This post will explain how to Refinish a Vintage Front Door – Ready for Fall Decor.

You can refinish a vintage front door on a budget.  This DIY front door makeover on a budget will enhance your home’s curb appeal.

How to Refinish a Vintage Front Door
Refinish a Vintage Front Door for and create a charming curb appeal

Our most popular posts on front entries are found here:

I love the look of vintage wood doors, so I chose to replace my metal front door. I found a vintage all wood door with great details. These doors will enhance the curb appeal of your home.

Refinish a vintage front door on a budget – Supply List:

  1. vintage wood door with character
  2. citrus strip mask and scraping tools
  3. hand sander (Could be done with sand paper and block depending on the details of the door)
  4. paint and/or stain
  5. door hardware – hinges and handles
Refinished Vintage Door
Refurbished Antique Door adds instant curb appeal

If you explored the links above you saw my former metal front door. The door donned six colors over the past 20 years, and none of them were shy. My favorite was Wythe Blue.

White Pumpkins and Blush colored Mums are great Fall Decor Ideas for the front porch
DIY Front Porch Fall Style

A beautiful coral color, Old Country, comes in a close second.

Front Porch gets Spring Makeover
Bold Colored Front Doors

Refinish a Vintage Front Door with these simple steps:

1. Find a vintage door:

I chose to restore a vintage door to create a charming curb appeal. I found a solid wood 1930s door with paneled detail and a stain glass insert. Lots of life occurred at this door, and it showed. For me the knocks and bruises add character.

Be sure that you find a door that isn’t warped, and matches the exact dimensions of your current door.  I had to remove two coats of paint to reveal the beautiful wood. I’m pleased with the outcome.  Here’s how the door looked when I found it.

Refinish a Vintage Front Door
Strip off layers of old paint to reveal beautiful wood door

2. Strip off old paint:

If you’re not afraid of a little hard work and some sweat equity, consider yourself equipped for this makeover, at least the restoring and beautifying of the door. I removed the moss green paint only to discover another layer of black paint that needed to be stripped. I followed the directions on the stripping agent I chose, Citrus Strip.

How to refinish a wood door on a budget
Use stipper to remove layers of old paint from a vintage front door

3. Sand to a smooth finish:

A hand sander will make this job a lot easier, although you can sand by hand if you have the patience. After hours of tedious sanding, I was unable to remove all the black paint from the recessed panels. This was when I decided to highlight the panels with the moss green paint color that closely matches the paint of the body of our home. A delightful concession, I think.

You can Refinish an Antique Door
Refinish your vintage door to reveal beautiful wood

4. Paint and/or Stain

With exposure to weather, the wooden front door will need a layer of protection. I chose a Behr product, Waterproofing Stain & Sealer.

5. Hinges and Handles

My built in carpenter, Tom the Great, did not want to tackle moving the hinges and strike plates,  so we hired a carpenter for the installation process. We reused our existing hardware, except for purchasing new the hinges.

Refinish a Vintage Front Door on a Budget
Restore an Old Wood Door to Enhance Curb Appeal Fall or Any Season

You can check out my Instagram Stories to view videos of the process.

I finished the door and had it ready just in time to add fall decor. Beautiful mums, a welcome sign, and a fall wreath really warmed up the front porch for fall.

Find several fall front porch ideas HERE:

You will have to check back for a later post on how the inside of the door turned out. It’s my favorite of the two looks.

Enjoy Today!

Love y’all,

Lori Nell

Comments (8)

  1. Reply

    Wow, you did an incredible job on that door! Part of being an artist is seeing the potential in something and doing it in your own style. The steps seem very easy to follow, too. 😊

    • Southern Nell Gracious Living


      Thank you, Crissy! I know you can appreciate a little hard work!

    • Southern Nell Gracious Living


      Glad you found me!! Hope you had a great weekend in Memphis.

  2. Pingback: Spring Decor Ideas for the Southern Chinoiserie Home

  3. Pingback: The Ultimate Guide to Affordable Fall Home Decor - Southern Nell's

  4. Pingback: Outdoor Fall Decor Ideas - Southern Nell's

  5. Pingback: Ideas for Front Porch Decorating this Fall - Southern Nell's

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.