Thursday, November 1st, 2018
We quite often receive enquiries regarding cedar garage door restoration here at Garage Door Restore.
In the vast majority of cases they have been left too long before action is taken to maintain them and so major work is needed to bring them back to looking great again.
To use an analogy, not regularly maintaining the coating on your door is like driving around for a year with egg on your brand new BMW. It will ruin your paintwork and whilst it is a good idea to remove the egg now, it would have been much better to remove it a year ago!
Prevention and maintenance are the key to keeping your cedar garage door looking great for years. We recently came across a cedar garage door that had been maintained very well ( the owner was a carpenter and knew what he was doing). The door was 15 years old and looked brand new.
Broadly speaking there are two different services we offer.
The basic procedure for this is that we blend in stain and prep the door. We sand it with a very fine sandpaper and clean it. The idea is not to remove much of the existing coating but to provide a good ‘key for the topcoats to stick to. Then we apply 2 x topcoats of a special product that protects it from the weather and gives it a refreshed look.
Here is the same door afterwards
This process usually takes around half a day and costs a few hundred dollars. A good percentage of the cost is in the protective coating we use. We don’t use the cheap stuff as it may look great for a few months but rapidly deteriorates after that.
If you don’t want to pay someone else to do this you can do it yourself and we recommend you do it once per year for optimum protection or once every 2 years at a minimum.
If the coating on your cedar garage door is peeling process 1 just isn’t going to get it looking great again. Once the original coating degrades to the point that it’s coming off it really needs option 2 below and unless you are prepared to put in long hours, get covered in dust, purchase the right equipment and probably end up with a bit of a patchy, sub par result then call the professionals. It’s not really a DIY task!
If you are on a budget we can perform option 1 on a badly weathered door at your request and you can expect a 50% improvement and a slight refreshed look along with added protection but you must be aware that if your door is flaking and peeling, those bits will be covered over, not removed and the surface won’t be as smooth as it was when it was new.
Applying a topcoat of varnish over a door that has already started peeling can actually make it look worse by highlighting the existing damage as per the image below
Once the coating starts to peel any attempt in sanding it without removing all of the coating on the door usually results in it looking much worse. It’s a little like if you have ever been badly sunburt and start to peel, if you rub the spot you are peeling at you will most likely just end up with more skin peeling.
Cedar has a few qualities which make it ideal for garage doors, but some of these qualities also affect the way it must be handled and treated compared to other timbers.
: It is light – but also very fragile, especially around the v groove edges and joins
: Termites hate it
: It has a beautiful grain and colour
: It is extremely porous
: It is very soft
The fact that cedar is very soft and fragile is compounded by the fact that your garage door moves not only up and down with daily use, but also that it expands and contracts with temperature changes, is subject to UV rays, dust, rain, pollutants and maybe the odd tennis/basketball bouncing off it.
This is also why that unless you are familiar with it, we do not recommend sanding it as a DIY task. The coating that is on your door is much harder than the cedar underneath so unless you are experienced you may end up with dips and gouges in the timber which will become apparent ( and highlighted) only when the topcoat is applied and then it’s too late to fix!
It is also very difficult to achieve with the door in the vertical position and for that reason this is our usual procedure for number 2
We arrive at your home, set up drop sheets and a dust extractor and other equipment, we then use an experienced garage door installer to remove the garage door panels and we begin work on removing the existing coating.
This is done using 5 different grits of sandpaper on Festool equipment to achieve a smooth, flat finish. This bit takes 3 -6 hours with 2 -3 tradesman working on it. We also sand inn between the boards by hand.
We then clean down the door and apply 2 x coats of penetrating stain to seal the timber and provide protection.
We then spray 3 x topcoats of Sikkens Supernatural using airless spray equipment ( done by our licensed, registered professional painter)
Once the door is dry enough our garage door installer re installs the panels and ensures the door is functioning effectively. The process is usually completed in around 8 – 10 hours with 2 -3 Tradesmen working on it. The cost for this is usually around the $1500 – $2300 depending on the door size and condition and is usually around 1/4 of the cost of replacing it.
Once this procedure is complete and you maintain your cedar garage door, you can enjoy many years of it looking great.
Here are some before and after images of what we can accomplish.
Check out our facebook page for more images. If you would like a Quote give us a call or send us an email with a photo of your door and we will be happy to help.