Garage door dilemma

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Project by hannes posted 03-29-2010 10:20 AM 3831 views 4 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So the plan was to just sand down the garage door and put some new finish on there. The doors didn’t look good (pic 2) and was very dry and the harsh african sun was taking it’s toll. The damage was clear after sanding the whole door. There was what looked like water marks, scratch marks and blotchy-ness all over the plywood back. So then i thought maybe i can stain the whole door a darker colour in order to hide the marks. That didn’t work at all, in fact it made it worse (pic3). Now i had a big problem, what now.

But my wife came to the rescue… she always liked the horizontal plank type doors, but she would like it to have gaps in between planks. A great idea, more modern than the current door and a bit unique as well. So i stated sawing 12mm thick meranti to length. Removed the existing trim from the door, sanded and stained the second door the same colour. Then finished the new meranti planks before gluing and screwing (all 440 screws) them onto the old plywood back and applying additional layers of finish. (pic1, 4 and 5)

My wife had to help the whole time… holding here and fetching that, for 2 hands was just not enough and helping to finish the doors. It worked out well and she is pleased with the result and it was something we did together which was real nice. I don’t think she will become a woodworker soon, but she did enjoy seeing the doors getting the make-over.

Thanks for viewing and comments or suggestions welcome.

-- Hannes, Cape Town, South Africa

20 comments so far

View hannes's profile


52 posts in 4184 days

#1 posted 03-29-2010 11:10 AM

Thanks Mario. I was also concerned about the water getting in so gave the back plywood (and slats) some finish before putting on the slats. The roof also extends over the wall and the rain normally come almost from behind the doors (if you know what i mean), so hopefully that is enough. It was not a bad project, but not soon again thanks!

-- Hannes, Cape Town, South Africa

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 5117 days

#2 posted 03-29-2010 11:42 AM

Great looking garage doors Hannes – you and your wife did an excellent job. Big improvement over the original doors.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 4354 days

#3 posted 03-29-2010 12:32 PM

Those look great!

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View patron's profile


13717 posts in 4392 days

#4 posted 03-29-2010 01:04 PM

like the new doors much more ,
you both did a great job !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

549 posts in 4567 days

#5 posted 03-29-2010 01:41 PM

It definitely looks better than before. Good job!

-- jstegall

View Frankie Talarico Jr.'s profile

Frankie Talarico Jr.

353 posts in 4407 days

#6 posted 03-29-2010 02:56 PM

Did you finish it with exterior finish? possibly even a deck finish? If its an exterior oil base that should work good. I hope you finish all edges, and surfaces of the new planks. If you only did the front you are inviting trouble. I have to say they do look great. Just hoping you took the extra steps to preserve the beauty. Maintenece coats every year for about three years and you’ll have a long lasting project that gave the wife a little insight on your woodworking. My wife loves watching me work on stuff and learns a little each time. IT is a good bonding agent.

Nice doors

-- Live by what you believe, not what they want you to believe.

View ajosephg's profile


1897 posts in 4612 days

#7 posted 03-29-2010 03:03 PM

Those are beautiful

-- Joe

View Woodwrecker's profile


4240 posts in 4626 days

#8 posted 03-29-2010 03:03 PM

Those came out great.
What a difference!

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4628 days

#9 posted 03-29-2010 03:41 PM

View hannes's profile


52 posts in 4184 days

#10 posted 03-29-2010 03:42 PM

Thanks guys for the feedback. And for the questions… i’ll try my best to answer:

@socalwood Meranti is widely used in South Africa for exterior timber products. Most window and door frames are meranti and the rest of my house (20+ years old) has still it’s original window frames in and in good condition.

@getneds Yes i used an exterior finish (Exterior Sealer which holds up better than the exterior varnishes i’ve used before and have them on the window frames as well. I have coated the wood on top and bottom of the slats and the plywood as well, so no place for water to get in. Would hate to redo this in a year or two :)

-- Hannes, Cape Town, South Africa

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 4101 days

#11 posted 03-29-2010 03:43 PM

To me, the old doors look more “plantation”, while the updated, more modern style is less severe and bit more like a “cabana” or something more easy going.

Great job! Glad you two could work on it together.

Are your doors the older single piece that swings out and up? I don’t see any breaks in the wood that would indicate a roll-up style door?

I like the way the color varies on the doors due to the wood. It is much more inviting than the old ones.

Again, nice job!

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View hannes's profile


52 posts in 4184 days

#12 posted 03-29-2010 03:56 PM

Thanks Jonathan. Yes it is the “tip-up” type of door. Had some positive comments from the neighbours as well. The property was rented out before we bought it about 5 months ago, so was a bit neglected. I was just a bit scared that it would add too much to the weight of the door, but was surprised that the wood was actually not that heavy and the doors still open very easily by hand and no extra strain on the automatic door opener motor.

-- Hannes, Cape Town, South Africa

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 4101 days

#13 posted 03-29-2010 04:12 PM

Glad to hear you’re fixing the place up! I’m sure the neighbors appreciate it too.

At least they’re single bay doors, so maybe the opener can handle the extra weight for a while longer. I’m sure if it would’ve been a double door, the opener would be straining to lift it and you’d have to upgrade to a heavy duty motor.

When we moved in to our current house a few years ago, we also had a swing out style (double stall) garage door with an older opener on it. We ended up replacing it with a roll up style door and a new opener because snow tends to drift up against the door at times, causing the door to try to plow through it, occassionally getting stuck. Plus it swung straight out into a narrow alley, so that was no good when we’d pull up in the car. You’d always have to keep your distance!

Again, nice job!

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View ZeroThreeQuarter's profile


120 posts in 4108 days

#14 posted 03-29-2010 05:22 PM

great job, great results. at least you didn’t have to change the garage doors like my father did as a kid cause of the hockey puck holes i left in their doors. (hey, you can’t make ALL the shots go in the net, and the net doesn’t cover the whole garage, so damage is bound to happen!)

again, great job!

-- Your mind, much like a parachute, works best when open.

View AJJ's profile


75 posts in 4199 days

#15 posted 03-29-2010 06:30 PM

Great looking doors. You did a fantastic job on the stain.

-- AJJ, Eugene OR

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