Modern interior wood doors do a good job of elevating the aesthetic value of a home. Of course, wooden doors can be expensive, but if you’re doing a home upgrade or renovation, you can transform existing interior doors to look like authentic wood, saving you money and resources. 

It’s a simple DIY project that you can do with tools you can find at home and materials you can easily source from the nearest hardware store. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make your interior doors look like wood:

Step 1: Prepare Your Materials

Gather all the materials you need, including:

  • Paint
  • Gel stain or wood stain
  • Pre-stain wood conditioner (if using wood stain)
  • Clear polyurethane
  • Rubber gloves
  • Plastic drop cloth
  • Stain pads and brushes
  • Cheesecloth
  • Sandpaper

Then, prepare your door and your work area. Remove any hardware from the door, setting them aside to reinstall them later; you may also cover them with painter’s tape. Lay a plastic drop cloth on the ground where you’re working to protect your floor from stains.

Step 2: Sand the Door

Clean the door surface with a damp cloth to remove any dirt, dust, or grime. Let it dry completely, then lightly sand it with a fine-grit sandpaper. You’ll want to give it a slightly rough texture to help the gel stain adhere better later. Wipe down the door with a clean, damp cloth to remove any debris from sanding.

Step 3: Apply a Base Coat

If you’re working with a brightly colored door, you may want to paint it a neutral color (like white or brown) to give it a more authentic base. If your door has never been painted, make sure to apply a coat of primer before anything else. 

Step 4: Stain the Door

Once your paint has dried, you can start applying gel stain to the door. Make sure to wear rubber gloves to protect your hands! Apply a thin, even coat of gel stain using stain pads or a stain brush, using long straight strokes following the direction of the wood grain pattern you want to make. 

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If you’re using wood stain, make sure to put a layer of pre-stain wood conditioner beforehand to help the stain stick better to the surface. This will be your base coat–let it dry completely based on the recommended drying time in the manufacturer’s instructions.

Then, apply a second coat using the same application technique. While this layer is still wet, use a cheesecloth to remove excess stain to create a wood grain effect. 

You can experiment here to get the texture and pattern you want. You may also play around with the edges of your door to give it a slightly worn-out look. Allow the door to dry again completely.

Step 5: Seal and Finish the Door

Apply a clear polyurethane or similar topcoat sealer to the door to seal and protect it. Once the topcoat is dry, you can replace the hardware and reinstall your door.

Invest in Premium Wood Interior Doors From 27estore

While you can definitely achieve an authentic wooden look on existing non-wooden doors, it’s still best to invest in premium wood interior doors from a trusted manufacturer like 27estore for the best-looking entryways. Find the right premium wood interior doors for your home today!

Curious about the difference between interior and exterior doors or if interior doors open in or out? Be sure to read our recent posts!