did add an extra layer of  weather and UV protection), the product (here is the gel stain I used) has proven very durable so far.

(Click here for the exact gel stain I used.)

Between the sheen of the gel stain and the added layers of protective top coat I used (here is the top-coat I used), my wooden doors are going strong.

gel stain on front door review

While you may notice some color variation at the top of the doors, this variation existed at the original time of application (I liked the rustic vibe of the imperfection and chose to leave it that way).

Bottom line? The gel stain has proven durable to weather and sunlight. I am still super happy with my results. (You can click here for my original tutorial).

Thank you so much for tuning in every week and sharing my posts with friends and social media (you are my hero!).

Now get out there and design some good vibes, and a fabulous freakin’ life.

diy gel stain doors review




My journey in interior design and home improvement began with transforming my first fixer-upper home, all while managing a budget and raising two young boys. My work, a reflection of my passion for creating beautiful, uplifting spaces, has been recognized by top publications like Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, HGTV, and more. I invite you to explore my site and witness the transformation of my home and the vibes we've designed.Read more...


Tuesday 12th of November 2019

The blog post was engaging and different from the other blog posts that I have read in the past, the concept intrigued me to read the content further and glad that I read because it was very useful as the festive seasons are here it is quite a great way to start decorating the home then why not the doors of the house, so thanks for such a informative blog post.


Thursday 7th of November 2019

Thanks for the review and for providing a link for purchasing since I have not been able to find gel stain in my area:)

Designing Vibes

Friday 8th of November 2019

I am so glad you found the post helpful, Maria. Good luck with everything! :)